Week 11, A. 11.3 Blogs, Understanding Others

The three blogs that I am currently following are HOLOS (written by Neil Croft) , John Thackara, and DO - The Encouragement Network.

Neil Croft's blog looks at pertinent information on leadership and our world today, promoting his business HOLOS that holds a team of specialists and culture coaches who have been training other diverse leaders on change leadership. Category topics within leadership include authenticity, innovation, personal development, and society.

John Thackara is a seasoned writer, curator and editor who has traveled the world in search of interesting stories on sustainability and design, realized in diverse communities working towards future wellbeing. The blog is quite diverse with topics including locality & place, learning & institutions and design areas within food systems, mobility, social innovation, transition, art and development. 

The DO Blog has a load of information from the latest news to workshops, lectures and podcasts - basically all the resources you need to get inspired and creating. Do - The Encouragement Network has a simple idea: people who are "doers" can inspire the rest of us from their story, leading to a chain effect of us "doing" things that inspire others. 

In this week of understanding others, I dove into the Holos blog by Neil Croft, and was surprised to see a new recent post "Spiritual Crisis" from two days ago! It has been a long time so that was the first post I was drawn to. One of the first things that stood out was Croft's honesty and openness as to why he didn't post for over a year, and spoke candidly to his followers and thanked the ones that contacted him, to motivate him to write something again. Croft then goes on to share the political content over the past years (what he had been avoiding to write about for the last months). Tying into our readings of understanding others, he makes a great observation on the "Independent" maturity level of more than half of the adult population, which means their view of the world include, rare if any, experiences of trust and vulnerability at this level. Trust and vulnerability are important for an interdependent and complex systems thinking type of leadership, evidence in the elections showing that this was not the case. Croft goes into the tensions exposed by these elections betwee interdependence "complex thinking" and independent linear thinking. Croft shows us that every crisis gets precisely how deep it needs to for us as a critical mass of people to learn the teaching that has been bestowed on us, and to move forward with action. As Warren Bennis mentioned, the underlying issue for leading from the voice is trust. This is a necessity for "movement" leadership, to get people on your side and have them stay there with you. If you look at our current leader in the U.S., you will see an example of the societal disease of our time called short-term thinking, mixed in with complete lack of consistency, congruity, reliability, and integrity, all forms of gaining trust. This was a good post to bring the content to real scenarios of today.

In John Thackara's post "The Ecozoic City", it looks at shifting a reintegration with the ecological systems, something that we've moved away from and are starting to return to. Talking about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Thackara gives us perspective by sharing Earl Cook's measuring technique that showed are 60 times growth in energy 'captured from the environment' needs -- starting with a hunter gatherer who got by on  5,000 kilocalories a day compared with a New Yorker or Londoner today who 'needs' 300,000 kilocalories a day with all of the systems, networks and gadgets of modern life factored in. Our "needs" and our ideas of their necessity have become expanded from our human needs, looking at Maslow's conclusions of the basics: food, clothing, shelter. In Thackara's post it talks about a new movement that says "urban" and "rural"  no longer apply. The integration of nature and the biodiversity even in a city is needed. It looks like in our society today, we need to add another "basic" to the Maslow's list -- food, clothing, shelter, and NATURE.  

In the Do Lectures Blog, I can across a post called "What We Put In".Going with the leadership theme this week, this title statement has been reasonating for me. Strong and lasting relationships, as a leader and in life, ought to be real. Therefore, the metaphor of food in this post made sense to me in a leadership sense when working with others. "What we put in affects the end result". Looking at the quality of "produce", the best "tools", the "time" and the "energy" makes all the difference when you create an amazing yet simple home cooked meal vs. eating a restaurant meal or fast food. I applied this to Warren Bennis' listed leading advice, which involves consistency, congruity, reliability and integrity. It IS about direct involvement and energy contribution as a leader that gets others to follow and continue following you. Staying the course, walking the talk, being there when it counts, and honoring commitments and promises are the way to grow your voice into a network of purpose and trust. The post ends by saying, "If you don't decide to put anything meaningful in, you don't get anything meaningful out. If you don't decide to live better and be better, you can't do better". I would agree, why would you expect anything more than what you give?