Who do we choose to be

October 21, 2017 Blog

“Are you willing to use whatever power and influence you have to create islands of sanity that evoke and rely on our best human qualities to create, produce, and persevere?”

~ Margaret Wheatley, Who Do We Choose To Be

Ravens are often thought to be symbols of transformation, wisdom and metamorphosis. They’re also woven throughout Margaret Wheatley’s works.

This past Saturday, I attended the Margaret Wheatley workshop hosted by Pillar Nonprofit Network and organized by a phenomenal group of leaders from the London community.  Thank you to Leslie Collins, Mary Jo Dunlop, Judi Fisher, Janet Frood, Susannah Gergich, Sue Hillis, Kathryn McLeod, Jane Parkinson and Heenal Rajani for putting together this thought-provoking and inspiring event!

Given Margaret’s message about leaders’ power and influence, now feels like the ideal time to officially launch my business, Louise Pitre Coaching & Consulting. My aim is to help leaders expand their understanding of power, privilege, equity and oppression to foster genuine dialogue and safe spaces for organizational teams and communities to thrive and succeed.

For the past 25 years I’ve been a leader in many different sectors including government, health care and social services. I understand what it’s like to be at the top of the hierarchy, inspiring an organization to transform itself and take flight, just as I get what it’s like to be isolated and exhausted as a leader, with the weight of people’s livelihood on your shoulders.

At first, I easily adopted the patriarchal form of organizational leadership we’re all used to – the top-down management style that often silences those staff and colleagues without executive titles or professional credentials and marginalizes Indigenous, racialized, LGBT2Q+, and differently abled identities. I soon realized this kind of system did not align with who I was and who I wanted to become as a leader and person. Through women’s circles guided by feminist spiritual healers, activism, theatre, leadership coaching and training, and stepping out of my comfort zone, I’ve worked to unpack my own power and privilege. It’s something I’ve done and continue to do time and time again, and discovered that this is and will be a lifetime journey. Now, I didn’t always get this right. In fact, there were times when my actions hurt people. I am not proud of these moments; however, as I look back, I understand why they happened, what I needed to do differently, and, where I could, I repaired the relationship.

To lead outside the lines, changing that power-over system, is my call to action and has been in motion more than two decades.  If we are to restore balance to our world, if we are to create a just world where there is equity and those most at the margins have equitable access to resources and power, then we need leaders to step out of command and control and claim a noble leadership rooted in compassion, generosity and creativity.  We need leaders to transform power.

If this too is your journey, or if you think it might be, send me a note at louise@louisepitreconsulting.ca or call me at 519-719-5585.

P.S. Stay tuned for an upcoming Transforming Power: Courageous Leadership Pop-Up Lounge. Details coming soon!