Generating ideas, connections, and action


Resources for Talking about Race: An Imperative for Leadership Development Programs

This past month I had the opportunity to attend the American Healing Conference in Ashville North Carolina sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  There was a pretty amazing line up of folks doing incredible work in Baltimore, Isabel Wilkerson author of the “Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” talked about the importance of knowing the history of the great migration and deeper story of resilience, folks from the Color of Change, BMe, United We Dream, and the Perception Institute shared stories about their work trying to change narratives and the our current reality.  Of course this is just a very modest sample of a rich three days that left me thinking about lots of things; including the role of leadership development in healing and equity. 
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Neighborhood Watch: Neighbors Fearing Neighbors, The Effects of Fear And Gentrification

This morning as I was driving to work, listening to National Public Radio’s Forum, I was struck by the divisiveness that emerged while talking about gentrification and San Francisco Supervisors’ vote on a housing moratorium. The podcast is available on their website, but the conversation reminded me of a similar conversation my neighborhood had around the same topic.

The discussion in my street began because my neighborhood in Oakland is seeing the secondary effects of waves of new residents coming into the neighborhood. These new residents, typically after looking for housing in San Francisco where the prices are insurmountable, are flocking to Oakland to remain close to “The City.” Long-time Oakland residents have been feeling the pressure of this housing demand through increases in rent, housing prices, and for some residents of color, clear racial microaggressions (for other examples see here).

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Threads Around the Country


The Independent Sector has identified nine key trends, obstacles, and opportunities that will shape the charitable sector in the next 20 years..

Threads is a national effort to pull together a vibrant cross-section of leaders and practitioners to meet face-to-face to collectively explore what's working in our communities. What's not? What's threatening? Inspiring? Frustrating? Scalable? Possible?


The conversations are designed to “weave diverse threads into the fabric of a stronger future.”

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Network Leadership Webinar Series: A Collaboration Between LLC, CCL, and NYU Wagner School of Public Service

We are launching a webinar series to provide a space for practitioners and researchers in both the leadership and network development areas to connect and learn from each other. Often these groups are not connected and we want to build awareness and even collaboration across the research – practice divide. We will focus on the intersection of leadership and network development. After clarifying the various ways in which leadership and networks intersect, we will consider the following questions: what does it mean for people in networks who see the need to be more intentional about developing leadership, and what does it mean for leadership development practitioners to design and deliver programs that better equip their participants to effectively utilize network strategies and tools.



Participation is FREE and funding is covered separately by Leadership Learning Community, NYU Wagner School of Public Service, and the Center for Creative Leadership    

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Appreciating Eugene After 8 Years of Service

There are no words to express our gratitude to Eugene Kim but we are going to try…..

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A Fond Farewell To Natalia

It’s not easy to say goodbye to Natalia and those of you who know her understand why.  For months, Natalia has tried to prepare us for this day. Her family is in Orange County and she moved to Los Angeles to be close. Still, we miss her. 

Aside from being very funny and making us laugh, a lot, Natalia is leaving LLC with some impossibly large shoes to fill.  Natalia started with LLC in 2009 as our Marketing and Communications Director.  If since then you have been appreciating our monthly newsletter or webinar series you can thank Natalia.  You may have noticed our new look, the glossy publications and consulting materials…yes, thanks to Natalia.  Our learning community grew from 600 leadership funders, program staff and researchers to a network of over 4,000 people.  Natalia was so successful in helping people understand our consulting services that our business has flourished and then we had a new need, managing complex projects. 

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Early Insights About Leadership Development From the Amazing “Othering and Belonging Conference”

I am a huge fan of john powell and could not resist a conference that brought him together with other legends in social and racial justice like belle hooks, Naomi Klein, Manuel Pastor, Angela Blackwell and Joanna Macy.  I will be digesting the leadership implications of the frameworks, ideas, and statistics that were offered for many months and wanted to take a moment to share some of my early insights.

john powell opened by sharing a framework for understanding the process of ‘othering’ and described three basic separations: the separation from ourselves, from others, and from the earth; all of which deny our basic humanity.   Leadership programs have historically integrated some elements of personal mastery that focus on the realm of ‘self’.  In some programs, the work of ‘self’ may be focused on confidence, discovering one’s personal passions, or the power to influence others.    An increasing number of programs that seek to help individuals build relationships and connection with others, are bringing a different lens to the work someone has to do on their self and in relationship to others.


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LLC's Theory of Change and the Network Challenge

Over the past several months, we have been revisiting our Theory of Change as we plan on how to be most strategic in making progress as a small but mighty organization with a pretty lofty goal; changing how people understand what leadership is and how to develop it.  If you follow us, you know we have a point of view about needing to develop more inclusive, networked, and collective leadership.  As you will see in the image below we believe that in order to make progress on entangled complex problems, often referred to as “wicked problems,” we need to get much better at leading and learning together across complex systems.   We also believe that we have been too narrow in looking at leadership as the behavior of an individual without understanding leadership as a process by which many people take action in solving society’s issues.  In fact, we are up against some entrenched ideals about individuals that are deeply embedded in the dominant culture of the US and the ways that we think about leadership.   Clearly, it will take many of us working together to shift our current leadership consciousness, a shift referred to in the diagram below as a meta shift.

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Demystifying LLC’s Webinar Series


The last two months have been a great time for LLC’s Webinar Series all due to having wonderful volunteers from our community who have stepped up and shared their knowledge with all of us. To keep this momentum going, we have been lining up more webinars in the coming weeks, more info on these soon. We have been reflecting on how we can demystify and decentralize the process so more webinars can continue to happen.

Ideally, we like to partner with individuals, organizations, movements, networks, partnerships, etc. that conceive, conduct, and evaluate leadership. To us, leadership is a process of collaboration and we uphold models that create social change through their work. Many programs do not realize that they have much to contribute to the field.

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