Author Archives for IISC

December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays!

The holidays are here and the year is coming to an end. It is at this time that we wish to give you a IISC-heart-filled THANK YOU!! Thank you for connecting with IISC, for reading our blog and for passing it along. A hope of ours is to connect which you here on the blog and we are always eager to hear your feedback. So let us know what you’d like to see by commenting or utilizing the “Share” function on the right sidebar.

As for the Institute, we are taking a little break for the holidays and won’t be updating the blog from the 24th till the New Year. When we return, we’ll be incorporating some of  your upgrades and even adding videos that we’ve made in the office.

If the snow finds you, stay warm, and if you are with the sun, feel free to push it north whenever you’d like. Happy holidays everyone!!

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December 11, 2009

Women and Facilitative Leadership

Yesterday,  I was honored to lead a workshop on Facilitative Leadership for 500 women at the 5th Annual Massachusetts Conference for Women.  Hosted by the MA Commission on the Status of Women, this mega-gathering attracted over 5,000 diverse women from corporate, government,  non-profit, and social change  sectors. The vibe was electric and eclectic – with a mix of  executives, teachers,  job-seekers, entrepreneurs, students, philanthropists, stay-at-home moms and many others.   It was a day of focus on issues “that matter most to women, including personal finance, business, entrepreneurship, health and work/life balance”.

My 60 minute session, “The Practice of Facilitative Leadership”, was what we at IISC would call an “experience” of our flagship, 3-day, course.  Up front, we acknowledged that, in this shifting socio-historical global context — anyone who claims to lead is merely improvising her way through unprecedented waters along with the rest of us.

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November 20, 2009

Story of the Shoe Store Pink Slip

I heard a wonderful sacred story yesterday. It was shared by a member of SEIU’s in-house training arm (SEIU is the union representing service workers — janitors, custodians, parking attendants, homecare workers, etc.) in a conference I was asked to attend as a guest faculty member on behalf of IISC. The day began with a brilliant invitation to share personal stories exemplifying  “change” in our lives. The true story that follows was just one of many captivating, poignant, death-defying stories my ears had the pleasure of taking in yesterday. What an experience it was! Herein The Story of the Shoe Store Pink Slip (title mine), as told by “L”: Read More

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November 6, 2009

More on Less is More

Once again, I’m trumpeting the truth that, yes folks, less IS more.

In his July 2005 Ted Talk, psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz’s estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.

Instead of boosting our self-esteem, enhancing the quality of  our choices and promoting self-actualization and civility, this expert on the links between economics and psychology claim is that it yields:

1. Paralysis, not liberation.

2.  Dissatisfaction with the choice made (because the known options make it easier to regret the option you choose against ). Read More

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October 23, 2009

Day of Action

Curtis passed this along to me today. A video from 350.org which explains how tomorrow, October 24, 2009,  is a Day of Action focused on climate change. 350.org is focused on reducing global CO2 levels to a healthier 350 parts per million (ppm) compared to the current 387 ppm we are currently hovering around.

The video and site go over exactly what tomorrow means and how you can participate. To find out what is going on around you, take a look at their map. Enjoy!

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October 23, 2009

My Prophetic Tradition

In a March 2009 post in their now retired blog, Kitchen Table, Princeton’s Melissa Harris Lacewell (Professor of Politics and African American Studies) and Yolanda Pierce (Professor of Literature and African American Religion) engage in a conversation about the Black Church prophetic tradition.  Other than the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  it is possible that the recent controversies surrounding the widely respected and widely reviled  Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright have been the ways in which most Americans have even come close to truly understanding what this one of so many beloved contribution of African Americans to social justice, theology and Christianity is all about.

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October 16, 2009

Green Faith

Still vibing on the fact that yesterday was Blog Action Day, I want to share about this very cool documentary about the growing faith-based environmental justice movement in the United States, entitled Renewal.

A description of the film is as follows:

RENEWAL is the first feature-length documentary film to capture the vitality and diversity of today’s religious-environmental activists. From within their Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim traditions, Americans are becoming caretakers of the Earth. With great courage, these women, men and children are re-examining what it means to be human and how we live on this planet. Their stories of combating global warming and the devastation of mountaintop removal, of promoting food security, environmental justice, recycling, land preservation, and of teaching love and respect for life on Earth are the heart of RENEWAL.

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October 14, 2009

Congratulations!

Congratulations to Louise, Stevie, Sharon and the IISC Ireland Team!! The group was presented a National Training Award for “Partnership and Collaboration” in Northern Ireland. According to the NTA website, the “NTA identify and celebrate organisations and individuals that achieved really outstanding business and personal success through investment in training.”

Ireland.AwardFrom left to right, Sharon Duffy, Louise O’Meara, Stevie Johnston.

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October 9, 2009

The Gift of Gratitude

A gratitude-heart
Is to discover on earth
A Heaven-delivered rose.

– Sri Chinmoy

The other day I shared with my colleagues an experience I had of a sudden feeling that came over me, during a moment within the hectic routine of a typical morning, in which I felt great peace and joy amid the flurry of my two young daughters, husband and me readying to launch into our day.  An intense feeling of love for my family and all those I am blessed to have in my life came over me, and seemed to emanate from the deepest fiber of my being out of nowhere. I was awe-inspired by this deep, unexpected, and unprompted feeling of gratitude.  I’m more accustomed to feeling moments of gratitude during or after contemplation, but because of its spontaneous onset and its lingering affects, I recognized it to be a great gift.

According to Dr. Michael McCollough Professor of Psychology at Southern Methodist University, when scientists began researching links between religion and good mental and physical health, their studies indicated that gratitude plays a significant role in one’s sense of well-being, as many of the world’s major religions acknowledge and convey the virtues of gratitude. Further study including the secular population showed that those who had a tendency toward gratitude were more likely to be happier and healthier than those who did not, whether they were religious or not. Read More

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September 25, 2009

Less = More: A Dare

Friends, what if less really IS more?

What if in order to spend more time on the things that matter, we really do need to spend less time working on those things and on everything else, too?

What if its true that our energies, time, intellect, creativity and gifts — if concentrated, focused, harnessed, smartly— really will yield more, better, longer-lasting, more potent results and legacies than they will if we are everywhere-and-no where in particular, all things to all people, jack of all trades, and eh….spread too thin?

And, what if it is true that in a more focused, streamlined, measured, discriminating, approach to life and work will thereby make the experience of our working and living itself more rewarding? Read More

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