Oct 082011

Joy Gordon, a 2009 Evolve grad, shared insights from her Evolve experience. “The class is such an intense experience, and it takes time to step back and process the ‘shake it all about’ experiences and the ‘turn yourself around'”.

It was an empowering but humbling experience to speak to the 2010 Evolve participants at Century College. True to form after leaving the class, I went home and wrote in my journal, a highly recommended activity.

Somewhere along the way, the words came out of my mouth, “I am a leader.” Upon reflection, it was a loaded sentence. In one sense, it ended with a question mark. Where was I really on my leadership journey? I felt like I was a beginner on the path. And then, there was the awesome realization of the responsibility of becoming a “leader” and how much I still needed to learn. Saying it somehow affirmed my commitment to it.

In another sense, I realized that because of what I had learned in the class there was a kernel of truth in it. I was stepping into more leadership opportunities with more confidence and greater knowledge of what I needed to be more effective as a leader.

The journaling process is such an important dimension of the class experience. The class is such an intense experience, and it takes time to step back and process how you are relating to it. It helps to see the changes and shifts, the “shake it all about” experiences and the “turn yourself around” times to realize that you are somehow different and are growing in the process.

A couple of quotes from my tradition come to mind related to leadership:

“It is not incumbent upon us to complete the task, neither, however, are we free to desist from it” (Talmud)

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
But if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?” (by Hillel from Pirke Avot 1:14, the Sayings of our Fathers)

How fortunate all of those students are to be in the Evolve class. It has changed my life and continues to do so, and I know it will have a wonderful, lasting impact on theirs. I wish them an eventful journey with much success in the future. I am open to sharing with them at any point along the way.