Staying In Action: Part 1

We have had over 60 sessions and 2,500 participants and facilitators experience the Institute in 2019 so far! Add these folks to the over 70,000 who have also participated in the Institute over the past 32 years – and that is a lot of people carrying the lessons of the Institute with them. Some of us are deep into the work of activating what we learned at the Institute, while some of us are figuring out what it means to stay in action.

Whether you participated in the Institute a few weeks, a few months, or a few years ago, staying in action is the next step and an important part of being part of the LeaderShape community. As a LeaderShaper, we acknowledge the responsibility and privilege we have to create positive change in the world.

Over the next couple of days, we are going to share some ways in which you can stay in action and create change.

Keep Learning With Us
There isn’t an end to what we can learn. Learning is a life-long process. It’s exhilarating to know that there will always be new ideas to uncover. And there are ways that we can continue this learning together.

Download the LeaderShape App
Our new app is like having LeaderShape in your pocket and at your fingertips. It’s a daily opportunity to keep learning and keep teaching, in community with one another.AppPhonePhoto

  • Have a problem you to solve? Ask for advice.
  • Looking for information? Crowdsource that in the app.
  • Have a story or resource to share? Pass it on.
  • Get involved with what we’re sharing. Each month we’ll have a theme that is meant to keep us all engaged with growing as leaders and change-makers.

Download the LeaderShape app for iOS
Download the LeaderShape app for Android

Join us for Day 7 on the 7th of each Month
We use this day to explore a topic related to staying in action across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You’ll find encouragement as well as ideas and practices to incorporate into your day-to-day life.

Get Support, Give Support
We recognize and celebrate the community you have in your life beyond LeaderShape – those people who offer you guidance and support as well as the folks that you lift up through the encouragement you have to offer. Tending to these relationships is part of leadership and connection.

Maintain relationships from the Institute
It can be challenging to help people who weren’t part of the experience understand what happened and why it was so impactful. But the folks who were at the session with you do have that insight and can offer a special kind of support and understanding. Whether it is face-to-face or through technology, prioritize the connections you made during the program.

Find a mentor or coach
There are a lot of talented people in the world with experience we can learn from. Find someone who will share their time in a way that helps you grow and reach your goals.

Support Others
Did you know that you also have experiences and perspectives that will help others to reach their goals? Have you considered that your words of encouragement, appreciation, and feedback can elevate others and help them feel seen? If you didn’t, we hope you do now. Supporting others on their journey is an invaluable act.

Which of these ideas are you ready to try? Think on it and come back tomorrow for more thoughts to help you to stay in action.

What we are all working toward

Positive Change. It is what we are all working toward.

Every day we get up and try to make a difference hoping that we are able to use our talents, skills, and abilities to their best. We work for change that benefits us all – our communities, our country, our world. It is easy to lose sight of this goal. Easy to lose sight of our vision.

In the past few years, we’ve seen society’s prominent leaders disregard human decency, refuse to participate in constructive discussion, promote divisiveness, and engage in soundbite insults. This is why we need LeaderShape. The impact of LeaderShape has probably never been as important as it is now because people have lost trust in what it means to be a leader.

I want to highlight four important concepts that we teach.

LeaderShape teaches us how to hear each other without the fear of each other. LeaderShape instills confidence by showing people how to face and own their individual experiences. Then we discuss the commonalities of our experiences, clearing the path for cooperation, wisdom, and the courage to bring about change.

LeaderShape teaches us how to be okay with who we are and what we stand for. LeaderShape helps us understand ourselves and realize that each person around us struggles with the same thing.

LeaderShape teaches us to learn to listen. LeaderShape provides the community where understanding each other cuts down on the sting and vitriol of conflict. We are present with our disagreements and don’t retreat to our corners. We stay in the mess.

Finally, the LeaderShape experience gives us the tools to discover that we’re not so afraid. And that gives all of us the freedom to stand up and bring about the change we want to see. We gain the courage to bring about change and that’s what endures in the long run.

Now is not the time to lose hope in what we can accomplish. Now is the time to be in community. True community where we wrestle with life’s questions and together try to find answers that work for all of us, not just a few. Let’s forget for a minute about being leaders and focus on being better humans. When we get that straight, leadership will happen. Behaviors will change. Habits will form. Change will happen.

In the meantime, I want you to know that LeaderShape will stay true to our core values of integrity, equity, possibility, vision, community, and relationships. We will take no shortcuts in terms of the quality of experiences that we provide. We will partner with those individuals and institutions that want to be a part of bringing about that positive change because together there is strength. We can drown out the chaos of today and keep our eye on the horizon – on our vision of a more just, caring, equitable, and thriving world.

And we will remember that with your help we provide experiences that transform lives.

I invite you to commit or recommit to creating positive change in the world. LeaderShape sees that future and looks forward to adjusting our practices to meet whatever it takes to be a part of that future. We will fail more. We will join with others committed to learning. We will stay humble and work hard.

We are needed now more than ever.

LeaderShape accepts that challenge and hopes you do too.

LSH_Blog-Bios_Paul

LeaderShape Alive: Change

By: Joanna Lindstrom, L Professional Writing

Is change such a bad thing? Sometimes our reluctance to embrace change makes us think so. Or, perhaps it is a false notion that change is associated with the negative.

carolinekFor Institute graduate, Caroline (Welch) Kipp, change is an important part of her vision.

A year before her roommate, Heather, attended the LeaderShape Institute, Caroline created a vision to change the journalism industry with journalists who report with integrity.

That vision started with her. After graduating one of her first jobs was working for a small, weekly newspaper in Denver. In the newsroom and during interviews, Caroline dedicated herself to her vision, leading by example. She maintained all ethical reporting practices – distance between advertisers, interviewing multiple sources, reporting controversial topics, and ultimately creating unbiased, professional stories.

Then, somewhere between the world of social media and rising independent bloggers, the journalism industry radically changed. Journalists of today work for themselves, instead of papers. Blogs and social media have all but replaced paper newspapers.

Caroline changed with it but has ultimately stayed true to her vision.

After her job at the paper, she worked in communications for the school board association and now, working in public relations for a growing town in Colorado.

“My profession and the world of journalism has changed, but the essence of my vision remains the same,” Caroline said.

Caroline continues to lead by example, but this time in her office and not in the newsroom. She has to tackle difficult communications projects like writing the town’s “blue book” for every election season. This requires her dedication to writing with integrity, and writing both sides of the issue with an unbiased perspective.

No matter where her professional life takes her, Caroline’s dedication to communicating with integrity will come with her.

“Information will always be a vital piece of our world, and the way we get it is changing rapidly,” Caroline said. “In a time where facts become true just by virtue of being posted online, journalists who report with integrity – and the PR folks who provide that information in many cases – are simply vital.”

What’s your story? We want to share all stories of LeaderShape visions and the ways they have adapted and changed over time. Leave a comment below or send us an email.

img_20160307_201446Joanna (Thomas) Lindstrom is a writer/editor and the third roommate of Caroline and Heather. She primarily writes grants for medium-sized nonprofits but also dabbles in blog, newswriting, and fiction. Joanna lives in Colorado with her husband, toddler, and slightly neurotic Schnauzer. She loves living close enough to meet with Caroline and Heather regularly. Visit her online: lprowriting.com