Wednesday, March 09, 2005

WE Are Who We've Been Waiting For

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Mead

I know I've shared that quote here before, but it bears repeating.

I attended a leadership retreat a couple of weeks ago on the campus of St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota and witnessed the power of that statement in action.

The purpose of our retreat was to discuss several questions around the topic of Leaders as Healers. The premise for the retreat was the high level of dysfunction and toxicity found in today's organizations and institutions. The facilitators of the retreat believed this presented both a challenge and a unique opportunity for today's leaders and invited 9 of us from five different states to participate.

Among the questions we discussed were: how are we to respond as leaders to this level of imbalance within our organizations? How can we continue to hold our vision amidst all the pressures to view human beings as a commodity (human resource) to be managed and utilized? How can we remain compassionate in the midst of pressures to constantly increase the bottom line? How can we as leaders be healers in these systems in order to transform them and empower a healing mission?

The things I learned about myself during those two days on such a deep level will stay with me forever. Perhaps the biggest blinding glimpse of the obvious for me was the fact that I've been waiting for someone to do something to change the state of Corporate America when in fact, I AM THE ONE I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR.

When I had the opportunity to be surrounded by people who simultaneously challenged and supported my thinking and my way of being, I realized the truth of Mead's statement above.

I'll share more insights from the retreat in subsequent posts, but will leave this one with this thought ...

If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?


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