Leadership That Restores Sanity
Sane leadership is the unshakable confidence, the faith, that people can be generous, creative, and kind. The leader’s role is to create the conditions so these qualities can manifest in meaningful work.
“Unshakable faith” What gives you faith in people’s capacity to be generous, creative, and kind? There is a critical difference between beliefs and faith. Beliefs are what we hope to be true. Faith is what we know to be true because we have experienced it. We will recall personal experiences when we’ve been surprised by the human spirit. And learn a transformative practice: “Faith as an antidote to fear.”
“Creating the conditions” With our work on inclusion and systems thinking, the concept of Islands of Sanity can be shocking. Yet if we remain as well-intentioned, isolated people, we cannot withstand the overpowering and destructive dynamics of this time. We must withdraw psychically and spiritually to form as a devoted community, creating the conditions of possibility and sanctuary so we can do the good work of serving the human spirit.
Practices will guide you to notice how you’re being changed by current dynamics, and to discern your personal motivation to create a sane community.
We Were Together. I Forget the Rest.
October 19th | with Peter Block
“Whatever the problem, community is the answer.” “Humans can get through anything as long as we’re together.” “There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” These statements have been the basis of my work for decades, but now … ? In this Age of Threat, people in fight or flight desperately seek self-protection, retreat from difference, and collapse from fear and confusion.
How can we bring ourselves back into community? How can these statements become true again? Meg will explore these questions with her long-time friend and colleague, Peter Block. Peter transformed his groundbreaking work on consulting to focus wholeheartedly on learning what’s needed to create Beloved Community. His newest book on community launches November, 2023: Activating the Common Good: Reclaiming Control of Our Collective Well-Being. https://www.peterblock.com/the-six-conversations/
What Do We Do When Something Goes Wrong?
November 2nd | with Four Arrows
We are besieged, overwhelmed, and exhausted by unending crises. The common response is to assign blame as quickly as possible rather than learn from experience. This refusal to learn and adapt is suicidal–blame and denial are destroying community and the future.
“Whatever the problem, community is the answer.” When problems arise in Indigenous communities, individuals are not blamed–in fact, there is no word for shame. The community assumes responsibility and seeks to learn from the incident. When things go wrong, if the well-being of the community is the center point, every crisis is an opportunity for healing and strengthening relationships. To explore this profoundly different worldview, Meg will dialogue with her dear friend and colleague, Four Arrows, an Indigenous educator and scholar of the Indigenous worldview. Author of 24 books, his 2023 book, co-authored with Darcia Narvaez, is: Restoring the Kinship Worldview. https://www.fourarrowsbooks.com/about
The practice for this week is to reflect on how your team, organization, community, and family react when something goes wrong.
Practices To Awaken the Human Spirit
November 9th | with Frances Baldwin
In this session, Meg offers a “Pattern Language”—design principles for practices that awaken people’s inherent generosity, creativity, and kindness. Pattern languages are not human inventions. They are discerned from close observation of how life creates order, balance, and harmony. Working with life’s natural dynamics, more becomes possible than with human-invented group processes. Meg developed this pattern language for her new book. She will explore it with another dear friend and colleague, Frances Baldwin, an elder in the field of Organization Development, who emphasizes spiritual vitality in her Gestalt Coaching practice. www.designedwisdom.net
Practice for the week is to use this pattern language as a lens to evaluate your past and/or current practices, what worked well and what failed.
Choosing to Be A Warrior for the Human Spirit
As a sane leader, I invite you to an even more noble role: Warrior for the Human Spirit. This is not a casual upgrade. At dark times in history, a small group of people arise to protect and defend what is most valued. In this era, the human spirit and the spirit of Life are in great need of protection. Warriors for the Human Spirit join the tradition of peaceful, non-violent warriors, armed with only two “weapons,” compassion and insight. Berkana Institute has been training activists, leaders, and citizens as Warriors since 2015. For this session, Meg will invite a few Warriors to share stories of how this role has created more capacity, meaning, and joy for them as they serve this time. https://margaretwheatley.com/why-warrior-training/
Now That We Know This What Do We Do?
This is a three hour session to assess what you’ve learned and what you aspire to contribute going forward. We’ll work with these questions: Have you been changed by what you’ve learned and contemplated? If so, how will these changes be visible in your behaviors? Will you explore the possibility of creating an Island of Sanity? If so, with whom? Will you choose the role of Warrior for the Human Spirit? If so, will you seek to develop the skillful means of warriorship?
We’ll share our learnings, revelations, challenges, and stories to support each of us to claim our role to restore sanity where we are, with what we have, for the people and causes we most care about.