Early voting has started and as Election Day closes in I find myself thinking a great deal about leadership. My usual approach to voting is to see who is running and find candidates who, as closely as possible, align with what is important to me. But it is always focused on who is already in the picture. In other words, I’m focused on what exists and not on what’s possible. Having spent the last two years being immersed in leadership and what it means and how we can embody it, I find my perspective is shifting.
I recently began reading “Emergent Strategy” by Adrienne Maree Brown (I’ll be writing more about this in the future); her work is forward thinking – what do we want the future to look like? It’s easy to focus on what’s not working and the disappointment that comes with flawed leadership in politics. But what if we started dreaming and imagining what we do want?
While I hold voting as a civic duty and sacred right, I’m not sure how much influence my vote has on the Federal level. On the other hand, I believe my vote does count on a local level and in fact, that this is where we can have the most impact. What kind of community do you want to live in? Most of us are fairly jaded about politics but what if we replaced ‘politician’ with ‘leader’ and started imagining what that leader would be like and the kind of things they would do? What if this was a way to start building the kind of world we want to live in?
There are many ways to practice leadership in our communities and politics is only one of them. But if we want things to change, it’s important to find ways to become involved. Our local communities – the places where we live, work and love – are a damn good place to start. Perhaps, if we begin to change things at the micro level, we can begin to see change at the macro level.
“I think it is healing behavior, to look at something so broken and see the possibility and wholeness in it.”
Adrienne Maree Brown