Sunday, January 16, 2011

The year of doing things differently

“The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.” ~Eric Hoffer

2011. Good grief. I don’t know about you but for me as a child growing up that seemed like a year of science fiction. I think as a 4 year old child in 1990 I would have had dreams of a world where……ok…there are some of you shouting…”hang on…this dude is older than 21. Alright! Alright! Allow me my fantasy.

Ok, as a child of the seventies I dreamt of space travel and meeting aliens by 2011. And here I am in the Volunteer Management sector so most dreams have been achieved.

Ok…lighten up. It’s been a heavy few weeks.

I think my blog will take a little lighter tone this year. By that I don’t mean funnier. I think the real me needs to come out in my writing. What does that mean? I think, in this stage of my evolution in my writing, there has been a little bit of worrying what some might think. There might have even been a bit of trying to please a certain audience. Or writing to appease or please. Though you wouldn’t think so if you were new to reading this blog.

I am hoping for something different this year.

Conferences, Retreats, dialogue, debates, blogs, newsgroups, advisory groups, networks, training, specialists , consultants, experts etc. can go on ad infinitum.

“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.”
~Sandra Carey

And they will, as they have done, with minor modifications as long as people are happy with minor modifications. Conferences, Retreats, dialogue, debates, blogs, newsgroups, advisory groups, networks, training, specialists , consultants, experts etc will continue to deliver what they think meets the mindset of their audiences.

Same old same old has a certain comfort in worrying and uncertain times.
I hope that we see some different things this year as far as our sector is concerned. I hope we see boundaries pushed. I hope we see innovation. I hope we see confidence. And I hope we hear new voices. I hope we hear your voice.

“A new leader has to be able to change an organization that is dreamless, soulless and visionless … someone’s got to make a wake up call.” ~Warren Bennis

If those of us who already write or blog or train or manage or coordinate plan on doing the same old thing, albeit with some minor modifications or flowery language to dress up the same old menu, then we will be failing to lead into the future. Then we will be letting the future be written by others.

We can only reclaim the future by doing something different this year. How about we lead for a start? How about we gently get off any fences we sit upon and how about we act on being bolder about the profession we love?

“To be able to lead others, a man must be willing to go forward alone.”
~Harry Truman

Question your “experts” question your Peak body. Question your association. Question me!

Don’t sit at your next conference and think “well this is it”. Don’t just join an association and think you’ve done your bit for the sector. For every event you pay to attend ask yourself” what are the tangible results here that advance me in my professional development?”

And look for something different. Look for leadership.

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”
~Rosalynn Carter

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