Saturday, October 29, 2005

Circular Logic

My circles mentoring group was the source of a lot of pain and reflection this week. We lost two of our most actively engaged members. One is leaving the company for a fantastic opportunity, and I don't begrudge him that at all. In a sense, he was my co-mentor, and I will miss him. Another simply announced via a one-sentence email to me that she is no longer interested in participating. Several attempts to probe the 'why' of that didn't provide any satisfactory insights, and I'm left to stew in speculation and self-doubt.

I suffered through a number of reactions to circles activity during the week: dismay, anger, frustration, and disappointment, for example. I thought about writing a letter to my 'defectee' to explain my reactions, but finally determined that while it might make me feel better temporarily, it wouldn't serve any positive purpose for her. Even though it was my sincere belief that we had mutually committed to sticking it out for the year, and that that commitment was there for a purpose, I understand that she needs to do what is best for her. It's that whole individual vs. the collective thing. In my opinion, sticking it out would yield greater benefits (for her) than quitting - as I'm learning now, there is value in simply keeping the process going, no matter how 'successful' we judge the outcomes to be . . . at least, that's where I am this week . . .

If she were to continue for another six months, it would give her a chance to stick with something that she committed to - a chance to build her tolerance for less-than-perfection. It would allow her to work through her own preconceived notions of what group mentoring is 'supposed to be' and perhaps come to some new realizations about her own responsiblity for creating a situation that better suits her.

Her 'defection' is causing me to question my own commitment. That's important for me to notice. I need to remember and hold onto my purpose for participating in circles, whether or not others do the same.

We reviewed our reasons for joining circles during the last meeting. Some of my original reasons were that I wanted to practice leading and develop a discernible leadership style. Well, I'm getting that practice! And while I may not particularly care for the leadership style I've developed so far, I can reflect on and improve it. And that, in a nutshell, is why I will stay with the group mentoring process until the bitter end. I hope there are some others who persist with me . . .

Sunday, October 23, 2005


In many ways, the BAWB Summit is a turning point for me.

If you've been reading along the last few weeks, you know that I tried to rally a group of colleagues to volunteer for the summit. I was successful in getting one person to come, and he's a participant in my program, too. In terms of results, I wouldn't call this effort of mine a big success by any stretch of the imagination. But the process was important in stretching my thinking and getting me out of my comfort zone. It was pivotal in that way.

The event itself was a rich experience, and I intend to write several posts about that. At a high level, though, it woke me up to my own passion for making a positive difference in the world, and enhanced my understanding of my own nascent power in creating change. Ray Anderson's eloquent address infused my mind and heart with concern for the future, and Nancy Adler - well, her call to action and leadership just hit home in a very profound way.

Finally, it was amazing to discover the wide variety of organizations and interests represented by the summit participants. The confluence of great minds in one place was extraordinary. And yet, it seemed natural that people who are awake and aware would travel from South Africa, Brazil, or Canada, and take time from their businesses, classes, and NGOs to make their voices and hopes for the future heard and understood.

There is a lot here to reflect on. If the stuff I heard sticks . . . I may have been set on a new life path.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Name quilt

Something's Gotta Give

I'm burning the candle at both ends, and it can't go on indefinitely.

I don't know how these highly effective people do it. Don't their brains give out at some point?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Double Trouble

Sly signed up for the BAWB Summit, so I'm up to two volunteers now, including myself.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Stuck . . . Again

Sunday evening, and I didn't make a lot of progress on assignments this weekend. I've been in the doldrums for a couple of weeks - not depressed, just overcome with ennui.

Still no reorg announcement, so nothing to report on that front. Due to the instability of the situation at work, I haven't made any progress on the individual field project, either.

I had nightmares around late and missing and incorrect assignments again last night.

I want so much, and I feel incapable of moving forward.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Trojan Tiger by Sam+Max

More of the Same

It turns out there is no true support forthcoming from my employer for volunteer work. Volunteer time must be 'made up' or coded as vacation, personal time, sick time, whatever.


It's distressing to find only empty words when we expect substance.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Management Professor Notes II

Uh, oh.


Wasting Time

I'm trying to get a handle on my time. Make every minute "count."

It's annoying.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Readings for the International Residency

Thanks to Jeff for helping me work out the formatting in this post!

The Initiative

I was successful in getting the word about the BAWB Summit out to my colleagues who are (or were) associated with Case in some way. So far I have received responses from two colleagues, neither of whom indicated interest in volunteering for the event. But that's okay - this is primarily an exercise in learning how to initiate and coordinate an effort like this. Another positive aspect of coordinating this is that I am getting some experience in building a small network within a network - a subnet, as it were. (Disclaimer: I don't know if subnet is a 'real' social networking term.)

I admit I will be somewhat disappointed if I can't convince anyone at work to volunteer. But I'm thrilled that I've gotten as far as I have with coordinating with the BAWB Summit coordinators, the employee volunteer web site, and the email communications with my colleagues.

Monday, October 03, 2005


The BAWB Summit is now listed in the employee volunteer database. Now to see if I can entice some of my colleagues to join me in volunteering!