Authentic Leadership CoP

Posted on Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Authentic Leadership Community of Practice

On Saturday September 17 the Seattle/Olympia Authentic Leadership Community of Practice met in Seattle for our first joint gathering since the launch in May. The Seattle and Olympia contingents also met locally three times over the summer, and will continue that pattern through the fall.

There were 25 chairs in the circle, including six prospective CoP members. After welcoming everyone, we checked in, responding to this quote from Bill O’Brien: “The primary determinant of the outcome of an intervention is the inner state of the intervenor.”  We reviewed our collective journey since May, recalling our individual leadership challenges, the Container Principle, and the meaning of Authentic Leadership. This journey was depicted in large graphic format by CoP member Catherine Bachy. Participants then took a few minutes in silence to reflect on what Authentic Leadership meant to them now. We drew pictures to illustrate our current understanding. Participants shared their reflection and pictures in trios, and we harvested insights and shifts from the whole group.

After lunch, we turned our view to the future. We wanted to identify the capacities we wish to develop in the coming months. Scott Perret offered a brief guided meditation to help us become present to “What is the longing that brings you to this Authentic Leadership CoP?” JoAnn Schindler framed the “capacities conversation” by offering a new model that seeks to arrange and present an existing body of work/thought/experience around Authentic Leadership.

img_5526We acknowledge that Authentic Leadership is something we are all still exploring, and that there isn’t a single definitive definition. We are all invited to contribute to this exploration and journey. Working with a list of possible capacities, some offered by the design team and some proposed in the moment, the community voted and thereby identified several for the design team to focus on. The top three capacities of interest were to 1) work wisely with personal power, 2) work wisely with my power in relationships, and 3) work with conflict. The design team will work with these to develop designs for the fall local meetings and the next joint gathering in January 2017.

At the end of the day we reviewed the CoP membership requirements and benefits, asked everyone to save the date for the June 22 – 25, 2017 regional event in Tacoma, and thanked the CoP members who provided our food. We bowed to each other in gratitude.