How We Met: Auspicious Beginnings for Community Building
Sitting around a raging campfire on a cold night, the hot embers float up and disappear into darkness as the fire crackles and heats the faces of all who are gathered. This ritual of circling at a fire to stay warm, enjoy music, food and beverage, remember the past, imagine the future and to share stories that make us laugh, is as old as time.
Before our modern ways of connecting, tribes gathered each night around a common fire to harness shared resources. We had a ritual to pause and renew each other before facing the challenges of the next day. This way of being in a supportive community of shared learning is what our free forum is offering for anyone interested in the challenge of: building community at work.
Lee Warren and myself met around a campfire in her backyard where I saw her turn a social event into an opportunity for people to hold deeper dialogue around a fire. I thought to myself, “who is this person?”
I soon learned that Lee is someone who shares my dual passions for both leadership approaches that form meaningful connections in the workplace and for supporting people to hold meaningful dialogue that prepares them for the dying process.
As a hospice chaplain and executive coach, I’ve learned that both arenas (while seeming to be worlds apart on the surface) both require a commitment to candid dialogue and continuous personal growth. Both arenas require the skills and presence that I saw Lee demonstrate around the campfire in her backyard. When coaching Lee, I saw her demonstrate her skills for leading staff in an organization where she served as an executive director. I also benefited from taking her end of life course. For the past year we’ve been meeting to form the Relational Leadership Academy and have clarified ways we can contribute to the world as a team.
As we continue to explore our individual and collective tools to address the pressing needs in our
places of work, we are stepping out and launching the Relational Leadership Academy and holding our first free open forum to identify needs and to begin sharing our combined experience for addressing the challenges of leading organizations and teams in this complex and uncertain world.
We hope you’ll join us.