Monday, July 27, 2015

Community and the LeaderShape Website

Along with a brand new, beautiful website, we have a new area on the LeaderShape website. Its focus is on the LeaderShape community.

If you click on the menu bar to the left of the HOME button, which can be found on the upper left of the main page, you will see that there is now a COMMUNITY area. From here you can subscribe to our Daily Inspiration email as well as to our weekly Live It! e-newsletter. You can also join the Pebble Club, learn about our partnerships, and get latest media and press information.

We are pretty excited to have an area on the website that is dedicated to community. There’s more to see though!

If you go back to the main page and scroll to fourth section down (it’s orange), you’ll find more community-oriented information.

The first thing you’ll probably notice is that there are a lot of numbers there! We see possibility in these numbers. The possibility of each member of the LeaderShape community finding their purpose, their path, their place. The possibility of making the world a more just, caring, and thriving place. We are hopeful (and perhaps even expectant) that as these numbers increase that, as more people become a part of the LeaderShape community, the problems in our world will decrease.

You’ll also find a “Connect With” section among all these awesome numbers. This is where you can interact with and get content from LeaderShape’s Facebook, Twitter feed, and Instagram on a daily basis. A little LeaderShape every day, folks!  In addition to posting articles, videos, and LeaderShape updates, we see social media as yet another way to connect with each other. Consider yourself invited to interact with us on these platforms!

We’re eager for you to check out this section of the new website and let us know what you think. Drop a note in the comments after you check it out.

Monday, July 20, 2015

About LeaderShape

We recently launched our new website. It’s been pretty thought provoking, busy, interesting, busy, and all the other things that a project of this size brings. But mostly it has been exciting.

When you are clicking around on the new site, we hope you’ll take some time to visit the ABOUT page. You can find it by clicking on the menu bar to the left of the HOME button, which can be found on the upper left of the main page.

It on this page that people can connect with the reason behind the organization’s work and programs: our Mission and Vision.

You’ll also be able to learn a little more about Who We Are, our Board of Trustees, and how to contact us.

We’ve included the Donate area in the ABOUT section as well. As we considered how we wanted to demonstrate who we are and what we do online, we were again reminded how significant our donors are to LeaderShape. It is through the gifts from these generous folks (maybe you are one of them!) that participants are able to attend national sessions of the Institute at a discounted cost. Our donors are about LeaderShape. And now people have the opportunity to join this meaningful group through the Donate section of the ABOUT page. As a not-for-profit, it is also something we are about.

Thanks for walking through the ABOUT section of the website with us. Let us know what you think in the comments section. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

LeaderShape Video Launch

What is LeaderShape?

Who is LeaderShape?

What happens during a LeaderShape program?

We get a lot of questions about LeaderShape the organization and about the programs we offer. Folks can learn about us by reading our mission and vision, read about how our programs impact participants, and by checking out our web-presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

We love when we have the opportunity to speak with someone about LeaderShape, and we also realize that much of what people learn about us comes from words on a screen. That is helpful in a lot of ways, for sure! But now we have something to share that more actively captures the energy and essence of LeaderShape.

We are so excited to reveal our new video re-introducing you to LeaderShape, our programs, and our new brand. We hope you enjoy watching it!  Listen to the message, check out our new logos, and pass it along.

A shout out to the amazing staff at Surface51! They have worked diligently to come to know our organization and have done an outstanding job capturing the essence of LeaderShape and our programs in this video. Be sure to check out more of their work at

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Meaning Behind the Look

As we mentioned in our last post, LeaderShape has a new website and a new look! And we want to tell you more about the meaning behind our organizational and program logos.

The Bolt
The bolt itself is iconic and continues to represent LeaderShape organizationally. The change has come in that the bolt is comprised of many dots. The dots are significant in that they represent each member of the LeaderShape Community coming together to make an impact.

Given that we are now using the bolt specifically for the organization, we needed something to represent each program. We did this to allow for each program to have an identity on its own and also a connection to LeaderShape as an organization.

The Drop of Water
The LeaderShape Institute will now be referred to as the Institute. The logo is a drop of water which represent the ripple effect that participants have in the communities they are a part of.

The Spark

Catalyst will be represented by a spark. This spark represents the creation of change.

The Leaf
Resilience (our newest program) is represented by a leaf. The leaf ties into themes of resilience in its ability to grow and bounce back.

Notice how all of these logos are again comprised of dots. This ties back into the messaging of the LeaderShape bolt…that each dot represents the individuals who have been a part of our programs and who now are a part of the LeaderShaper community.

We are excited about the new look and hope you are, too!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

LeaderShape: Our Brand New Look

We are so excited to introduce you to LeaderShape’s new website and new branding, including an updated organizational logo and logos for each of our programs.

Yes – a new brand! As LeaderShape grows as a not-for-profit organization, as our programs reach more and more people, and as we develop additional programs, we have found that this provides an opportunity to enrich our identity.
You see, when people talk about their experience with LeaderShape, we don’t always know what, exactly, they are referring to. Are they talking about the organization? One of our programs? If so, which program?

We welcome everyone who connects with the mission and vision of LeaderShape into our community. And, the reality is, people enter into our community in different ways. For a long, long time the only way one could be a LeaderShaper was through the Institute (LINK), either as a participant or a facilitator. In recent years, many have become a part of the organization, a part of our community, through other experiences, such as participating in the Catalyst (LINK) and Resilience (LINK) programs. People also join our community through partnerships and like-minded work. All of those experiences are LeaderShape. We want to give recognition, identity, and connection to all of it. Branding is part of that. Having designated space on our website to share more about the organization and each program is part of that. 

Over the next couple of weeks we will share more about the meaning behind our logos and we will be highlighting specific areas of the website. Until then, we invite you to visit the site yourself. Click around. Share it with others. Tell us what you think of it.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book Review: The Good Struggle

One of the things I have embraced over the past couple of years is the concept of the “hard conversation” is not necessarily a bad conversation. It is hard. So what? Lots of things are hard. The unfortunate thing we face in today’s society is that it is easy for many to avoid the hard conversation. We can turn to social media or a myriad of other distractions to see the world the way we want to see the world. Makes it really easy for us to avoid the work we so desperately need to do. Work that helps us to step into these hard conversations.

In any event, I have been reading “The Good Struggle: Responsible Leadership in an Unforgiving World” this past month and actually finished reading it as the SCOTUS decision came down making it possible for everyone to marry the person they love. What an example of the “good struggle” in action. In one chapter, the author asks us whether we have the right core values when we enter these struggles. Quite often it is easy to lose track of our core values and start to defend our need to be “right” instead of our need to learn. 

LeaderShape’s vision of the world is just, caring, and thriving. I think this good struggle has helped us get a little closer to a just, caring, thriving world. Unfortunately, in my opinion, we still have avoided the conversation. The argument may have played out in D.C., but the argument, or rather the conversation, still needs to happen all over the world. Part of winning elections or winning decisions like that is to recognize that we still need each other regardless of how stupid we make think someone else is. The hard work is not finished when you reach 51% of the vote or come to a 5-4 decision. The hard work is in the need to continue to provide space for learning, caring, disagreement, and understanding. 

Of course this past month has had plenty of examples of conversations we don’t really want to have or just haven’t had like the confederate flag flying over government buildings…still. The difficult part of living in a “winner takes all world” is that it creates a constant contest for the next election, vote, or decision. Rather than trying to understand and explain our beliefs, we focus on winning. In this struggle to articulate our beliefs and our viewpoints, we often succumb to the sound bite, the meme, or the headline missing the nuance, the pain, the joy, and the distrust. 

Being a leader is not about doing a victory dance. As leaders, do we ever reach the finish line? Do we ever stop wanting to change the world, make it a better place to live for those that are struggling, or helping someone else do the same? Of course not. Responsible leadership is about being gracious and seeing the big picture. It’s the desire to understand trumping the compulsion to win. 

Some amazing conversations have been happening…let’s stay in the mess and keep the good struggle going.