Dear Ellen Dee (L+D),
I am coming out of the daze of the last 72 hours. Can it really be true? The Monthly Recharge was like a vessel in the middle of vast and empty seascape filled with sharks, salt-water piranhas and angry beluga whales.
How can I say this politely, “What were you thinking?” I felt the same way when someone suggested that writing in a blue book and taking final exams were akin to an airplane ashtray. Are you suggesting that the beginning of the year is a good time to scuttle the ship?
Lost at Sea
In short, yes. In long, schools have always struggled to create open space for new beginnings. We add, we add, we add, we add, we addddddddddddd, and fail to acknowledge that adding in this way is actually called hoarding . We rarely have the courage to acknowledge that creative destruction is an essential component of healthy and vibrant ecosystems. What emerges from creative destruction is fueled by the nutrients of what we clear away, and the anemic, depleted new initiatives that are dying in many schools are missing these key nutrients that only sacrificing (Insert what needs to be creatively destroyed at your school) can provide. What are the structures, programs or ways of thinking that you might compost in order to feed your school’s soil? What are the habits, mindsets, fears or personal narratives that might need to expire to feed your personal garden? What new space, what new thinking, what new ideas, practices or opportunities might grow in this newly fertilized soil?
We, like you, are prone to feeling comfortable when things are familiar, predictable, and consistent. Many people loved the Monthly Recharge, and we loved planting, growing and watching it bear fruit. People often believe that L+D is immune to feeling discomfort or isn’t prone to regression to the mean, but we do feel this discomfort and we have to actively make sure we are reflecting, planning and transforming our work with bias towards action. Transformation is something that must be actively cultivated, and it drives us as one of our five core values.
We work with schools and school leaders on both institutional and personal transformation. So Lost, while the Monthly Recharge is no longer with us, the ecosystem is vibrant and there is work to be done. In that spirit, we would like to draw your attention to two opportunities this fall that are aimed at transformation.
Truth-Seeking Pods: This fall, starting on October 1st, we are filling five different truth-seeking pods. Each pod is a small cohort (5 people) that agree to meet in an online environment (Zoom) once a week between October and December. Each week, in a 90-minute meeting, this small cohort will follow L+D protocols to practice and explore ways of unpacking, thinking about, and expanding the way we give feedback, make important decisions and tackle the challenges that come with school leadership. These pods are meant to be short in time, but deep in regards to the learning and connection with other members. There are five pods (Female Leaders, Male Leaders, Heads of School, Program Leaders, General Leadership) and the slots are filling quickly, so please click here and sign up ASAP because October 1st is coming soon.
The Santa Fe Seminar : This program has been a part of Leadership+Design since the beginning and has endured its own transformation over the years. If you are seeking time for reflection, renewal and exploratory opportunities that may surface in you those things that need to be creatively destroyed, composted and revitalized, then the Santa Fe Seminar is an absolute priority for you. The location is intentional and we use the New Mexican landscape as much more than a backdrop for this program. We actively engage in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Santa Fe. Maybe you’ll hike, visit Meow Wolf , mountain bike, get a massage at Ten Thousand Wave s and yeah, probably drink a margarita or two at The Shed (but no more than two because you are at 7,000 feet). This is the place for you (and annually for us) to identify those elements of our lives and work that are no longer serving us. Where we can, like a desert snake, shed the narratives and the practices holding us back from being the best versions of ourselves. So waste no time. Register now.
Lost, we hear you and the many others who will miss the Recharge , but it’s time to evolve. We can’t wait to share what is next with you and others! Finally, we wanted to let you know that we have consulted our fact checkers, and as far as they know, salt-water piranhas are a figment of your imagination.
Do you have a question or dilemma for Dear L+D? Send it to email@example.com
THE SANTA FE SEMINAR
A leadership journey about purpose and direction.
November 13-16, 2019
Santa Fe, NM
Build capacity while tackling your school or district's next big question
Leadership+Design | 408-348-8617 | www.leadershipanddesign.org
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L+D Staff and Friends
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