i've been signed on for 'Executive Coaching'. it's a bit foggy too.... leadership training with a fancy name, really... and a fancy price tag to go with it. fortunately, the national office and my local board are paying for it, and the 'coach' contributes a sizable discount, in support of Habitat. i'm remembering some things about myself, being reminded of things about the society i live in. and i'm getting an uneasy feeling that 'corporate' leadership has some unsettling manipulative qualities about it. semantics become very important. if we are to persuade people to behave in the ways we want them to, we must never make them feel defensive. if we are to channel them in the directions we wish them to go, we cannot 'challenge' them, but must 'suggest' and .... coerce, really.
i was in a meeting earlier today with a 'facilitator' who used exactly that kind of language and behavior modification. and i thought, 'how politically correct her speech is. how cautious, how flavorless and insipid." i don't want to be like that.
but my board DOES need some leadership. we need to do some long range planning, and it's the Executive Director's job (good grief, that's me!) to initiate that and oversee it. so, ok.... i can spell moderation, but i'm still learning how to practice it. there are skills i need to learn. but i'm damned if i'll be some bland mealy mouth with secret motives.
mainstream lifestyle is not something i strive for. i cringe at the SUV's and monster houses, at the latest fashions in luxury lifestyles. i've never owned a new vehicle or had a manicure in my life. i'm not attracted to the artifice that seems to be a requirement for 'respectability'. not that new vehicles or manicures are a bad thing.... but they and their ilk have become the measures by which society judges its members. not that i don't appreciate craftsmanship and quality, but these things too are judged through the grimy lens of artifice, and seem to have value only if they carry a large dollar value, or are 'impressive'. some folk don't seem able even to recognize quality or value without an attending price sticker.
my challenge (oops, not supposed to use that word) is to be respected and listened to in a society whose values, for the most part, i reject. i'm expected to bring about change in this society, for the benefit of an organization i passionately believe is making the world a better place. how do i do that without prostituting myself, and with integrity and kindness?