I had the honor and privilege of spending four days at the Whidbey Institute with Sharon Daloz Parks. Sharonis director of Leadership for the New Commons (an initiative of the Whidbey Institute). She taught at various Harvard graduate schools, including itsDivinitySchool, theBusinessSchool, and theSchoolofGovernmentfor 18 years before moving toWhidbey Islandand becoming a leadership consultant, speaker and facilitator at Whidbey Institute.
I noticed that once I entered the forested grounds of the Whidbey Institute I knew I was in sacred space. It is breathtakingly beautiful and so peaceful. I stayed in a very small hermitage and had a lot of time to ponder life anew.
Sharonbelieves that leaders are formed gradually over time and through deliberate effort. Her gift of facilitation is to ask provocative questions that one can ponder for hours or days, deepening one’s understanding of oneself in relationship to others and the environment, and how this relates to answering one’s call to lead. Do we have the courage to step up to lead in these times?
Some of her questions have stuck with me, even months later calling me to go deeper. These, in particular, keep bouncing around in my head:
1. What does it mean for our society that so many people are living unaligned with their soul?
2. Leadership holds a lot of hungers. What may they be?
Tomorrow: My reflections on these questions.