DATTNER GRANT

LEADERSHIP FOR OUR TIME

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The summer of 2012-13 was known as the “Angry Summer”, or Extreme Summer with over 123 weather records broken over a 90-day period, including the hottest day ever. You look at a graph since then and all you see is a mountain ascent. Only this week, an expert was speaking neutrally about the end of the Great Barrier Reef as water temperatures increase between 1.5 and 2 degrees within the next 50 years. 97% of glaciers in Antarctica are in retreat. Glacial melt will affect all of us in ways that are too complex to say here and now, but we will all go on to read about in years to come.

Something must change.

Of course, we need a different approach to leadership.

And of course, we will need more women leading (and men in abundance who value and include them).

What skills do women need? Mostly, they need to find their voice, to understand that what is important to them is important to many of us, to overcome the internal narrative that tells them not to put up their hand for a job (not skilled enough), not to speak up in a meeting (valued enough), not to challenge the establishment (it’s not for me to do) and not to be visible as leaders shaping our future (I am not smart enough, significant enough, visionary enough).

 

WE ARE ENOUGH. It is not about skill, it is about courage and taking the next step. Our women’s program, Compass, is 100% focused on this. It’s fun, sassy and intimate. More importantly it’s smart, based on a lot of experience and deeply purposeful. We tackle the real challenges that face women, and the transformation is profound.

Men need to be part of the change, without question. And part of that is to listen intently to what women think and feel and then to help co-create a way of leading that is, in time, without a gender focus (this is what we do at Dattner Grant). However, it takes time; the paradigm we live within is very, very old. The gravitational pull of this paradigm is immense and, as with getting a rocket off the earth’s surface and into space, 95% of our energy for change will be used up in breaking away from the resistance offered by the old paradigm.

We hope, and this informs all our choices, we do it in time to preserve something from our now badly damaged Garden of Eden.