“Have I learned to herd cats?”
My High School Party
I ended high school by hosting a party at our neighborhood pool in Los Angeles. I invited my favorite people: an egghead; a cheerleader; a social activist; an athlete; a high-spirited bad girl; a member of student council; my kind-hearted boyfriend; and artist; and so on. To my horror, they didn’t talk to each other. Yet each person was part of me. At the age of 18, I pledged myself to learning what makes groups work without losing the specialness of each person. I am still learning and rejoicing in what I see.
Bringing Together the Parts
It’s a special skill to assist people to be their best in a team while still staying true to themselves. Once you practice this skill, it sets you and your team up to accomplish extraordinary things that would otherwise be impossible.To develop this skill, I’ve needed to develop many parts of myself (including a Ph.D. in Organizational Studies) and to work with many different groups. Over the last 25 years, I’ve led groups, with a focus on implementing vision. Everything from college administrators, to dancers, to community food groups, to a Mayan school in Guatemala.Thanks to the creative power of the dream and the artist, you can experience a much condensed approach to implementing your vision and a group vision than was available to me at the age of 18.
The Dream that Became the Foundation for My Work
In 2006, I was asked to have a dream about what leaders need in the 21st century. My dream was related to the creation story of the Hindu goddess, Durga. In that great myth, the male gods give Durga their best weapons (powers), which she uses to vanquish the demon that had kicked the gods out of their home. Remember my early party with all the different types of people? In this story of Durga, she combines the talents of the different gods to bring balance to their world. Now, when I work with individuals and groups, I offer ways to incorporate their different talents without losing the specialness of each person. Specifically, the dream resulted in ten exercises called “The Moving Into Your Power Series” that allows both leaders and team members to remain true to their individual intentions while realizing a group purpose.