Friday, February 4, 2011

Shared passion about shared images of the future

When your passion meets the passion of others
a new image of the future is possible.

Change formulas say if you are not uncomfortable with the present state, you'll stay where you are.

So creating discomfort doesn't have to be with a battle axe.
You don't have to say: I hate what is
rather you can say: "wow we are strong and LOOK what else is possible."

Don't suffer from a failure of passion or imagination.
Instead take the moment to:

1. be in touch with your own passion
2. share your passion with another
3 co-mingle images of the good

This is a guide for co-mingling passion for a better tomorrow that we used in The RE-IMAGINE Project of the Experiment IN Congregational Education funded by UJA-Federation of NY.
The three steps are described by a change expert, a leader in the field, and the wisdom of our tradition.

Jewish professional teams
inspire bold innovation
Create shared answers
draw from the head and the heart

so try
Three steps:
1. Uncovering
2. Discovering
3. Envisioning

1. Uncovering your passion

Change Expert:
(Before having a vision)...leaders have a theme. They have concerns, desires, questions, propositions, arguments, hopes dreams and aspirations-core concepts around why they organize their aspirations and actions. Leaders begin the Envisioning of the Future by discovering their own themes….Finding your vision, like finding your voice, is a process of self exploration and self creation. It's an intuitive emotional process. (Kouzes & Posner, The Leadership Challenge)

Jewish Professional:
Before I was able to help others see a vision I had to ask myself, “What is my vision?” You need to have spent the time answering the question, “What is my personal vision?” Once you can answer that, what is even more important is “Where does my vision come from?”
I had to understand clearly what brought me to that vision. Only then could I help others get there, too.

Jewish Text:
The Baal Shem Tov: When people listen well to the inner voice which is within the material voice and sound that their ears hear, they will not hear anything other than the voice of God. The voice of God enlivens and brings into being that very minute, the sound they hear. (Hadrachot ha-Besht end of Divrei Shmuel, as quoted by Yitzchak Buxbaum in Jewish Spiritual Practices, p. 469)

2. Discovering the passions and voices of your partners

Change Expert:
One talent leaders need to strengthen is the ability to sense the purpose in others. By knowing their constituents, by listening to them, and by taking their advice, leaders are able to give voice to constituents aspirations…Understanding leadership as a reciprocal relationship puts listening in its proper perspective. Leaders know that they can’t do it alone. ..Leaders develop a deep understanding of collective yearnings; they seek out the brewing consensus… it requires only receptiveness to other people and a willingness to listen. It means being delicately aware of the attitudes and feelings of others and the nuances of their communications. (Kouzes & Posner, The Leadership Challenge)

Jewish Professional:
You have to be open to ideas that may expand yours. You have to part of an open process. Some leaders who I have met have a vision and say, “I’ll impose my vision.” Other say, “I have a vision, I’ll have an open process—at least I’ll let it look like it is an open process—but I’m clear that, in the end, it will be my vision.” And then there are leaders who really have an open process. It is not easy to do. I think it comes from cultivating humility. Remembering this is not about you. When you have a sense of the vision, you have to spend time thinking, “Where does it come from?” Once you understand that it is not a manifestation of an ego, that this vision comes from God-place, I think you can be open more easily.

Jewish Text:
Once a great throng of people collected about the Rabbi of Apt to hear his teachings. “That won’t help you,” he cried to them. “Those who hear will hear even at a distance; those who are not to hear will not hear no matter how near they come.” (Martin Buber, Tales of Hasidism: The Later Masters, p. 115)

3. Envisioning shared bold and passionate insights that inform the future you create together

Change Expert:
You have to teach others your vision. Teaching a vision-and confirming that the vision is shared-is a process of engaging constituents in conversations about their lives, about their hopes and dreams. Remember that leadership is a dialogue, not a monologue. Leadership isn’t about inspiring the leader’s solo dream; it’s about developing a shared sense of destiny. A vision is inclusive of constituents’ aspirations; it’s an ideal and unique image of the future for the common good. (Kouznes and Posner)

Jewish Professional:
You can’t just share your vision; tell it. You also have to engage in conversations about the experience of how you got there. The leader has a vision and it came out of a powerful experience; you have to articulate that and help people see what their powerful experience is. (Jewish professional)

Jewish Text:
I believe there was a Moses, that he played a central role in the life of the tribes that escaped from Egypt, and that his major achievement was not so much getting them out but the far more difficult task of welding a disparate group of tribes, a motley riffraff by the Torah’s own account, into a community over the course of a long, punishing wilderness trek… (Rabbi Daniel Jeremy Silver, Images of Moses, 1982)

Now you build the guiding team toward more of the good.

Congregations in LOMED have guiding teams toward more of the good.
One team is the Professional Learning Team.
This team includes lead teachers, the educational director and in some cases a Coalition Educator (a 10 hour a week dynamo educator charged with being a power station for innovation).

The Professional Learning Team creates ongoing professional learning for the rest of the staff around
learner outcomes, assessment and the powerful learning needed to help learners grow.

Members of the Professional Learning TEam are also the leaders, the first to try out new tools and ways of teaching.
Example: In Manhattan next Sunday meet the Professional Learning Team in Macy's in NYC designing learning for the questions of every day life. (Why can't I have everything I want? How do I feel about myself when I go shopping?) Yes these innovators are putting the questions of their learners before the answers.

Another key team is the Educational Leadership Team.
They are the ones on the balcony. They see the big picture & make strategic decisions.
This team includes clergy, lay leaders, educational directors and lead teachers.
Th Educational Leadership Team is charged with:
lifting up successes, learning from one another's insights and creating a model of Jewish education that helps learners grow.

As I said in this month's Sh'ma:
Engaging the family, not just in how to light a candle, but in how to light a life, is a model worthy of pursuit.

LOMED Teams leading with passion and thoughtfulness in the face of every obstacle you can list. Passion is a driver. Images of a better tomorrow are drivers. That breaks inertia and leads to success.