If you tried to get in touch with me this past August, you got my out of office message that I would be out for the entire month. This is the first time in my adult life I’ve given myself permission to take an entire month off at once and I have to tell you – it was every bit as awesome as you can imagine!

I want to encourage everyone I know to give yourself the gift of taking a significant break from your day-to-day routine. As a result of that month away I am clearer than ever on my purpose (to deeply experience, love and respect the wholeness of the web of life) and my priorities (to assert a new paradigm of leadership, one that is authentic, bold, creative and fully embodied. Leadership that gets big things done in the world in a way that is also life-affirming and sustainable for the leader).

I spent some time working on a book that I intend to have published by the end of the year. Our working title is “How to Save the World Without Losing Yourself.” More on that soon, but one of the things I did while I was working on the book was review the feedback forms from our last couple of Skid Row School for Large-Scale Change workshops. I was struck by the huge change in thinking that people experienced over just 3 days in our workshop and wanted to share with you 13 of my favorite responses to the prompt, “I used to thing ‘x’ about leading large-scale change, now I think ‘y’….” Here they are:

  1. It’s so hard and there’s limited place for fun, lightness and play; now I believe play lightness, and fun are essential ingredients to leading large-scale change.
  2. I used to believe that it required political will to get started and keep momentum. Now I believe it’s started by thoughtful organizers and sustained by connection to humanity.
  3. I used to believe it was nearly impossible without a “killer ap.” Now I believe it’s possible with good process.
  4. I used to believe this was mostly about strategy and planning and now I believe I need to think much more about culture and leadership as well.
  5. I used to believe leading change was largely a technical challenge but now I believe it won’t happen without intentional self-reflection over time.
  6. I used to believe large-scale change required a 10 year timeline; now I believe you can have a 10 year vision, but have a series of 90 day plans.
  7. I used to believe large-scale change involved replicating the identical program exactly, now i believe we identify the most essential elements needed for fidelity and move forward from there.
  8. I used to believe it would be crushing demands on our people, now I believe it’s possible without burning out the staff who currently implement.
  9. I used to believe that it took a charismatic leader. I now believe it’s possible to plan and execute as a team.
  10. I used to believe it would be very difficult and now I can see the star and path(s) to get there.
  11. I used to believe it would be an organic process that happened naturally; now I understand the importance of intentional and brave planning.
  12. I used to believe it required a lot of resources but now I can see it is about re-alignment of the resources we already have.
  13. I’m now more aware of the deep intersection of personal values and point of view and their impact on making the change.

What I love most about these 13 reflections is they’re so aligned with what I hope to continue to share with anyone who wants to step into a new paradigm for leading big change in the world – the authenticity, boldness, and creativity that comes from fully embodying your essence as a leader.

If as you’re reading those reflections you’re thinking, “I’ll have some of that, please!” we still have some openings for the next Skid Row School for Large-Scale Change January 28th – 31st, 2020. The next one after that won’t be until Fall 2020 so if this is on your radar, please reserve a spot before the course fills up. Remember alumni can always return for free so long as you bring somebody else who actually pays.


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