Frequently, the leadership styles and paradigms that we employ in social change work reflect the very systems we are trying to dismantle. We have internalized patterns and behaviors that do not always align with our vision and values. At Spirit in Action, we believe that when we slow down and reflect, we often see that the ways we function in our work– as competitive, aggressive martyrs who are burning out at record speed and achieving minimal results — is ineffective and unsustainable. Through our Leadership Development program we ask: What would our leadership look like if it reflected the vision of the world in which we want to live and thrive? How would we show up differently if our leadership expressed our whole selves? How can we show up consistently, fully centered, and ready to build strong, interdependent relationships and networks? Our key building blocks include:
- Honing a vision of who we want to be in the world and creating an action plan to manifest our vision.
- One-on-one and group coaching to support individuals to stay on track with their personal development plans through reflecting on what is working and where they might be stuck. We know that change is hard, and coaching provides affirmation when needed so we can continue to go deeper in our change process and critical feedback so we can redirect if needed.
- Leveraging the power of the arts, culture and the creative process to truly manifest the change we envision in ourselves, our organization and society by embodying new practices and behavioral patterns.
- Healing from personal and interpersonal trauma. Because the systems of oppression that exist externally have also been internalized by us, it is imperative to engage in our own healing processes. Without healing, we continue to inflict pain and trauma on ourselves and those closest to us.
- We work with members of our networks to set up local and regional Circles of Change where they can take leadership roles in convening and facilitating
Spirit in Action’s Leadership Development program support individuals to develop key skills for more effective collaboration, relationship building and network building. Our Training of Trainers component aims to extend our work into the world. By supporting leaders in their own process and then providing them with a tool-kit, hands-on training and coaching they are equipped to then return to their organizations and communities and train others by creating organizational, local and regional Circles of Change. We know that our own organizational capacity and reach can only go so far, and we are also aware of the immense need in our movements, so we prioritize training others to take our work and methodology out into the world to catalyze widespread change and broad impact.