School for Art Leaders Day 5

This post is a bit belated. Our last meeting together was more logistical and reflective, and then ended with a celebratory lunch. After that, it was off to the airport, and then I stopped over in Atlanta for some visiting with friends and family, so I found my time consumed (gladly) by that.

Saying goodbye to my awesome SAL roomies.
Saying goodbye to the green 21C penguins
Flying into storms… a metaphor for the feelings I was going through! Ha!

Reflecting back on my SAL experience I have a lot of thoughts I am still trying to sort through, as well as papers and readings! lol

Going in to School for Art Leaders, I will admit my skepticism in the program. Other folks who attending claimed the program to be transformational and life changing. I thought to myself, “How will this actually be life changing for me. I am not like everyone else! And how will trust falls and learning about leadership transform me?” Well folks, I drank the SAL Koolaid.

What I failed to realize is that SAL is more about learning about yourself and your story. It is about who you are as a leader, what motivates you, what stresses you out, how to work with other types of leaders, and giving yourself time to sort through all this.

I have come to learn how to accept our differences as leaders (no matter what level of leadership one is at) and how to appreciate the value in everyone’s strengths. And admittedly, I feel a little foolish that it took me this long to figure that out.

The Buckminster Fuller Geodome thrown into nature.

The other thing I was skeptical of, was the location. When arriving in Bentonville, I was like, “Where the heck am I? There is gonna be nothing to do and I am trapped.” But this to, I now see the value in. That isolation was necessary to my allowing myself space to process. There were little distractions, beyond good food and nature, and the nature was definitely inspiring and peaceful to be around. Our walks to and from the museum everyday allowed time for reflection.

I have learned a great deal about myself. I have learned what I need to work on and what I am good at. And I have allowed myself to be vulnerable in front of strangers (now friends) in order to understand myself.

I realize there is a larger more personal journey I have to take that will allow me to feel balance in my life. Ultimately, everything in my life and in my story leads me to be the type of leader I want to be, and so there are some things I must work on. In Friedman’s book, Total Leadership , he identifies 4 domains that play into the role of a leader- work, community, home, and self. I put a lot of my time into work and community, and I know there are plenty of things to work on there, but those two domains line up pretty well within each other. Self (mind, body, spirit) and home (family and relationships) live far outside those circles of work and community and seem to get little in the way of my focus of time and energy. So that has to change, and I have to work on bettering my relationships.

This will be my last consecutive post for a while on SAL. I will probably still make other future SAL/Leadership type posts depending on what I am working on, but the next series of posts will be my trip to Alaska at the end of July!!! Woooo hoooo!!!! And then hopefully… I will continue here and there with blogging throughout the school year.

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