musings

tla #1: clt

ceo leadership team.

this is the second time that i have had the opportunity to stand in as the b-team and take notes for clt meetings. i want nothing more than to be an invisible fly on the wall and soak in the two-hour long discussion. unfortunately there have been a few hang-ups to this goal:

  • i have to take notes, and the keyboard to the computer is a bit loud.
  • asthma attacks do not lend themselves to stealthy action. trust me, i’ve spent countless hours trying to invalidate the aforementioned statement.
  • conference call interference. see the above point.
  • there are funny people on this team. my laugh isn’t what most people would call ‘quiet.’
  • yes, i said two-hour long meeting. i refuse to believe that it is a sign of maturity/age/seniority for meetings to take so long. and i refuse to believe that people who are still sitting quietly after so long are doing so for any reason other than strenuous behavioral modification.
as with most of my blog posts, i digress.
setbacks notwithstanding, clt meetings provide me a chance to peek into the planning and strategy of sojourners’ leadership. and golly, there are some thoughtful people on this team.
instance #1: occupy wall street. i will share these reflections in tla #2 (ows. get it?) and will thus save this one for a bit later.
instance #2: this fall we are celebrating forty years as an organization. 40 years! jim shared a brief (and funny) story about his time at trinity in the seventies. he made the tongue in cheek remark at the end of the story along the lines of “there has been no change in my skills since then, i just hired smart people.” cute, jim. but the more i thought about it, the more i saw this moment as another glimmer into the leadership that is valued and honored at sojo. it is not about any one person having the right answers but rather strengthening our capacity through leaning on each other and through strong partnerships.
instance #3: what do you think of when you see a clenched fist raised in the air? wikipedia has a few different ideas…and so does a room of a dozen socially-minded justice advocates working for the same organization, people who are seemingly in agreement on these matters. at the hazard of belaboring the length of the meeting, two hours allows enough time to talk about this thing beyond a passing reference; but there is still something meaningful in listening to these clt members discuss different interpretations to both medium and message.
have i mentioned that i feel truly blessed to be in this company? because i do. for better or for worse, there seems to be half a dozen other leadership teams here, and (thankfully) i won’t have to take notes at too many more of these meetings–but in the brief moments that i can be that proverbial fly i take in more than the action steps, messaging and updates. there is a level of mindfulness and a spirit of listening at the ceo leadership level that is both humbling and inspiring.
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