Work in the field can get monotonous. Our organizers have found that meetings can turn into just another thing in the day for their team members to get through before getting to return home. In turn that leads to people being late or not participating in discussion.
How can we reframe the outlook on meetings?
‘Charming Chomba’ or Ken Chomba, the field manager, has been coaching our organizers on new ways to approach meetings. He has shown them that leading meetings is not just about recording the mistakes and taking disciplinary actions when people are consistently late or not participating, but it is more about taking care of each other and discussing challenges and finding solutions to them together.
How do you make meetings more exciting and productive?
Being a leader has brought me to the level of realizing that it is not enough to give facts, predictions, or theory, but the willingness to listen and connect is the greatest weapon on ground.
I learned this after talking to Tabitha, a member of the community. She called and said “thank you for listening.”
-Rose Chege, Tatua Community Organizer
- Rose Chege
Recently, one of our leadership team members, Moses Tianda, lost his dad. It was amazing how the entire team responded to it. The news was passed around the group quickly. I can’t remember the number of times I got that news myself from different members of the team.
Our team meeting corresponded to the burial day, but the team unanimously decided to postpone the meeting so that we would all attend the burial. On the burial day we all showed up and those who couldn’t called Moses to support him during this time.
It was hard to believe that before we got into this community these people did not know each other. I stood aside and appreciated how far we had come as a team and this gave me strength to soldier on because this work is hard, but I look at how far we have come and what we have achieved already.
-Jacob Okumu, Community Organizer Ngong
Here are some great aspects of leadership highlighted by Leadership Now from their blog.
Leadership and character are inseparable. In the Ten Virtues of Outstanding Leaders, philosophers Al Gini and Ronald Green, ask what is good leadership? They insist “that ethics, character, and virtue are essential to real leadership” and anything else is misleadership.
They define leadership as:
Leadership is not just a set of learned skills, a series of outcomes, a career, a profession, or a title. Leadership, at its core, is about character: specifically, a character attuned to its ethical responsibilities to others. The kind of character that, in regard to others, always tries to do the right thing, for the right reason, on purpose.
They suggest ten virtues or traits of character and as such they describe not just a leader’s behavior but a clear sense of the way a leader thinks; the beliefs and motivations behind their actions. They note that these virtues are fragmentary in that they can exist apart from one another and rarely does any leader possess all of them.
1. Deep Honesty. Not just truth-telling but a bias for the truth. “It describes the leader’s basic commitment to the truth, and a sense of shame or anger when deceitfulness replaces truth-telling.” (James Burke, Johnson & Johnson)
2. Moral Courage. “Here one confronts a multitude of things that terrify people: fear of criticism or embarrassment; fear of poverty or job loss; fear of losing friends or being ostracized—even fear of being seen to be in the wrong. Overcoming self-doubt can be an expression of courage.” Courageous leaders hold fast to their values and purpose even when there is no certainty that they will prevail. Courage is of particular importance because unlike the virtue of honesty, is not an aim in itself but it supports other moral claims. As such, philosopher Robert Merrihew Adams describes courage as a “structural virtue.” (Abraham Lincoln and Rosa Parks)
Continue reading here.