Community Animator's Note: In 2014, Tamarack invited a small group of individuals to participate in a new Thought Leader Initiative. The purpose was to establish a council of advisors to support the development and growth of Tamarack's three learning communities: Tamarack CCI, Vibrant Communities Canada and Seeking Community. Learn about Michael and the ideas he is exploring below and share your own questions and reflections with Michael by posting a comment.
I am very pleased to serve as a Tamarack Thought Leader this year. Paul Born invited me to join the Tamarack Community and the faculty for the Collaborating Communities Institute as an advisor in the area of leadership and particularly, since I am also a pianist and composer, to explore the parallels between leadership and the creative process.
I am very excited to serve as a thought leader in this area. I have been teaching and writing about leadership for over 30 years and this Spring I will be publishing my third book in a series on Re-imagining Leadership titled The Soul of Place: Re-imagining Leadership Through Nature, Art and Community. The other two books are; Artful Leadership: Awakening the Commons of the Imagination and Creating an Imaginative Life.
Each book explores one of three areas of leadership that I would like to explore;
The first is Personal or Inner Leadership. (Creating an Imaginative Life)
While many address leadership through questions of style and process, I am interested in exploring leadership as a learning journey or quest to uncover the deeper questions of personal leadership that directly impact on our ability to lead well. These questions include; as a leader where do I lead from? What are the inner gifts, signature strengths and possibilities I see? When do I feel most alive as a leader? And what is the dream I hold for myself and others that I most aspire to create?
This inner place of leadership is the source of re- imagination and renewal. It includes awakening to our gifts, our strengths, our aspirations, our values and our dreams.
The second is Place - Based Leadership. (The Soul of Place)
What are the places that have most inspired me and my work as a leader? What kind of environment and culture do I want to create for myself and others? How do we together create places in our community where life can thrive? And how do we create leaders as placemakers?
As we enter the world of leadership being place-based is how we keep the dream of childhood alive, and with this dream, the source of our own creative power and well-being.
The third stream is Community and Transformational Leadership. (Artful Leadership)
Leadership ultimately manifests in our concern for the well being of the whole and for the commons that defines the quality of this connectedness. Taping into the intelligence of the commons and the collective addresses the appetite many have to engage our world through something more than the anonymous transactional relationships that make up much of our public lives.
When we feel connected to the commons and through the commons to each other, our relationships become more meaningful and significant and we tend to the places in our world in a more caring way.
I look forward to sharing this work with you over the next year through blogs, teleconferences and community workshops and conversations.