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Miriam Persley's blog

The Individual in Collective Leadership

About two weeks ago, I was referred to a news article called, “Dribbling Man,”[1] about a man who embarks on a mission to find himself. His chosen path: to walk from Seattle, Washington, USA to Brazil in time for the World Cup all while dribbling a soccer ball. Richard Swanson had planned to follow the coast until he arrived in 2014, but a mere two weeks after his journey began; he was killed in a collision near the 101 freeway on the Oregon coast. Although this was an extreme tragedy, what intrigued me the most was what I saw as Richard’s quest for purpose[2].

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The Mountaintop: The Sacrificial Lamb at the Top

Earlier this month, I attended the last Bay Area showing of Katori Hall’s “The Mountaintop,[1]” a fictional play inspired by the last moments of Dr. Martin Luther King’s life. It takes place on his last day on earth, as he is battling with the public’s blame and guilt over the death of Larry Payne,[2] a 16-year old boy who died when a march lead by Dr. King turned violent the week before.  Here Dr. King is portrayed as a real person, who is not only reflecting on his life but also battling with his own demons and eventually accepts his own impending death. In this play, Martin Luther King is arrogant yet insecure. He is an adulterer but definitely a loving family man, a “King” who is undoubtedly devoted to the public’s service, and always very passionate about racial equality. Among these contradictions and passions, the play does not smooth over his humanness but rather highlights it.

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Collective Collaboration: Living Our Values Regardless

The past couple of weeks have been very hectic at LLC. For one, we have our core role as a small non-profit working to create a leadership community/network. Within that, we are planning Creating Space X; and as with any major conference, it demands so much of our time, energy, and brain power. In addition, this week the team has other deadlines to meet for other projects. All in all, the perfect storm.

But instead of pulling our hair out (which we have all been very tempted to do), we have been working better with each other. Here at LLC, “ We demonstrate our values of transparency, collaboration, and diversity in everything we do and create an environment that bridges differences and fosters trust.”

Transparency+Collaboration+Diversity = Bridged differences+Trust

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Uniting a Nation Through Leadership Development


Very recently, we all witnessed the splitting of a nation.  During the Presidential campaign, divided cities became divided counties, and divided states of blue and red. Even social media became a battleground where shocked “friends” learned that their community was not what they expected and had to redefine their visions of friendship. It was hard to miss the tension, sometimes even passionate hate that these elections brought forth. The scandals, the ads, and the below the belt remarks that defined a national ideological turmoil; a community truly divided.

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