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Powers of Leadership

Powers of Leadership 2020-21 Update 

Powers of Leadership takes a year of pause from our annual program at the Whidbey Institute, moving to an online format for POL II. 

We are in the midst of a deeply chaotic and disturbing time, exacerbated by a failure in leadership on many levels. The need for leaders of integrity and commitment, who bring focus to the ongoing changes in society, an honest look at systemic oppression over the course of centuries, and take seriously the devastation to the environment, is essential in this time. Offering adaptive leadership to the organizations we steward, and considering the adjustment of our approach and response, has never been more important.

Something new for 2021

We invite POL Alumni to an online gathering on April 10 from 10 am to 1 pm Pacific Time, to join together in opening circle and co-facilitate a conversation around the issues that are moving in our time, through the lens of the commons and adaptive leadership. ­

POL Alumni, please join us in the new year to see familiar, dear faces, tell stories, and listen, collaborate, and consult with peers and friends from past POL cycles.

Register here

Similarly, there is a need for leaders with moral courage and the willingness to take a stand for the values and equity we want in our communities and organizations now and in the coming years. The advent of Covid-19, the resulting impact on people and the economy, the racial awakening sweeping our country and the world, climate crisis around the globe, and the upcoming election – one of the most important of our generation – all point to this being a time when necessary life-changing decisions heighten the need for adaptive leaders.

It is clear that we will not be physically in circle at the Whidbey Institute this year. With ongoing COVID cases on the rise again, being socially responsible and physically distant is vitally important. What we are offering in our revised format is a virtual gathering once a month on Saturday mornings, beginning in early 2021, for 90 minute sessions. These gatherings will be open to all POL participants from the last 21 years. Craig Fleck and Christie Lynk will convene opening circle (though it looks like a rectangle on zoom) and co-facilitate a conversation with invited guest leaders. We will delve into the issues that are moving in our time through the lens of the commons and adaptive leadership.

Many of us, working from home, spend our days moving from one task to the next while facing the screen for hours a day. The intensity of work and challenge in this season often feels overwhelming and at times hopeless. It is essential to our well-being that we carve out time for reflection, restoration and collaboration – if only for a few hours a month. Studies have shown that it is difficult to connect or focus when our nervous system is in a state of ‘overwhelm’ – which is currently a chronic state for many of us. In our time together, we’ll also consider collective trauma and grief as it exists in our lives and organizations.

We want to make this offering accessible to everyone with a recommended fee of $35-75 per session and we offer no fees for those with limited funds in this season. Please join us in the new year as we provide six gatherings to listen, dialogue, collaborate and consult with peers from many sectors.

If you’ve never participated in POL, but would like to join us in these gatherings, please contact Christie Lynk at [email protected] for a brief conversation about your interest.

To sign up for the February 2021 POL II online session, visit this link.


About Powers of Leadership

Powers of Leadership is a four-part retreat cycle (in typical years) designed to convene leaders such as yourself from across multiple sectors, to further develop as “adaptive leaders,” capable of addressing those questions for which there are no easy answers. We live in a time of a rapidly growing global community and the challenges and complexities of leadership are increasing. We need leaders who engage the issues of our day, who deeply know their personal sense of purpose, and who recognize the importance of ‘failure’ as we learn together from life experiences.

It is also essential for leaders to carve out time for reflection, restoration and collaboration. In our fast paced lives, most of us spend our days moving from one urgent issue to the next. While this can be creative and generative work, it can also be exhausting. POL provides the space, with creative, experienced leaders, to consider and reflect upon what’s next for you and your organization to support your long-term purpose. To be with experienced leaders from different sectors is a unique opportunity.

In traditional societies, a village was often built around a “commons,” a public space in which the shared life of the community took place. In today’s interdependent and complex world, the new commons includes diverse cultures and a wide variety of distinct institutions, as well as the oceans, the air, seeds, forests, water, and cyberspace. It is global in scope, yet personal in impact.

Leadership today requires the ability to see patterns in complex systems, the interdependence of diverse communities, and morally ambiguous challenges. We can no longer survive by functioning as separate individuals or independent organizations. The art of leadership requires a connective imagination, an informed conscience, and practiced competence.

The Powers of Leadership retreat series convenes a diverse cohort of people across strategic fields to gain perspective on the currents of change moving in these times.