This is excerpted from my Leadership Development course, and refers to what I see as my own strengths and weaknesses as a leader, particularly as a leader within ADF.
When considering how I fit within the context of leadership in ADF, especially as it pertains to the organization as a whole and its members, I think I am strongest in Strategy, Shared Values, and Strengths/Skills. I have ideas how to keep moving us forward as a religion, and work to implement them, especially on a local level, with my peers. I identify strongly with ADFs Shared Values as stated in our Mission and Vision statements, and work to align my personal work with those shared values. I think the greatest strength of our church is our individual members. Everyone has something to bring to the table, and we can grow stronger as an organization by using these skills and making sure all feel like valued and contributing members.
I still have a lot I think I can improve on in Staff, Systems, and Style, as it relates to leadership. Because Staff refers to the people within an organization, and the general skill sets that they all have, I think that, although I am a people-person, this is someone that every one of us can continually improve on. I’ve been trying to make a point of making myself available to people who don’t have a local community. I spend time following and engaging in conversations with folks who I’m unfamiliar with, especially when they are seeking help, advice, or just other like-minded people practicing Druidry. I also do my best to make it to rituals at others groves, and to festivals, though I recognize that they are only a very small percentage of our membership, and so it must be coupled with distance communication with solitary and faraway members.
Because I believe our greatest strength as an organization is the people who are in it, I think it’s absolutely vital to continually get to know those people, and make sure that they have the opportunity to become familiar with me, and know that I’m someone they can reach out to at any point without fear of awkwardness or judgment. I love discussing Our Druidry with people, so I want continue to learn about the individuals of our membership: what their path is looking like, where they want to go, how to help them get there, what they’re carrying with them (skills, knowledge, burdens) on the journey. I’m an extrovert most of the time, but prefer in depth one on one conversations, so in order to improve this particular Leadership Skill I need to be cognizant of my inclination to want to continue long in depth conversations with people I know, and be able and willing to step outside that comfort zone and make myself available to others.
As far as improving Systems, I think there is a lot to be done as far as the organization itself is concerned to improve these, and I have ideas on how to help. I can improve this by continuing to follow my vocation and drive, and work on not sitting quietly, but instead taking a more active role in the changes that can and are happening. I see our study programs continuing to grow and evolve as we get more members, and more specialized knowledge. I see those study courses each having a rubric, both to help the student as they’re writing, and to help the reviewer as they are evaluating. Most of all, I see more active work happening as far as creation of useful materials for members, especially solitaries. The more practical and supplemental help we can provide for those walking the path of Our Druidry, like prayers, ritual scripts, meditations, tools, and other ideas, the better. The focus here is on contributing more towards improving the Systems that allow each individual member to more fully and accessibly experience Our Druidry.
Because I tend to be rather quiet (indirect and reserved) in many situations within ADF, in order to improve my leadership Style, what I need to work on most here is navigating when to flex that style. I need to work on flexing from indirect to direct so that my voice gets heard and taken seriously amongst all the other loud, forceful, and passionate voices. I also need to work on allowing my outgoing side to take precedence more often in non-in-person scenarios. It isn’t often a problem when I am with other people and conversing in-person. However, since due to the small and spread out nature of our organization, online and other distance communications are more regularly used, and in those situations I tend towards reserved. So working on being more outgoing when communicating over distance is another area of focused improvement for this.
One thought on “Leaders are Always Growing”
I am so glad you posted this, especially for your statement about having a quiet demeanor compared to other ADFers. I’m very vocal in my own protogrove, in part because I have to be. At larger ADF events I’m so quiet. It can be really intimidating, surrounded by so many intelligent, experienced people – some of whom, as you say, are very loud and passionate. It’s good to know that there are others like me who are striving despite that. 🙂