Sunday, September 10, 2006

community and leadership

Great post from Gardner Campbell over at Gardner Writes on leadership and growing community:
On the topic of leadership, this quotation also seems striking to me.

He who loves community, destroys community. He who loves the brethren, builds community. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

With allowances for the androcentric language, which I’m confident Bonhoeffer meant inclusively, the observation is keen and apt. The idea as I understand it is that communities are built out of persons, not out of ideologies, and that one of the most insidious traps a leader can fall into is that of advocating community while evading engagement with persons in all their alterity, all their knotty complexities.

There's more good stuff to read here about personal integrity and learning communities.

There's a real link here to what we are practicing with Community Weaving. Weaving a social safety net and creating a village effect by connecting with one person at a time, meeting them where they are, however they are, and inviting them to ask for what they need and offer what they can--believing that the resources required to resolve local problems reside in the hands and hearts of local people. As each person responds to an invitation to step forward and take responsibility for what they care about, they become a vital and creative organ in a self-organizing body of increasing civic health and wellbeing.

I am working with People for a Healthy Community on Gabriola to pioneer this approach in Canada. I also presented on this approach when i was in Moscow and there are now several initiatives begun there as a result.

Well, i am in North Carolina with Birgitt and Ward Williams and a group of wonderful folk from around the world. We are all learning together and sharing our experiences of helping organizations integrate Open Space principles into their daily way of working.

The conversations are deep and there is much to ponder and much fodder for future bloggin'!

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