Day 198 in Mozonte/Ocotal
December 10, 2012
In the institute we work with three or four distinct populations, often blended within one group:
I had thought (and am still thinking, though not too aggressively) that the institute could usefully write a book on youth leadership - not about leading youth but about young people as leaders in their communities and in their community, political and social organizations. Despite the fact that there are few secular youth leadership books (our religious brothers have the market pretty well covered), I continue to vacillate, aware that young people in Nicaragua seldom read books (!) and because I inwardly groan when I pick up another "The X-Principles of Leadership" on the "bestsellers" shelf in a bookstore at the airport. I have always made it a point to try not to be run-of-the-mill (sometimes it worked and sometimes it got me into hot water) so I am not about to start with my first foray into co-authoring a book.
And yet I have this dream.
To bring together for-profit and non-profit leaders in week-long (or longer) retreat-like seminars where we could forge a new brand of conscious leadership. One that values diversity, that celebrates and embraces local culture, that recognizes the value of the arts, that sees the downside to homogenization and global brands (aka. Starbucks and McDonalds) and looks to balance the expectations of market-driven systems and share-holder value with the impact the various constituents related to the organization (be it vendors, suppliers, employees, surrounding community, etc.) and the environment. And I don't just mean a public relations piece on "corporate sustainability."
I even have a model.
OK, so it's not too fancy but on a volunteer's budget, this is as good as it's going to get until I can find a way to pay for some expert designer to fiddle with it. Nothwithstanding, it demonstrates the inter-connected nature of three dimensions of leadership, irrevocably intertwined like the triquetra that inspired this design. SInce the symbol is connected with the King James bible, paganism, Led Zeppelin, Dungeons and Dragons and the Democratic Party of Canada, it may be well be over-used and more run-of-the-mill than I want to admit to. But here's why it works for me:
So the idea is far from complete, it is anything but comprehensive, but I think it fills gaps in current leasership thinking. Or don't you agree?
All I know is that change won't happen form the back but well-meaning seats of non-profit organizations. Governments are increasingly puppets of big business. So unless leaders of big business "take the lead" we have no hope of slowing or reversing the current polarization of rich and poor; of stemmig the tsunami of consumerism; of challenging the homogenization of the "local" experience; and from disconnecting people from each other through technology (think texting the person in the cubicle next to you) and their impact on others (think drones).
Let me know what you think. Just another left-winged Polly-Anna dreaming the impossible dream? Tell me.
I sold house, car and most of my furniture to move to the small town of Ocotal in Las Segovias on the Honduras/ Nicaragua border.