This challenge became clear this weekend at TACHC’s annual conference during meetings with their newly hired Community Organizer, Courtney Weaver. Courtney is great, she understands the importance of developing leadership and is asking all the right questions. This weekend she and I were doing some skills training, strategy coaching and debriefing her first two weeks with TACHC when Courtney asked about the difference between organizing people to achieve a desired policy change (field advocacy) and organizing that begins out of a community’s frustration. She’s correct to raise this tension, we aren’t giving the community 100% control and opening up all options to them because it’s essential that we address the funding gap but we are trying to do this while building up the leadership of patients. Our question is; how do we successfully achieve shared leadership given this dynamic.
Today I had the joy of being with St. Christopher’s Chatham, my sponsoring parish for ordination. Yesterday I was just overwhelmed with gratitude for this group and their willingness to wade through this process of discernment with me. I have inherited 6 new wonderful pseudo parents … which we all need.
This summer I was lucky enough to be in Boston at the same time as the Leading Change Network’s First-Annual Conference. It was an amazing event where folks trained in the Ganz Organizing Method came together to share how they were practicing organizing in our individual contexts. One of the attendees was Chris Torres. Chris works with New Organizing Institute (NOI), he’s great. During his presentation on NOI he passed on one of his mantras. “Every day do something that nourishes your body, mind and soul.”
I loved it. At least the sound of it … putting it into practice was a challenge. Work just gets in the way: the deadline is “crucial,” a favor “necessary,” a coaching assignment “vital” for the health of the team … you know the story. I end up forgoing holistic care, especially the ‘mind’ part of that quote. I would imagine many of us fall into the same trap.
Why? I think it’s because we work our minds all the time. Daily we tax our brains: we crunch numbers, draft agendas, dream up strategy … but the mantra isn’t “work your mind, body and soul” it’s NOURISH your mind, body and soul. For me, this means I have to ‘get out of my box’ and use my brain in a way that I don’t during normal work hours.