This story focuses on our treasured & rock-star visionary, lover-of-ALL-peoples, & impassioned change agent, Neena Jain [co-founder of emBOLDen Alliances, an organization that endeavors to maximize impact through hands-on partnerships].  For many years, Neena & I have cultivated a deep friendship, collaborated, & envisioned MORE possibilities for working together in the world.  [There’s that partnership {joy} theme again.]

One of her MANY gifts is around storytelling through which she invites us to explore & learn together.  She published this article [Leading from Behind or the Middle, Even in a Crisis] a few weeks ago & I love it.  It’s about leadership – the article’s context is about global development – & no matter what is our sphere of work, there is much to be gleaned from these nuggets in her wise article.

Neena courageously & compassionately returned to Nepal two weeks after the earthquake in March of this year and much of the fodder for her article arises from her recent journey.  (Although emBOLDen is working all over the world, they are deeply committed to partnering in the rebuilding of Nepal.)

leading from behind

Relief workers in Nepal – March, 2015

Here are just a few highlights…

Perhaps we would all better & more authentically serve communities by taking one, two, or even more steps back in our leadership style to lead from the middle &/or behind.  -Neena Jain

In Lead from the Middle: The 9 New, New Leadership Principles, the following principles are discussed:

  • facilitate open & honest debates,
  • listen mindfully,
  • set clear goals but be flexible,
  • be measurably accountable,
  • fail valuably,
  • learn relentlessly,
  • give 100% real action,
  • lead from within—with soul.

“Leaders can encourage breakthrough ideas not by cultivating followers who can execute, but building communities that can innovate.” -Linda Hill, Harvard Business Review

It is better to lead from behind & to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership. -Nelson Mandela

Dear friends, I wonder – how might we practice this in more nooks & crannies of our lives?  In our marriages/partnerships & families, with friends, at work?  Let’s build communities that can innovate…together, take a few steps back in order to lead from a different place, listen intently, humbly learn from our less-than-perfect moments, & lead soulFULLY, deeply, from within.

Featured image photo by Dineslav Roydev on Unsplash

emBOLDen partay - 20 August, 2015

Colorado peeps – don’t miss this!

For those of you who are in Colorado, join us at a partay to support community-based programs in Nepal.  The Freddy Jones Band will rock the house & the soul sistas & brothers there will expand your heart & world. :)

Click here to buy tickets ($32) & join the celebration.

[*I just bought tix for our fam this morning!*]