Later this month, some members of the LeaderShape co-lead facilitator community are hosting a virtual community conversation focusing on Day 7 and staying in action (more details below!). As the group has reflected on how to activate the energy cultivated at the Institute, they have reflected on their own Day 7 experiences. And one of our facilitators, Julie Larson, is here to share her thoughts.
Julie Larsen is a Sr. Curriculum Manager at Amazon, where she uses on-boarding as a chance to introduce engineers to Thinking Big and living in possibility. Her favorite Institute snack is Swedish Fish.
I attended my first LeaderShape Institute 8 years ago. I didn’t know much about LeaderShape, I had never been on a campus with an Institute, but I knew it was billed as a life changing experience. I headed to Allerton with high expectations, and that feeling of wonder-dread that comes with a new experience.
Over the course of 8 years, I’ve been a part of 10 sessions. I’ve met participants from around the world, with ages ranging from 17 – 63. And each session has had a part in changing my life, sometimes big, sometimes small. I’ve made lifelong friendships, and had the opportunity to build relationships with those whose views are very different from my own.
I’ve been challenged, and been the one to challenge others. I’ve laughed and cried. I’ve eaten lots and lots of snacks, and sung lots and lots of Baby Shark (before it exploded the internet!).
The Institute has become an annual chance for me to dig deep into my values, and gut check my integrity. And yet, as much as I love the Institute, and am thankful for all that LeaderShape has brought to my life, sometimes I find myself wondering if it still fits into my world today?
I am 37 years old, with a strong career, a loving partner, and a healthy body. By all accounts I am in a good place, but that doesn’t mean I am without questions. What does it mean to have a vision? What if I don’t really know what my vision is anymore? How do you lead with integrity when things get hard? How do I stand up for a just, caring, thriving world when it seems no one around me understands those words? Am I doing it right?
I want to talk about Day 7, I need to talk about Day 7, because like many others I want to hear how others are moving forward when it seems like the hardest thing to do. I want to talk about how to stay grounded and focused when the magic of the Institute feels far away.
I have said for many years that the Institute fills my cup. I know that finding my way back to Day 7 will be what keeps my cup full.
Join us for a community conversation on Day 7 and staying in action!