I just got home from Cafe Haven’s hosting of a book launch and reading by Nejeed Kassam, editor of High on Life: Stories of Hope, Change and Leadership (2010). Now twenty-four years old, a passionate and articulate change agent, Nejeed was inspired to collect stories from seventeen young leaders across four continents to showcase their wisdom, courage and tenacity. Because I helped promote the event I wanted to attend. But my “deep breakfast” conversation earlier today at Cafe Haven really sealed the deal.
I had finally caught up with Linda Osinchuk who’s running for mayor this October. Michael said we needed to meet, sensing we shared a similar vision for our community. After several days of passing each other in the Cafe, her informal gathering and networking spot, we booked a date to talk. “Kindred spirits” would be an understatement. And what really galvanized our connection is a commitment – this isn’t strong enough – to mentor the leadership capacities of our young women.
You know you’re in the flow when the right people appear at just the right time. In the midst of our conversation, sitting right beside us, were three young women, all having been involved in school and community leadership. Linda introduced us, we quickly got their first impressions to launching some kind of gathering to test the waters, and received their unequivocal YES. Recalling Peter Block’s sage advice, the answer to how is yes (acting on what matters), we now had enough to roughly sketch out our next step: host a “cafe” conversation for aspiring young women leaders to co-create with them the means to mentor their leadership capacities.
I know this is way bigger than Linda and me. At ALIA‘s closing dinner in June, Adam Kahane declared it the time for women’s wisdom, publicly acknowledging those women in the audience who, over the week, had challenged, provoked, and enlightened him, making his work that much better. My friend and blogging mentor, Heather Plett has been writing about leadership and feminine wisdom since her ALIA experience, in each post gaining clarity and gathering momentum for the shape and design of her particular offering. And weekly I receive email invitations to online seminars and summits promoting the same. I’m the midst of the “field”, the bottom of the U, what Otto Scharmer calls “sensing an emerging future.”
I’m not sure where this is going to take me. It’s a big “what if?” Nejeed inscribed in my book, “Leadership is a life long endeavor – I hope this book’s pages help you in your journey to change. Love and peace…”
Yes, love and peace and high on life.