Tag Archives: Leadership

Playing with Power in the World of Not-for-Profits

Power.  A loaded word if you’re working for a fairer or greener world. Often seen as synonymous with repression, greed, exploitation – something to be worried about or fought against.

Do you crave power? Do you respect those who exert power? Do you feel comfortable when you have power over someone? Do you have days where you feel powerless?

For many of us who work in social change movements, the idea of power can make us feel uneasy.  Uneasy, because if we’re honest, most of us enjoy feeling powerful and many of us have been taught that’s wrong.  We’ve all experienced the abuse of power at some point in our lives – whether it’s been through a bad boss or teacher, a racially profiling police officer, or even just an older sibling trying to get their way.

Generally speaking, those who work in social change movements come to this important work because we’ve experienced or seen unfair abuses of power at a level that compels us to action. Because of this we tend to have a heightened awareness of the dangers that come with power.  For many, this holds us back from stepping into our own full strength.

I’d like you to consider the notion that our discomfort with embracing power is actually undermining our potential to truly do our best work, and that it undermines our ability to really succeed in making the changes we want to see in the world.

Power doesn’t have to be authoritarian, though at a certain point when a decision has to be made this type of power can be critical.  Power doesn’t just come in the form of hierarchy.

Real power comes from Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Building vibrant communities: Sean Meagher leads from behind

In every community there is untapped potential: People with ideas, skills and talents, looking for ways to contribute – often not knowing where or how to begin. Vibrant and healthy communities find ways to reach out and engage people, creating space for those ideas, skills and talents to flourish. Sean Meagher, President of Public Interest, excels at doing just this.

Recognized most prominently for his groundbreaking community engagement work in the redevelopment of Toronto’s Regent Park, Sean’s career has been an evolution in empowering others. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Success in Leadership: Bring it back to Why.

Leadership comes with power, but attaining and wielding power does not necessarily translate into success – at least not if you measure it beyond instant gratification.

To become an effective leader you need to be knowledgeable – in your area of expertise, in your ability to persuade people to your point of view and in your ability to inspire people to action. Where many get lost is in believing they have all the answers, thus closing themselves off to valuable input.

Ego comes with the territory – to be a leader you have to believe in yourself, but true leaders recognize the contribution of others is intrinsic to success. This does not mean simply surrounding yourself with minions eager to follow top down direction. It means being open to having your ideas challenged and tested – it’s only through this process that you grow and improve. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Communications, Leadership, New Kind of Politics, Social Change

Quest for a new kind of leadership: Uncuffing the shackles of spin

Forget the slow food movement – if we really want to fix things in our world, it’s time to embrace the slow talk movement.

Across the country talented and dedicated people are working to build a better future for all Canadians. Whether they’re working to improve the growing income gap, climate change, youth unemployment, public transit expansion or aboriginal rights – their success requires government action.

The question is: Are substantive improvements possible in Canada’s spin driven political culture? Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Canadian Politics, Communications, Leadership, Social Change