Thursday, June 04, 2015

Good Group Characteristics

Based on my experience, groups are more viable if their participants are reliable, communicate skillfully, support others in the group, and work together to develop, maintain, and renew the group’s work.  Good group characteristics include:
  • Being open, inclusive, empowering, and democratic
  • Making sure that everyone feels welcome, informed, and involved
  • Cooperatively identifying common vision, purpose, and goals
  • Creating an environment that fosters trust and builds commitment to the group
  • Allowing differences of opinion to be discussed and handle conflict directly and civilly
  • Examining biases that may be blocking progress
  • Continuing to clarify expectations of individuals and of the group, revisiting purpose and renewing commitment 
  • Celebrating individual and group accomplishments and find renewal in relationships
  • Developing a schedule and rhythm that works best for the group
  • Encouraging and empowering members to learn new skills and share roles and decision-making
  • Leveraging the strengths of civic, cultural, historical, political, community, and environmental contexts
  • Drawing leadership, knowledge, talent, strengths, and resources from relationships with government, business, faith communities, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and resourceful individuals as needed

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lifelong learning for being good and doing good

Lifelong learning should inspire and motivate us to be good, do good, and grow. We should be good stewards and be generous with our time, talents, insight, and resources, and create opportunities for:
               Cultivating an open mind and a good heart
               Strengthening resilience
               Nurturing imagination, creativity, and curiosity
               Improving health, well-being, and quality of life
               Healing, reconciliation, restoration, and renewal
               Advancing economic, financial, business, and entrepreneurial literacy
               Increasing self-reliance
               Increasing civic literacy to become more politically empowered and strategically engaged in our public affairs
               Growing a community of support for ongoing learning, discovery, and renewal

A foundation for lifelong learning and leadership includes:
               Good character: Values, willpower, open mind, good heart, & sacrifice (to do what is right)
               People skills: Healthy family relations & friendships, good communication, teamwork, & collaborative leadership
               Motivation & Dependability: Inspiration and consistency with values, resilience, good health & well-being
               Abundant Vision: For life, family, health & well-being, good work, community's future…
               Asset Development: Building on your know-how, gifts, & talents within your vocational and community interests. Discovering your calling. Continued improvement, lifelong learning, & striving toward vocational excellence…
               Organization:  Being rooted & as clear as possible about your life, goals, & plans
               Stewardship / Generosity

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Steps for a Satisfying Life

University of California psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky has found there are eight fundamental steps that create a more "satisfying life:"

1: Count your blessings

2: Practice acts of kindness

3: Savor life's joys

4: Thank a mentor

5: Learn to forgive

6: Invest time & energy in friends & family

7: Take care of your body

8: Develop strategies for coping with stress & hardships

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

American Dream = Beloved Community

At this critical time we need to re-imagine, envision, and live into an American Dream that affirms the dignity, worth, and potential of everyone.

In order to be the change we wish to see in the world, I believe we must stay awake, have an open mind and a good heart, organize ourselves to be resilient stewards, and work with others to be more self-reliant and advance the greater good.

We need to share and invest our time, talent, and resources in ways that leverage assets, bridge divisions, strengthen communities, revitalize the environment, protect our biodiversity, and build common ground to collaborate for the common good.

We need collaborative leadership from everyone to engage all communities to promote and grow stewardship ethics, sustainable vocations, culturally appropriate entrepreneurship, and good public policies to nurture the beloved community.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Abundant Community

Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods. Ideas and practices for reweaving the social ties in a neighborhood so that the community becomes more supportive of a fulfilling life.

The Essence of Weaving

Reflections on the fundamental work of network weaving: Helping people to build and connect to more relationships of trust and value.

Leading Boldly

Calls on foundations to use creative and systems-oriented leadership practices to make progress on complex social problems.

The Practicing Democracy Network

An online forum and library of resources for organizing "to develop leaders committed to making democracy work."

Monday, January 31, 2011

Start-up America

... White House launches Start-up America:

Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Last Wish of Martin Luther King

Friends: This is my favorite op-ed that has been published so far about Martin Luther King around either the King holiday or the date of his assassination (April 4, 1968) when many folks reflect on the work we have left to do.

The Last Wish of Martin Luther King
by Taylor Branch
Published: April 6, 2008

Forty [+] years ago on March 31, at the National Cathedral, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered what would be his last Sunday sermon, on his way back to Memphis. That same night in 1968, President Johnson shocked the world by announcing that he would not seek re-election. ....

Civil rights, Vietnam, Dr. King, Memphis — these are historic landmarks. Even so, this year is a watershed. Because Dr. King lived only 39 years, from now on, he will be gone longer than he lived among us. Two generations have come of age since Memphis.

This does not mean that our understanding is accurate or complete. A certain amount of gloss and mythology is inevitable for great figures, whether they be George Washington chopping down a cherry tree, Honest Abe splitting a rail or Dr. King preaching a dream of equal citizenship in 1963. Far beyond that, however, we have encased Dr. King and his era in pervasive myth, false to our heritage and dangerous to our future. We have distorted our entire political culture to avoid the lessons of Martin Luther King’s era.

He warned us himself. When he came to the pulpit that Sunday 40 years ago, Dr. King adapted one of his standard sermons, “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution.” From the allegory of Rip Van Winkle, he told of a man who fell asleep before 1776 and awoke 20 years later in a world filled with strange customs and clothes, a whole new vocabulary, and a mystifying preoccupation with the commoner George Washington rather than King George III.

Dr. King pleaded for his audience not to sleep through the world’s continuing cries for freedom. When the ancient Hebrews achieved miraculous liberation from Egypt, many yearned to go back. Pharaoh’s familiar lash seemed better than the covenant delivered by Moses, and so the Hebrews wandered in the wilderness. It took 40 years to recover their bearings. Dr. King has been gone 40 years now, but we still sleep under Pharaoh. It is time to wake up. ....

Read the rest of the article: