Updated: Jun 23
My Grandpa Noonie used to say, "No one can do anything for Valerie, but Valerie" and it's true. No one can do anything for you, but you. Sure, people can help you, but real leadership happens within.
In a Corona Virus lockdown, militarized police state, and President of the United States heightening riots to pretend he's a War Hero, I trust no one.
I went on @realdonaldtrump's Twitter during the lockdown to read what the President is sharing, and his last 3 Tweets were #Obamagate, Fake News, and "Joe Rogan would Vote Trump over Biden." I don't care about any of these things. I care about Last I remember Joe Rogan was daring people to eat buffalo balls. Why are these idiots our leaders?
I live in America. One of the greatest country's in the world and as a citizen, I'm holding it accountable. Right now, we have Law Enforcement Overreach. We have Officers killing innocent people. A government imprisoning non-violent drug offenders, non-violent drug offenders serving mandatory minimum sentences of 25 - 50 years while terrorists serve 5, and murder cops walking free.
I want justice. I want murder cops in prison. I want us to stop ignoring that rape happens in prison. I want an end to the death penalty, (you hypocrite Christians). I want rehabilitation over incarceration for non-violent drug offenders. I want to remove cannabis from Schedule 1 Controlled Substance Classification (and cops to focus on real crime.) I don't want my only interactions with cops to be traffic tickets. I want them to actually care when my bike gets stolen.
I don't want to the police. I want to reallocate their budget to education. On average, Teachers make $40,000. Police make $80,000. This priority puts more value on crime than education, and I'm not convinced there's more criminals than kids who need education (and an appropriate class size). This misallocation of funds is creating easily controlled problems. We are creating an atmosphere that justifies incarceration over education.
Police are creating problems to justify their paychecks: Parking tickets. Speeding tickets. Marijuana offenses? When I actually need the police - they're never there. When my bike got stolen - they didn't care. When my dad dug his elbow into the back of my spine, they took me to a Juvenile Detention Center. The Police have been wrong and aggressive for a long time.
I want change.
I want an honest leader.
I want 10% tax across the board.
I want to invest more in education than police.
I want justice for all: (George Flloyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arberry, Treyvon Martin and all lives lost to the police.)
When it comes to bringing about real, big change, it can be discouraging. Where to begin? There's so much of a beast to dismantle, but brick by brick, we can heal and undo the wrongs of man.
When it comes to leadership, it's up to us. It's up to you. It's up to me to lead my thoughts and actions to a better example. Who's the leader? I am the leader.
Read this inspiring article by Human Dynamics Institute:
Question: Who can be a leader? Who makes things happen?
You may not have access to a national or international stage, but you can be a leader. You may not like standing in the spotlight in front of the cameras, but you can be a leader. You may not have formal power, social standing, or the range of influence that others have, but you can be a leader.
You may not think of yourself as a leader in actions that can change your world, but you can be. There are simple steps that can move you into a leadership. These steps are simple, but not easy. Each step requires your attention and commitment to working through the complexity of the challenge.
Along the way you invite others to walk this path with you to create patterns of action and change. You engage with them in generative ways that multiply energy and efforts beyond what any one person can do alone. Generative engagements set conditions for open, shared interactions that:
Honor and respect those who choose to step in
Encourage contribution and participation
Build coalitions and connections
Create a culture of justice and fairness
To set the conditions for generative engagements, you take action in three areas.
You build shared identity. Shared identity means that you stand side-by-side with others to focus on shared interests, goals, or intentions. It means that you and those around you are working together to build toward a common vision of what is possible. You articulate your priorities and measure your outcomes—together. Having a shared identity does not mean that you give up who you are. It means that you bring all of yourself to the task at hand, contributing what you can. It means you get what you need to stay in the work as a fully participating partner. In whatever area you want to lead, learn all you can about the topic to be sure your actions are well informed. Invite others to stand with you. Share your ideas with them. Listen to their ideas. Agree to the goals you want, and publicly name how you will know when you have achieved them. The size of the group you bring together is not as important as the strength of its purpose and its shared identity.
You build a culture of shared power. Shared power is about influence, not coercion. Shared power means that as you engage in the work, you listen to others and consider their input. You reflect on the impact your actions may have on those who cannot speak for themselves. Shared power also means you share your perspectives. You use your voice, your vote, and your presence to help influence patterns across the system. You hold the shared identity of the group as the filter for the work to be done and the decisions that are to be made. Shared power is not about abdicating power or authority. It is not about forcing others to your will. It is about being a leader who is willing to influence others inside the identity you share. It is about being willing to be influenced by others as well. If you are in a formal position of power, you have decisions to make and responsibilities to consider. You do that, however, by listening and reflecting. You do it by creating and maintaining transparency in your work. You do that by empowering and encouraging others. As a leader, listen and consider the impact of your shared decisions inside your group, as well as on the greater environment. Use what you know about the work you are trying to do to create the clarity and transparency that allows others to participate and be heard. Step away from coercion to find the most effective balance between collaboration and competition, coordination and isolation, and coherence and compliance.
You grant and generate voice. In generative engagements, you work to understand the positions of others in the exchange. Listen to what is said and what it not said. Discern what you can from body language and other visual cues. Attend to what is offered, paying close attention to how it is offered. At the same time, you also strive to be sure communications and intentions are accessible by all. Consider your audience’s reception as you clarify what your message is and what it is not. Check your own body language and nonvisual cues, considering your possible impacts on the outcomes you want. Make sure that whatever you are offering is shared in ways that honor and respect others. Leaders who take action to bring about change grant and generate voice in many ways. You have to know who sits on the other side of any disagreement and work to understand their position with empathy and grace. You have to stand in inquiry about how best to grant them voice and how best to generate a voice they can hear in all exchanges.
If you want to know more about how HSD supports and informs your efforts to change your world, there are two Adaptive Action Labs that you need to know about.
May 24 - June 1, 2018: Adaptive Action: Nonviolent Resistance in the 21st Century. Join us in Harrisonburg, VA, to learn more about using HSD in setting conditions for nonviolent resistance. Follow this link to learn more.
June 22, 26, 27, 2018: Leadership and Adaptive Action: Set Conditions for Success. This online course explores how leaders in the 21st century can shape patterns of success and productivity wherever they stand. Follow this link to learn more.
Try these courses, take some actions, and let us hear what happens.