From Guest Blogger, Lareese Hall
I am blogging about my time at an Executive Education workshop at the Kennedy School at Harvard titled “Community Problem Solving: Skills for Civic Leadership.” Tonight was the first meeting – with general introductions, a course overview, too much food, good conversations, and homework that is mocking me…
There are people here from really diverse places – southeast Washington State, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Boston, North Carolina. What impresses me most about these types of gatherings is how passionate people are about the work that they do – for little money and even less recognition.
One thing that I keep coming back to is the delicate balance of doing work for the good of the people and dragging people along with you. I listened to some talk about getting young people in disenfranchised communities ready for the entry level job market and it made me think about how necessary it is to get them ready to dream, too.
I know too many young people today who don’t talk about their dreams. Who don’t talk about being poets or dancers or artists. And I don’t know them all, of course, but it makes me wonder – are we aiming for something that noone wants in the long run? A young man in our group session likened the aforementioned “disenfranchised” youth to consumers. He said (and I’m paraphrasing) “If you were marketing a product and knew there was an issue with it or wanted to get feedback, you would go to the consumer. Why don’t people do that with these kinds of programs? Get the people on their teams that they want to USE their product?”
Tomorrow is the first full day – we will talk about leadership. Stay tuned…