Julie Roles

Nov 172015

By Neil Baker, MD, November 16, 2015

Norms are ground rules or guidelines for how members communicate and behave with each other—like really listening to each other, exploring ideas instead of debating them, giving feedback without blaming, assuring everyone’s involvement, and being clear about how decisions will be made.

Even if team members bring a lot of prior experience with norms, every team has to create them yet again. Norms gain their power through development in conversation. Read the full article.

Jan 062014

Carl Sagan's Book: The Demon-Haunted WorldCarl Sagan’s book caught my eye this week in a post on the blog Brain Pickings. He offers nine tools for healthy skepticism in science and in everyday life. Although the book is fairly old, it offers timeless advice on critical thinking.

According to Maria Popova, the blog’s author:

“Carl Sagan was many things — a cosmic sage, voracious reader, hopeless romantic, and brilliant philosopher. But above all, he endures as our era’s greatest patron saint of reason and common sense, a master of the vital balance between skepticism and openness.” Read the blog.

Continue reading »

May 252013

Collective Action ToolkitThis is a fantastic toolkit for Evolve leaders who are working to make positive change in their communities. It was developed by the design company, frog.

“The Collective Action Toolkit (CAT) is a package of resources and activities that enable groups of people anywhere to organize, build trust, and collaboratively create solutions for problems impacting their community. The toolkit provides a dynamic framework that integrates knowledge and action to solve challenges. Designed to harness the benefits of group action and the power of open sharing, the activities draw on each participant’s strengths and perspectives as the group works to accomplish a common goal.”

Download the toolkit at bit.ly/SlDtHy.


Oct 232012

In a recent article in the StarTribune, Harvey Mackay addresses the difference between a leader and a manager. Evolve participants will examine this topic in the November class.

Mackay quotes author and professor, Warren Bennis, on the topic: “‘Both roles are crucial, but they differ profoundly. I often observe people in top positions doing the wrong thing well,’ [Bennis] wrote in his book Why Leaders Can’t Lead.”

The article, “Good Leadership Brings Out the Best in Employees,” is written from the viewpoint of leadership within an organization but also applies to community leadership.

Read the article.


Oct 142012

Chris Farrell addresses the opportunities and challenges in transitions in later life. His article, “Catch Phrase for Career Transition: ‘Fail Early, Fail Often,'” is in the StarTribune dated October 13, 2012.

His advice: “At some point you just have to get out of your head and into the world. I think an experimental mind-set is critical for anyone planning what they want to do during their so-called ‘encore years.'” It’s the same mindset we try to foster in Evolve: Re-igniting Self & Community.

Read the article at www.startribune.com/business/yourmoney/173936461.html.

Oct 082011
Lori Terhaar

Lori Terhaar

My most important discovery in the Evolve class was that change occurs when like-minded people gather to exchange knowledge, experiences, and ideas. My Evolve project was straightforward. I wanted to get a number of older women together with high school girls to collaborate on a project. Together, we agreed to organize a fundraiser to support Nari Gunjan, a nongovernmental organization that provides education and literacy services for girls who are part of the Dalit community (“the untouchables”—the lowest rung of India’s caste ladder) in India.

We decided to hold a bake sale, got together to make the items, sold them, and gave the agency the money. Easy enough, I thought. But what happened afterward produced the greatest amount of learning and wonder for me. The high school girls and the older women bonded. They stay in touch. They worry about each other and enjoy each other’s company. They have a connection not only through the project, but also through what they learned about each other and the world.

The project taught me that leadership is not about accomplishing something yourself but, rather, about offering opportunities for others to create something amazing. It is about giving people a forum to discover what they can do and helping them achieve what they set out to do.

Through my Evolve project, I have helped to make a small change in my community. The experience has also changed me personally. I find it hard to explain the synergy that happens in an Evolve class and the confidence that I gained from being part of a forward thinking group of people. The experience opened my mind to all the possibilities that are available to me and that draw from the gifts that I have within me.

The Evolve program made me stretch as a person. Through the variety of speakers and the diversity of the class, I was exposed to many new views about civic engagement and the different ways to define community. Because of this class, I know I can make a difference in innovative ways. I look forward to future opportunities to do so.

By Lori Terhaar, 2010 Evolve (ALVA) Graduate

Lori Terhaar participated in Evolve: Re-igniting Self & Community (then called ALVA Leadership Development program) in 2009–2010. The program gave her the structure to examine her experience, knowledge, and skills and to use that information to plan and implement a project that benefits her community.