This submission showcases my tool kit for becoming an effective leader—a role we sustainable designer’s take on as we work on forwarding creative ideas in a conventional world. We are in the seat for creating a lot of new paths in sustainability, which means leadership will be a key tool.
This submission represents my personal journey towards creative leadership and sustainable design as well as my personal reminder tools, continuing this journey in my personal and professional life. This class set the tone for my MCAD journey, establishing a foundation of my core values and beliefs and helping me to see the leader in me.
Week 14, A.14.1: Toolkit
1. Surfing the Edge of Chaos
This reading for me really stood out and made me say “whaaaat” at the beginning of the course in its challenging idea of equilibrium equals death to a company, going against the diligent procedures of consistency that before seemed so cozy and nice. This really got me reflecting on the nature world to look deeply at the inevitable change that happens all around me, and to be especially interested on on what is happening on the edges and on the fringes of two worlds coming together. It is a reference from Week 3, which I have in PDF’s for future reference.
I want to include this in my toolkit as a reference reminder that change is a necessary motion, even when I feel comfortable in the current position I or my business is in. There may be times ahead that I might be resistant to other ideas and need a reminder of having open mindedness to each process. Develop onward and forward, as that is our nature.
2. Making Ideas Happen
Belsky’s book really helped define for me the creative process and implementing ideas, as well as a reminder that leadership is following a commit to personal and spiritual growth.. I realized a lot about myself those weeks, reflecting on why I work the way I do, and how ideas slipped away in the past. It also reminded me of the power of communal forces. Doing it alone on my path is not cutting it anymore.
For reference i can flip through my book.
I wanted to include this in my toolkit as easy reminder tools when I am feeling overwhelmed, alone, suck and unfocused, or when I need this simple reminder of why I work with others and do what I do —”Community strengthens both your creative energy and your commitment to channel it.”
3. Tribal Leadership
This book reminded me of to not judge — that everyone is on their path and reacting from a perspective of their world and reality. It also made me really aware of the power of language and the way we communicate with each other.
For reference i can flip through my book
I wanted to include this in my toolkit as it is a strong reference for relationships and communication between people. This is key to be a good leader, and with these tools I can have in mind how to help each person the best by understanding where they are coming from.
4. O&R Session
referencing the PDF instruction as a time guideline for the practice . Practicing meditation has been hugely beneficial to my day performance and health and will be something that I carry on with me in my leadership positions. What I liked about the O&R in nature, is that it gave me a different more observational focus than my usual meditation plan. I really enjoyed this way to process stages of the course and to reflect on my journey as a leader. I’d like to use this in my leadership position to check in with myself and spend time in the present.
5. David Morris - The Way of Improvisation
I really liked this video, first off it was hilarious , and it reminded me to use the skills that I’ve attained in the theater and dance world and apply it to my leadership and business area. I’d like to add this to my tool kit to remind myself that though there may be “rules” of life, or borders in the way things can be done, there is room in those rules and borders to have fun and play! Try saying “yes, and…” to see the possibility of ways things could go. I’d use this in times that I’m taking life too serious, and for times that I realize that my openness is starting to close down. Life is Play and that is the way, so fail hard and don't be afraid.
6. Socratic Method: Tips for Facilitating A Socrates Cafe
My reference is the PDF from our week’s material.
This document is being added to my toolkit as it holds a really fun and amazing tool to opening discussion on some really challenging topics, and to hear many diverse sides. I really enjoyed this tool and saw the huge benefits of facilitating and participating in this created space of discussion. It was so amazing! I’d use this in groups or team meetings when there are differences, conflicts of interest and moments when we are all stuck on how to proceed and look at a topic. This tool would help to really open up all perspectives and create a safe space to do so.
7. Authentic Leadership: Why Should Anyone Be Led by You? By Prof. Gareth Jones
This is in my toolkit as a reminder that being a great leader is being authentically me and no one else. I’d use this in times when I need encouragement to do what I do and be who I am.
8. Define the Purpose of your Leadership by Bill George
A reminder for my toolkit that an intrinsic understanding of myself is the most important to lead. knowing my purpose and the mission of what I do is so so important to be a good leader. I would use this in times when I need reconnection with myself and the purpose path, when things are so crazy that it fogs my ability to see why I do what I do.
Week 11 activity and reference in Tribal Leadership
A great toolkit for connecting others to others in your network and seeing them for who they truly are. It is like the excitement of matchmaking, the idea that you’ve brought two people together to connect and share interests. I’d use this in times where I think sharing value with others seems like an appropriate step that benefits the community and highlights these values that brings everyone on together on our self journey paths. It is about community, sharing skills, interests, and encouraging each person onward.
11. Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life by Steward Friedman
This is a great addition to my toolkit as it reminds me to consider all stakeholders in my life and what really matters to me. It looks at leadership “integration” of the four parts of life (work, self, home, community) instead of the concept of “balancing” them all. This is a great tool as it really makes us clear on the time we spend each day which is full with things that should be important to all aspects of our life, our values and legacy. I would use this tool to check my task list and schedules to see what parts of life are imbalanced, and push me to find more creative ideas of integrating all of my stakeholders that keep me going.
12. Collaborative Inquiry Sessions
Reference directions from Week 12 activities
This a great addition to my toolkit as it allows others to participate in deepening my understand of a question and all of the elements found in this question. It brings out things that I may not have thought about or haven’t viewed it in that way. I’d use this tool working with others to help each other come to a place of self clarify through the practice of inquiry and thought play.
13. How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek
A really great talk on what successful leadership is — it is not leading from a place of authority but it is those who lead to inspire us. Simon’s Golden circle is a nice visual reminder of the importance of initiating from the Why you do something, following with a How and What. People don’t buy “what” you do but they buy “why” you do it. A great reminder that people do what they believe about the world, and what they do do offers the proof about what they believe. I would use this reference to instill this reminder when I’m moving in a heady “what” direction, and remind myself to come from the heart and communicate the why to myself and others. This would also be useful when hiring others, and not hiring them for a position and stickily talent, but seeing if their purpose and beliefs are in line with what our company does that we can inspire each other.
14. Creativity In Management - John Cleese
This is a great tool to remind myself as a leader to play between a close and open space, and define enough time for the creative process to occur. This tool reminder would be great when I am lacking creativity and structure in my day. I’d use it as a reminder to respect myself and time, and to not be hard on myself if “nothing” comes out of an open creative time I’ve planned for myself. Providing myself with the best set up for creativity, and allowing to let things happen as they do, will help to free the pressures of creativity and allowing the true inspiration to flow through.