Category Archives: vision

The Shining Hope Community is Changing the World – One Community at a Time

When I first met Jessica Posner, two years ago, and heard about Shining Hope for Communities, I was amazed by what the organization was accomplishing in Kibera, the biggest and worst slum in Nairobi, Kenya. I was even more amazed that this work was being done by 20-something Jessica Posner and Kennedy Odede. Working together, they fulfilled Kennedy’s dream of creating a school for girls.

Fast forward two short years. Kennedy has graduated from Wesleyan University. He and Jessica have married. The first tuition-free school for girls is just one project provided by this organization that provides a wide range of services to the Kibera community, including the Johanna Justin-Jinich Community Clinic, the Shining Hope Community Center that provides women’s empowerment programs, youth programs, adult education and job training, and library – and more. They have also created a toilet access program, a clean water program and gardens.

Shining Hope is saving lives. Jessica and Kennedy have created a sustainable model for helping people at a local level in ways that work for their community. In 2010, Jessica was named America’s Top World-Changer 25 and Under.

Jessica and Kennedy Odede are amazing people – modest and driven to change the world one community at a time. Can you imagine where they will be ten years from now? How this model will grow and spread to other slums? How many lives are not only saved but expanded through their work?

I told Jessica that I want to be her when I grow up. I can’t go back to change the course of my 20-something self, but I can spread the word about Shining Hope. And I can contribute to their work. Here’s a link if you would like to contribute too.

Analisa Balares – Woman of the Week

When you meet Analisa Balares, you are drawn to her gentle energy. She’s a small woman, soft-spoken, constantly in motion, and busy making huge things happen in the world. A few years from now, when she’s ensured that women have come into their full power and are running the world, I will not be at all surprised.
This is from the Womensphere website:

Analisa Leonor Balares is an emerging global leader dedicated to unleashing women’s potential, and advancing the evolution of women as leaders and innovators around the world. She is a community builder, social innovator, global entrepreneur, and mentor. For over two decades, she has been committed to women’s leadership development, sustainable development, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education, and has produced, directed, and co-produced over 100 summits, forums, and media on these themes.

In February 2008, Analisa created and launched Womensphere, a unique leadership community and global social enterprise that convenes, mobilizes, and creates platforms for action – uniting individuals, companies, networks, academic institutions, and NGOs, around the shared purpose of unleashing women’s potential and enabling the evolution of women as leaders, innovators and creators in our global society. The Womensphere global leadership community inspires, connects, and empowers women leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, policymakers, scientists, artists, financiers, and pioneering women across all fields. Since its founding, Womensphere has reached, convened and connected over 3,500 leaders through 22 conferences, forums, and media in the United States and Europe.

I have attended several Womensphere Summits and have met the most incredible, inspiring collection of women, ranging from Caitlin Kelly, the 30-something founder of Africa Volunteer Corps and Jessica Posner, Co-Founder at 25 of Shining Hope for Communities, a non-profit that combats extreme poverty and gender inequality in Kibera – Africa’s largest slum through Angela Jia Kim, founder of Savor the Success, through Linda Cureton,CIO for NASA, Jill Tarter of SETI, and too many others to possibly list.

As Womensphere grows to include opportunities for female CEOs to come together, international events, multiple media initiatives, so too will the visibility of amazing women and the opportunities for them to meet with and learn from each other.

Analisa is a great enabler, a big thinker, and a woman who knows all things are possible. How do you embody these traits in your life and work?

How’s Your Vision?

I’m thinking about vision today because I’ve just rediscovered Leading People: the 8 proven principles for success in business.

Rosen’s eight principles: Vision, Trust, Participation, Learning, Diversity, Integrity and Community are a great basis for leadership excellence. As the workplace becomes increasingly complex, the economy remains uncertain, workloads increase and stress levels rise, these are important principles.

These are also important principles for coaches and as I revisit them I wonder how I can continue to incorporate them in my coaching work with executive managers and how I can interpret them through the lens of the nine *IAC Masteries®. That will be a challenge over the next few weeks – one that I will be sharing here and at Expanding Your Comfort Zone. So, here goes ….

Leadership – at work or in your own life – can be daunting at best. I don’t see how it’s possible at all without a clear vision. A favorite quote is

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re liable to end up somewhere else.

This seems true in all aspects of life, and especially in leadership. How can you move others forward – help them achieve their best – if you don’t have a clear picture of the end-point? How can you hope to achieve your personal goals if you don’t have a clear vision of what you want?

In one of the best strategic moves I’ve seen, a large non-profit took almost a year to work on their vision statement. Every department was asked to submit vision statements. A group worked with all the statements to create a single statement that reflected what was most important: (We are) a kaleidoscope: reframing relationships, embracing change, creating opportunities.

At an agency-wide kick-off, each staff member was given a kaleidoscope. Then the real work began.  Every unit went back and created their own personal version of the vision. These were posted alongside the Agency vision at every location. For these people, there was no guessing about the vision, the overall direction. One had only to look at the wall. Every day, planning could start with that vision. Every leader and every staff member could start their day asking, “How will I live our vision today?”

Almost every personal development source begins with creating a vision. It’s a constant theme in Mike Dooley’s work. In Manifesting Matisse, Dr. Michelle Nielsen suggests creating small vision boards that can be taped up all over the house or office so that you can always see your vision. This makes it very easy to think of what steps you might be taking in any moment to move i the right direction. (Don’t leave the ACTION out of the Law of AttrACTION!)

As coaches, that same question might inform our preparation for every client meeting. What’s my vision? How will that inform the way I work today? How will it help me help my clients achieve their vision? It’s just one of the many ways we can bring the Masteries® to life.

*Learn more about the Masteries® at the International Association of Coaching site.