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Nurturing Context Experts: Building a Network of Non-Traditional Leaders

Posted by Phyllis Alexander and Hasshan Batts on May 4, 2018

January 2018 marked the launch of an innovative new approach to mobilizing non-traditional leaders – those context experts whose wisdom, knowledge and action is essential to the success of any sustainable community change effort.  Leadership Without Limits (LWL) was created in response to the observation made by Promise Neighborhood of the Lehigh Valley (PNLV) that “the leaders we have are not the leaders we need and do not represent the community.”  LWL has been designed to address this leadership gap by preparing emerging leaders to lead effectively with integrity in this 21st century multi-cultural society.

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Civic Leadership and Community-Based Leadership Programs

Posted by Chris Thompson on July 6, 2017

Wicked, persistent problems that diminish the quality of life in our communities often frustrate leaders accustomed to achieving change within their own organizations and institutions. While they know that homelessness, blight or hunger cannot be addressed as quickly as the strategic challenges they resolve within their company, hospital or university, they understandably wonder why progress on civic challenges is so elusive. And if these leaders travel or talk with colleagues from across the globe, they may also wonder why some communities make progress on wicked, persistent problems and others don’t. 

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Just who are we doing this for?

Posted by Liz Weaver on March 24, 2017

My colleague and mentor Jay Connor often pushes me with this question. On the surface, it seems like an easy question to answer. We are doing this to improve the lives of people in our communities who are being impacted in negative ways. That answer pulls at heart strings. It gets lots of heads nodding in agreement. But it is also a vague response and one that does not hold us to account.

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Leadership and the Power of the Imagination

Posted by Michael Jones on December 6, 2016

At the core of our existence is a pool of energy that has very little to do with personal identity. From this common pool of energy, the music plays itself and the painting paints itself. This is the world of the imagination, a world in which we play only a small part in the whole marvellous act of creation.

The global challenge now is to cultivate the conditions where life is free to generate and create new life. In a regenerative world, creation creates itself. This involves turning from a linear, closely-controlled environment to a more integrative and holistic world view.

Several principles can help guide our advance towards this more resilient and imaginative world:

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Character Driven Leadership

Posted by Elayne Greeley on July 29, 2016

Isn't it curious how we realize the same simple things about ourselves over and over (and over again) but that each time it seems like an ah-ha moment?For example, realizing each time how calm you feel after a walk in the woods, or how happy you are every time you put clean sheets on the bed... I keep learning again and again that I draw to understand. If you know me this must sound ridiculous.  You would probably think that drawing to understand would be in the first few lines of my internal dialogue. It is not.
I am a committed doodler and focused note-taker. These skills grew out of simple strategies to capture and control my busy thoughts during long meetings and training sessions. Drawing seemed like a professionally acceptable strategy, rather than knitting, to keep my hands occupied.

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