Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pagan Service Leadership, A Transformative Approach

The national Pagan community is undergoing a rapid transformation from fragmented, unorganized and unilateral action to a more focused approach to the challenges that face the community. Recent events like the unified response to discrimination in Georgia make it clear that the future of our actions will be cooperative in nature.

This new model of “Transformative Pagan Service Leadership” presents an opportunity for the community to achieve substantial progress in the pursuit of Pagan rights. It also will present some challenges for the community leaders involved. Suddenly activists are mindful that it is collective effort that presents the best possibility of effectiveness.

So what will be required to nurture this new ‘Transformative Leadership' model? First we must continue to encourage organizations to rise above self-interest for the good of the collective community. Second we need to assist established organizations in understanding the need for change. Finally, investing our community with a sense of urgency when action is needed.

If we set some clear goals in pursuit of weaving this web of cooperative action future efforts will be more focused and effective. A short list of goals could include:

• Transform the nature of Pagan service projects from process oriented to an outcome based system.

• Systematically harness, recognize and manage knowledge, skills and abilities among activists.

• Encourage organizations to view accomplishments as community wide rather than proprietary in nature.

• Establish organizational funding for collective action in response to community events.

For successful Pagan activism to occur, it requires strategic application that fuels support for vision and strategy by empowering and inspiring others. This model of “Transformative Service Leadership” ultimately requires that the community focuses on the results not the individuals involved.

Are we ready to let go of organizational pride, individual accolades and old rivalries? If we intend to be successful in serving our community we will have to be!

Peter Dybing


T. Thorn Coyle said...

I agree that for service to flourish, we need to consider many of the points you raise here.

Peter, I was just speaking this week about how hard it has been for me to lend support to some campaigns started by other Pagan organizations because there didn't seem to be an easy way in. In this same conversation, some worry was expressed regarding longevity of some successful organizations who seem more focused on attaching accolades to one key person instead of the group that has done much of the work. What happens when that leader is no longer able to be on point because of illness or some other unknown reason?

PaganMomBlog said...

Thank you for this post! I have begun a charitable works through our Goddess Temple and I have struggled with making it available to our pagan community as well as the general public. Trial and error are always going to be our teaching moments, just need to put the pride aside and recognize those moments so that we can serve the community as we intend to.

Dave Grega said...

What exactly is "Transformative Leadership?" I've been hearing this buzzword for a year now and haven't really gotten a definition for it. Besides, isn't leadership always supposed to be transformative in some way anyway? Maintaining the ho-hum status quo doesn't seem like leading unless everyone else is trying to pull away from that, in which case it may be poor leadership.

Sean said...

A key to actualizing this set of goals is a consistent and pan-Pagan educational framework. Teaching people how to be leaders in their communities, and of their own lives, creates an environment of self-empowerment. And, a bunch of self-empowered Pagans is a recipe for making things happen.

AmethJera said...

Whether or not we want to face the fact, our community needs to organize and follow proven, time-honored methods some segments of our people continue to rail against because they mistakenly believe those models belong only to monotheistic religions. Organizational models do not belong solely to one religion or the other, and it is what is done with those models and not the models themselves that are the 'evil' perceived. Education and intra-faith, multi-traditional dialog is the way I see this happening. Sitting down at the table and creating some form of organization is the only way we are going to become cohesive as a community, rather than everyone doing whatever they please and scattering like leaves to the wind.

Miraselena said...

Having personally worked on the events in Georgia, I was amazed at the unity that we discovered. Before that time, my experience with working within Pagan groups was that unity was tenuous and short-lived.

I agree. We can achieve more together than apart. And we don't have to give up individuality to do that. Just a bit of ego, maybe. :>

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