Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Looking for spiritually grounded leaders and organizations

I'm looking for spiritually grounded leaders and organization to learn from. Can you help me find them? I'd like to do interviews about leadership that draws on spirituality for guidance, nurturing the people in the organization, and transformation. Please leave me any tips in the comments or by email (michael@clarityfacilitation.com).

Here's one example that I've been inspired by:
There is a nonprofit organization in the Twin Cities, City House, that I've been loosely connected with for a few years. I got to know City House when they had a mission to provide spiritual companionship with people who are poor or on the margins of society in someway. In the past year, the leaders at City House have felt a call to shift their mission from simply serving the poor to one of mutuality--emphasizing that people on the margins have just as much to teach people in the mainstream. City House is continuing to provide spiritual companionship to people who are homeless, in recovery, and in transition in other ways--but now they also work with people in the mainstream of society to support their transformation as they learn from those who are on the margins. I was able to talk with Tom Allen, the Executive Director of City House, several times during this shift in mission. I saw in Tom a willingness to listen patiently for God's guidance, an ability to engage others in that discernment, and a willingness to take personal and financial risks to follow that vision.

This month I started participating in a leadership program that City House is offering called The Inner Leadership Journey, which is one expression of their new direction. I'm grateful for the faithfulness that led Tom and others to this point.

What leaders and organizations do you see as spiritually grounded? I welcome any tips!

Here's a video about City House, that I made a couple years ago:

9 comments:

Liz Opp said...

I of course think of religious groups right away... Gene Robinson comes to mind (Anglican church/Episcopalian?), as does Bruce Birchard of Friends General Conference.

One good resource might be Peterson Toscano, just because he's so connected with folks across the globe--and beyond Quakers.

Blessings,
Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

Jeanne said...

I came here to suggest Bruce Birchard of FGC, so I'll second Liz's suggestion. I'd also add Tracey at FGC--she is the staff person for the Gathering and I experience her the way you described it.

Also: Christopher Sammond of NYYM, Peggy Sanger Parsons and Chris Mohr.

JB said...

Two people come to mind, both of whom are leaders in TC nonprofit housing community:

Lee Blons, Ex Dir at Plymouth Church Neighborhood Foundation.

Paul Fate, Ex Dir of CommonBond, another nonprofit developer and supplier of affordable housing. I don't know that he speaks in spiritual terms, but he operates in them. Has long been an innovative and powerful leader in the TC community development field, fairly recently in housing.

Cheers,
Jamie

Sara K said...

I as well, of course, think religious right away. And maybe you want to stay away from this thread of thought... but what about someone like Fr. Jim DeBruycker from St Joan of Arc Catholic Church. He has an interesting leadership role right now with balancing his spirituality with a church going one way and a parrish going another.... just a thought.

Matt Guynn said...

Michael, hi, and thanks for the invitation to contribute to your project. I would definitely contact Claudia Horwitz of Stone Circles, www.stonecircles.org, near Durham, NC.

Cy Yusten said...

A remarkable example of a man who has followed his faith in developing both leadership style and the organizations he has worked with is Michael Bingham. He was a part of the founding team at Ebenx, Inc. before it was sold, then volunteered at Twin Cities RISE!, then became the President and CEO of TCR!, and now has transitioned to their board while he works on another startup company in the healthcare field. His faith runs deep and affects every decision and every action.

Ebenx, Inc.

Anonymous said...

I think of Pat Hendricks, the executive director of Christos Center for Spiritual Formation, and Michele Krakowski, the executive director of Sacred Ground.

Tom Allen

Jay said...

Julie Madden, St Joan of Arc Peace & Justice Ministries Coordinator
jmadden@stjoan.com

SJA is hosting a series on Wed. Oct. 8, 15 and 22 at 7pm in Hospitality Hall. Amicus and Restorative Justice Community Action, Inc. invite you to this groundbreaking series that truly re-imagines the criminal justice system in ways that can restore our communities to health and wholeness. Following is a description of each of the three evenings. To join us for one or more of the conversations, please call Robyn or Tracy at 612.348.8570 or visit www.amicususa.org.

Shannon said...

In Seattle, I'd try St. Mary's Food Bank (Father Tony, and a very diverse staff), or Pastor Leroy at the Baptist Church in the Georgetown neighborhood (Georgetown Baptist, maybe???) who's very active in the creation care movement.

Closer to your neck of the woods, though not a spiritual organization, per se, our community had a great experience with the free counseling clinic in south Mpls (the exact name escapes me). Our counselor/facilitator asked all the right questions about being a part of a religious organization that did not attend to us spiritually in our time of need. We may have lucked out on who we got as our counselor, but my hunch is that their staff has been trained on meeting clients where they are spiritually. At least, that was my impression back then.