How Do You Lead?

By Nathalie Edmond, UUCWC Board of Trustees

As we transition into September and experience the beginning of fall along with the many events related to the start of a new academic year and get into the full swing of the church year, I have been reflecting on my experience attending my first Board retreat. There was a discussion on the five year strategic plan that is in its final year in which we explored the accomplishments of the past few years, as well as started looking ahead.

During the retreat we did an exercise that helped us explore the many styles of leadership on the board which are a reflection of the many styles of leadership at UUCWC.  I divided them into four different categories: observe, celebrate, accept, change.

I can see all four categories reflected in myself at different times and places in congregational life. Many of us like to observe what is happening. We look at the traditions we have at UUCWC – how we build community, how we worship, how decisions are made formally and informally. Some of us feel like we are on the fringe and others feel deeply connected. I have felt both ways in my eleven years at UUCWC.

We observe the changes happening as the community grows, the faces change and we recommit to racial justice issues through the upcoming racial justice congregation praxis. There are those of us who welcome and wholeheartedly accept the changes happening in our community, who think change isn’t happening fast enough, who are more willing to challenge the way we do things, and there are others who see that the way we have been doing things has worked well and are reluctant to see changes occur.

With change comes loss, the unknown and fear. At the same it also opens the door for possibility, for inclusion of different perspectives, for building connection in a different way with a wider group of people. Some of us lead by pushing for change in formal leadership roles and others support new initiatives in our smaller circles. Some of us lead by organizing celebrations. Celebrations of accomplishments, milestones, transitions, new life, a life well lived.

Do you notice where you fall most of the time? What would it look like for you to make a little room for one of the other categories I mentioned.