Thursday, December 18, 2014

LEI Reading List

Last week a couple of our staff members were able to participate in the 2014 Leadership Educators Institute in Fort Worth, Texas. It was a great opportunity to re-connect with friends and colleagues and to meet new folks with who are also committed to leadership. We left the program with our minds buzzing from what we learned and from the meaningful conversations in which we were able to engage. We also left with a reading (and re-reading) list to tackle. Here is a sample of the books that were recommended at LEI.

Have you read any of this books? If so, what did you think of the book? Which would you recommend to friends and colleagues? Is there one that you are planning to read yourself? Let us know in the comments below.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

#Day 7: How Do We Begin?

The world is struggling. We are struggling. Sometimes it is difficult to know just what to do amidst such turmoil. Where do we start? How do we begin?

Inner Work
What if each of us committed to the ongoing exploration of self, asking ourselves questions such as, “What do I believe? Why do I believe that?” and “What are my core values? Do I live those out in my decisions and actions?” and “Who do I want to be? How am I becoming that person?”

What if we all created spaces that welcomed the authentic sharing of oneself along with the commitment to listen to the stories and perspectives of others with curiosity rather than judgment?

What if?

We think we know what might happen.
We might be more deeply aware of our own beliefs.
We might become more attentive to the impact we have on others.
We might be more open to what other folks have to contribute to the conversation.
We might listen with unguarded hearts.
We might be transformed.

We believe in the power of inner work and dialogue to transform us as individuals and as communities. With enough people doing their own work and engaging in meaningful, vulnerable, brave conversations we can change our communities. We can create a just, caring, and thriving world. It can start with one such conversation, followed by another, and followed by yet another.

What kind of inner-work are you doing? How do you create space for transparent conversations? We hope you’ll tell us in the comments section.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

LeaderShapers in Action: Brāv

Last week we had the opportunity to have a phone conversation with Remi Alli, a LeaderShape graduate from the University of Michigan. After learning about her project and current goal of being included on the Global Giving website, we were eager to share her story.

Hi Leaders!

My name is Remi Alli and along with my JD, I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Health Law and Policy. I am also a proud LeaderShape alum, having attended first as a participant and later as a facilitator, during my years at the University of Michigan.

LeaderShape really helped to confirm the notion of remaining calm under all kinds of pressure – we focused on controlling our emotions and remaining objective. Instead of feeling painfully embarrassed and causing unnecessary attention upon arriving late at a meeting, for example, another alum suggested that we could simply enter the room gracefully, without much ado, all while thinking, “how fascinating,” to calm ourselves. While at LeaderShape, I also remember watching MLK’s notorious speech and being reminded that at the time he spoke he was virtually unknown, yet had the ability to remain level and powerful throughout. Why not bring the notion of keeping cool to all areas of life?

Normalizing this concept has been my primary objective since participating in LeaderShape. My organization, Brāv, uses an online platform to train anyone in conflict resolution and management. In turn, these trained Brāv Ones aid in the conflicts of others on our site's face-to-face platforms. The video on our homepage even aired on TV in September - tell me what you think!

People in dispute have the opportunity to resolve issues with a neutral person trained on the Brāv site. Simple. believes that negotiation is a skill that is highly successful in resolving various issues in places like work, school and even sports, and we are eager for everyone to have access to education and support in the area of successful conflict resolution.

We currently seek help with our December Challenge - where if we get at least 40 different donors to give a total of $5000.00, we earn a permanent spot on the Global Giving site! With these proceeds, we will be able to fully develop our platform.

Conflict resolution resonates well with those who have experienced conflicts and resulting trauma. Please find the website, donate to ensure a fellow LeaderShape alum wins, and forward to all of your contacts – personal and professional:

You can contact me at any time at

Thank you so much and remain leaders!