Day 7: The need to talk about it

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.

Knights of AllertonOver 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! 

⚡ To participate in the virtual Day 7 gathering at 6pm CST on Monday, February 25 use this link: https://bit.ly/2VZRwel or by phone by dialing 1-646-558-8656 when prompted put in PIN: 987271038#
⚡ To participate in the virtual Day 7 gathering at 11am CST on Wednesday, February 27 use this link: https://bit.ly/2QW9VW1​ or by phone by dialing 1-646-558-8656 when prompted put in PIN: 466164951#

Day 7: Gratitude

This month’s Day 7 has focused on getting behind the movement by supporting those we care about and the work they are doing and by showing our gratitude to the people who are there for us in the same way!

7 days of gratitude

If you’ve been following along on social media, you’ve seen that we’ve been demonstrating a variety of ways that you can show the support and gratitude that you have for others. Although all of the activities we have practiced this week are meaningful and sincere ways to show appreciation, one of the best and simplest ways to show gratitude is to put your thoughts into action and tell people exactly how grateful we are. We want to encourage you to take that step todayWe’ve made it easy for you, too.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank

Download this template and use it for those who have made an impact in your life. Not sure where to start? Here are a few people to say thanks to:

Parents and care-givers, siblings, grandparents and other family members, friends, your spouse or partner, teachers and mentors, neighbors, roommates, advisors and supervisors, co-workers, your mail carrier, barista, or mechanic, and any other person who you can think of that makes a difference in your life.

For us at LeaderShape, we are grateful to have so many people to thank for getting behind our movement of a just, caring, and thriving world where all lead with integrity and a healthy disregard for the impossible! Campus partners, sponsors, facilitators, donors, participants, and anyone in our community who is living LeaderShape. Today we want to take a moment to show our gratitude for just a few of our past graduates.

Varun Arora –  OpenCurriculum
Varun is the CEO at OpenCurriculum, a California-based nonprofit education technology company that is helping teachers all around the world teach better. Their a mission is to bring openness and innovation to K-12 curriculum around the world.

Varun participated in the Institute in Doha, Qatar in 2009, and in 2011 Google named him a Zeitgeist Young Mind. We believe in life-long learning and appreciate Varun’s commitment to the continued learning of teachers and their students.

Marly Q. Casanova – PARK Project
Marly has been spreading kindness through her PARK Project, which stands for Performing Acts of Random Kindness. Not long ago, Marly shared a copy of her Breakthrough Blueprint from 2004 and how it has been a driving force in her life. In 2017, she came back to a national session of the Institute as a Guest Leader and was invited to do the same at the South Florida consortium session. Our thanks goes to Marly for living and sharing LeaderShape!

Jessica Ekstrom – Headbands of Hope
Founder of Headbands of Hope, named Women’s Health Magazine’s Ultimate Game Changer, professional speaker, creator of the Mic Drop Workshop, and more. Jess cares deeply about helping kids feel confident during the difficult time of cancer treatment and empowering women to join the #SisterSpeaker revolution by helping women feel confident in their story, impact, and public speaking. We want Jess to know how much we appreciate how she has activated her care for others in the world through her work and life. 

Tyler Tolson – Denik LLC
As one of the founders of Denik, Tyler is an example of someone who lives out his values and vision through his work and beyond. Denik is a social enterprise that empowers and enlivens artists and helps to build schools in underdeveloped areas – and they do this by making beautiful products like notebooks. Each purchase helps to fund education projects worldwide. With the help of their partner Pencils of Promise, they will soon build their fifth school!

“You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.” Mahatma Gandhi

We know this isn’t an exhaustive list of LeaderShapers out there doing great work. But it’s a start. We hope you’ll make a start with us!

November: Getting Behind the Movement (Part I)

Here at LeaderShape, we rely on the power of our community to make what we do possible. We believe that anything is possible with a compelling vision, integrity, a supportive community and the commitment to stay in action. We spent October reflecting in the moment, and we hope you did too (check out the Mindfulness Matters activities to try and five key takeaways from the month). 

Our vision is a just, caring, and thriving world where everyone leads with integrity and lives in possibility. Where we work in community with one another. Where everyone recognizes their own gifts and finds ways to use them for the greater good. Our intention is to create spaces for others to be included and contribute in this world and then by doing so, lead others to do the same – to lead, live.

This month we invite everyone to get behind the movement with us. Our foundation is built on community and the impact that it will have on the future. The best way to enhance YOUR own personal movement is to get behind the movement of others. See the ripple effect in action this month as we ALL strive to become part of the movement.

The first step to getting involved is to support those who are doing great things.

Below is a peak at some of what we’ll be sharing on our social media platforms this month. We’re eager to reflect with the LeaderShape community this month!

#ToLeadRead Book Club

#ToLeadReadDuring National Book Month (October), we wanted to take a shot at a book club of sorts, taking #toleadread to another level. We shared four titles and through a heated bracket of tough competition, the final selection that was voted on is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. You can find the book at your local library or purchase it here on Amazon. Don’t forget to use Amazonsmile and donate to your favorite not-for-profit (*cough cough* LeaderShape *cough cough*).

We’ll have about a month to read the book, and some of us on staff will be sharing our progress as we go. And by “we”, we mean you and us together! You can do the same using #toleadread. Join along on Wednesday, November 28 at 1:00pm CST to explore the book with other LeaderShapers as some of the LeaderShape staff will be there to lead us through questions and discussion points.

Day 7

Join us for #Day7 to connect with those who are Getting Behind the Movement and using their abilities to make the world a better place. On Wednesday, November 7th, we will be taking a moment to offer our thanks to those who are doing great work! Some of those folks are people who have been a part of our Catalyst, the Institute, and Resilience programs, while some are outside of our community but doing work that aligns with our values and vision.

We hope you’ll join us in this expression of gratitude by showing support to people and groups who are connected to YOUR own personal movement. support to such groups is the first step in the direction of YOUR own personal movement.  So spread the word, get connected, and say thanks to all of those helping to make a difference this month for Day 7. Because in order to build an even more impactful community, we need to continue grow and spread the word about our mission.  

LeaderShape is built on the foundation of community and that wouldn’t be possible without such amazing supporters. Thank you for all that you do, and we hope to hear from you on 11.07.18.

7 Days of Gratitude

7

Check in with us for 7 days of sharing your gratitude with those around you. We will be focusing on 7 different ways to say show people what they mean to you –  because a little gesture can go a long way! Don’t miss out on activities such as preparing a meal for you family or friends or writing a gratitude list.

 

 


This is one part of a two part blog because we have a cornucopia of events happening in November! Come back tomorrow for updates on an upcoming webinar, Giving Tuesday, and more LeaderShapers in action