Posts Tagged power

Entry Wishes

Enter as you wish to be in it. Exit as you wish to continue. – Havi Brooks

As I enter this new role as an Acting Director, what qualities do I want to have in the role?

Grounded power, ease, insight, compassion, sovereignity.

How does my approach change if I enter as I wish to be in this role?

I notice and celebrate the places of ease, the places where my insight and sovereignity make a difference. I bring compassion to the harder places, and ask myself “What action demonstrates my grounded power? What brings ease?” I tell these stories too.

What can I do now to set things up for entry?

I have enlisted a lot of help for clearing out all the old stuff that continues to come up. I have set up a lot of self care practices, from meditation to eating well to seeking out nourishing friendships to keeping my room extra clean since it’s now also my work space. These things all support me in having access to grounded power, ease, insight, compassion, and sovereignity.

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Rooting Our People

roots
Creative Commons License photo credit: OiMax

For many social justice nonprofits, our work is done through people power. Whether they are paid or unpaid, we rely on people to educate the community, provide support to people traumatized by oppression, and organize others to join with us.

Nothing makes me angrier than watching nonprofits tear apart these precious people who have dedicated their lives to creating change. When for-profit companies fail to nurture their workers, it hurts their bottom line.

For every person we lose to burnout, our movement shrinks when we are trying to grow it. Our people are traumatized when we are trying to lessen trauma. Our collective knowledge shrinks, and our movements become a little dumber for it.

As a former manager of people committed to social justice, I remain passionate about finding ways to care for our people. I’ll take lessons learned from whatever sector that value people and support them in blossoming in their work. Watch for my series Rooting Our People on how to take care of the people who are our movement.

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Nonprofit Evolution

I’m not the only one out there thinking that nonprofits must evolve in order to succeed. The NonprofitNext Initiative is exploring the trends of what nonprofits will become in the next 5 to 10 years.

Heather Carpenter highlights their work on her blog:

The nonprofits that will survive are the ones that “can think creatively about: partnerships, networks, organizational structure, business models, alternative financing, crowdsourcing, mobalizing, decentralized action, transparency, diversity and inclusion.”

In order for nonprofits to truly sustain themselves into the future, they need to:

  • Embrace adaptive leadership;
  • Put people first and build human-friendly culture;
  • Think and plan on a systematic level;
  • View technology as an accelerator;
  • Move away from traditional power structures, and;
  • Move beyond the culture of scarcity.

These points form many of the same concerns I have for the nonprofit sector:

  • Put people first – we can’t end sexual exploitation by exploiting the labor of our workers.
  • Move away from traditional power structures – business-based hierarchies in nonprofits have dismantled our broad-based grassroots movements.
  • The culture of scarcity keeps us in silos that compete against each other, rather than organizing together to raise all boats.
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