With my cup of eggnog and the fire in the fireplace keeping me warm, I indulged myself and reread all of the Blogging Out Loud NOW! posts over the past year.
Just WOW! With 1 year under our belt, the blog continues to grow in the array and strength of voices and experiences offered in these posts.
Our anchor blogger, Dr. Jocelyn Briddell continues to attract a variety of voices to our space providing stories that encourage, provoke, stimulate, challenge, and call us to action.
The voices assembled represent our global community with stories from the young and those no longer so young.
The feelings highlighted in the posts included frustration, anger, vulnerability, strength, and hope.
I’ll share them again with you so you too can start 2022 with an opportunity to strengthen your own leadership practice.
Jocelyn provided the roadmap for the year with her monthly contributions.
Throughout the year, she led us through a path to good leadership through understanding:
· The notion of leadership as a concept and an evolving practice: A New Year's Resolution
· How leaders have used lies to create rabid followers willing to do anything: The Li(v)es We Keep
· How a leader must let curiosity lead in their learning to rid them of assumptions, bigotry, and stale thinking: What’s In Your Backpack?
· How generations change the concept and practice of leadership: What is Leadership?
· How humility in a leader keeps them in an ever learning mode: Lollipop Moments
· How even the everyday activities of a leader has consequence so don’t wait to be great: The Legacy You Live is the Legacy You Leave
· How leaders must celebrate the smallest of wins alongside the greatest especially in challenging times with their team – especially Blogging Out Loud NOW! on the occasion of our 1 Year Anniversary: Let's Celebrate!
AND THERE IS ONE more of Jocelyn’s contributions I’ve saved until the end that provides all of us with actionable steps to confidently walk into the new year.
Now on to our guest bloggers:
Celeste Barretto – Say Their Name – shared the lessons she taught her son to help him navigate the playground culture when the color of one’s skin is at once an asset and a liability within the same day as well as call on all of us to show compassion for those unlike us
Syeeda Briddell – Follow the Leader? – wrote that creating a positive work culture responsive to each individual on the team is dependent on the leader alone and an imperative piece of leadership
Pam Bryant – What Can the Pandemic Do for Your Organization? – provided tips for an organization to stay relevant and grow in the pandemic
Juri Obado – Minding My Own Black Business: Creating a Life Not a Career – counseled to dive deep into what you are passionate about and where your curiosity leads you to create a life path rather than a career path
Kristin King – It's Okay Not to be Okay ... at Work - stressed the importance of a holistic approach to leadership to ensure that you and your team include a focus on the ever maligned issue of Mental Health within the workplace changing the stigma of blame to one of a welcomed vulnerability indeed calling upon leaders to ask the simple question, “So how are you … really?”
Jeson Souvannarath – Rhetorical Racism: A Deadly Virus That Continues to Plague America – warns against the threat rhetorical racism brings to building a national or global community as it pits minorities against each other causing unpredictable consequences from xenophobic actions as well as destroying the nuances of ancestry in the mass classification of a race or ethnicity robbing individuals of their real identity and silencing their real voice
April Douglas – All Women Are Touch by Addiction - calls on all of us to embrace our connection to addiction as a parent, sibling, child, friend, colleague and break the shame and stigma associated with substance abuse to change the notion of recovery to symbolize the beauty of healing, the peace found in the redemption, and the blessings that come with of recovery
Domonique Townsend – Picking Up the Pieces: how Employers Can Help Women Reclaim Their Careers Post-Pandemic – calls on employers to embrace the changes to “work” caused by the pandemic so as to fully leverage and honor all that woman can and will continue to bring to the workplace in this newly understood dynamic
Sonia Gollerkeri – Seeking Food Justice With A Full Belly – tells of her education into the perils of privilege serving as a barrier to the fullness of understanding the lives of others and how she started her commitment to that lifelong learning to bring about change
Amy Saffell – Owning Your Own Story - challenges us to embrace our uniqueness as our superpower and leverage it as a leader warning against assuming that someone with a disability is somehow stricken by it rather than strengthened
Kelly Gilfillan – Journey of a Lifetime – shows us the powerful transformation tribulation causes when embraced with courage and determination and put you on a hundreds year old trail in search of yourself
David C. David – A Lucky Break – describes a young life lived outside of himself sharing his success with those left behind intent to secure a way so that they too can seek a better life and now leveraging that commitment to serve in the social impact space.
The final post of Jocelyn’s collection is saved for the last to encourage us as we move into 2022. The post is Jocelyn’s letter to her leadership class at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore filled solely of young African American women. Lean IN to Your Anger: "The Talk" for Emerging African American Women Leaders
Takeaways from The Talk
· Sistah Circle – create your personal Board of Directors with members who challenge, edify, motivate, and provoke
· Follow you gut – your instincts are set perfectly to guide YOU
· Reflect – on the good, the bad, and the ugly
· Do what brings you joy – settling for nothing less in all of your endeavors
· Your body is a temple – you get one and only one so take care of it – all of it
· Manage your coins well – create wealth to sustain your independence and increase the choices in your life
· Support your community – serve your neighbors, contribute your talents, buy local, and remember your community is only as strong and welcoming as its citizens
· Celebrate yourself – from the post: “Loving what you have accomplished is well with spending time celebrating the event.”
Being in company with these leaders this year through their writings has taught me much. We are grateful for the stories they have shared and the advice they have given.
Leadership provides an opportunity to take responsive action to move an initiative, a goal, a change, a team, an organization, a community, a discovery forward. Leadership is an active phenomenon when put into practice has the potential to be as unique as the individual in leadership IF that person has the courage to lead from within from what they know and from what they learn of others.
Happy Christmas and here’s to a Happy New Year filled with love, health, joy, and success.
Deb Macfarlan Enright, Ed.D.
Founder, The Macfarlan Group