From Melanie Goodman:
I had a chance to hear leadership guru Margaret Wheatley in NH last week. It was a shot in the arm, a reminder why we do this work, and there were many take-aways. Given the tough job of providing resources to local communities from afar, which is afterall NEN’s modus operandi, it helped to be reminded that an assets approach to community work fights the impulse to create more rules and regulations, look for the perfect leader, and rely on outside experts (even though this last one contradicts NEN to some extent). Instead, the assets approach assumes:
· We have what we need
· Leaders are already here
· Every situation is workable
· Most people want to help others
· We have triumphed in much worse circumstances
· We can be fearless and bold; indeed we already have been
I also am a big fan of saying it straight, and resonated to many of these quotes Wheatley shared during her presentation:
“To get help, find the issue that people care about.” (vs. naming your issue and finding people to work it).
“To change the conversation, change who is in the conversation.” (I feel like we all get stuck here A LOT.)
“Don’t ask what’s wrong; ask what’s possible and who cares?” (In truth, I think we’re afraid to ask this question because maybe no one does care about the thing(s) we care about.)
“We don’t have an accountability problem; we have a caring problem.” (If we ‘care’ we’ll automatically be accountable? Really? Hmmm.)
But my personal favorite was:
“You can’t hate the person whose story you know.” I’m attempting to teach this very thing to my highly judgmental 12-year-old. No small feat.
So I went ahead and bought Wheatley’s new book, Finding Our Way. I may make it NEN’s next Virtual Book Group pick. Any joiners? I’m expecting to hear from all you Wheatley fans out there.