First I want to recognize what is so… and then I’ll come back to hope, action, and how each of us can do our part to lead in our lives. It’s been a really hard week. Sadly, I feel like I’ve written a similar opening sentence to you many times before, as the barrage of global (and local) challenges persists.
The atrocities in Palestine and Israel are devastating. Full stop. I have many more thoughts and feelings that I have been sifting through. But, for now, I simply want to say to you – I feel the anguish too.
I’m striving to practice what I ask my school principals and leadership clients to do – starting with honest and courageous self-reflection.
- Lead with curiosity. Ask questions. Challenge my assumptions. Listen to learn.
- Seek to understand multiple perspectives. Ask ourselves, “How else could I see this? What else may be going on here?”
- Practice compassion – for ourselves and others. The role of ethical leaders – who care about their schools, communities, and organizations – demands a lot. Let’s remember kindness.
- Let human connection be the driving force behind your actions. How can you gather your community, reach out to a friend or colleague, or bring folks together?
Then, with my reflections and insights, I asked myself what actions I can take, to lead within my home, my community, and my work. Imperfect and incomplete, but here’s where I began:
I texted my Jewish mother that I loved her and was heartbroken.
I texted some dear Muslim friends that I’m horrified and saddened.
I read articles, opinion pieces, and watched survivors speak.
I held my own children close and told them how much I love them.
I acknowledged my own privilege, with my relative safety and access to resources.
I attended an online vigil for bereaved Palestinian AND Israeli families. I wept with them. And learned from them. And saw our universal humanity.
I wrote to my legislator with my request for action that aligns with my values (humanitarian aid and a ceasefire).
I got on the phone with friends to rage, cry, brainstorm, and support – together.
And beyond this moment…
- What does it look like for you to lead in your own life?
- To make a difference where you can?
- To lean into curiosity?
- To offer yourself, or someone else, compassion?
Lastly, Erica and I recorded our final episode of the Race, Culture, and Beyond Podcast.
We recorded 51 shows, over 5 seasons. Many thousands of downloads and listens.
We interviewed incredible humans, who courageously shared their own stories with injustice.
We had awkward and difficult conversations with each other – in pursuit of understanding and better action.
I’m really proud of the work we did in this small, modest (but mighty) podcast.
And I’m SOOOOOOO grateful to the people who listened to the show, who sent us texts or DMs about how the show made you think and feel, who came along for the ride. Thank you!!
There are 8 episodes this season (not all of which are live yet!)
With courage, curiosity, and the endless pursuit of true connection,
P.S. If you are a school principal, assistant principal, or head of school (or know someone great who is) – hit reply and let me know. There’s some important support coming for you soon.
P.P.S. If you (or your organization) are interested, here are 3 ways that I can help. Please email me with any inquiries.
- “Communication for Connection: The Untaught Piece to Success and Wellbeing” Keynote speaking on campuses, conferences, and companies.
- Leadership coaching that supports you in leveraging your strengths and building your capacity. (companies often sponsor leaders to participate)
- Team training and development that builds trust and connection, leveraging Emotional Intelligence.