As this Haitian saying suggests, there will always be new problems to solve, and unexpected internal or external challenges to overcome.
Sustainability leaders are challenged to confront entrenched attitudes and powerful economic forces, and they need to be simultaneously strong and compassionate.
Here are some of the competencies and skills required to steer our communities through the waters of transition and change:
- Catalyzing people around change.
- Keeping the team together.
- Being tough but empathetic.
- Having a sense of history.
- Looking at the world as it is.
- Being on the edge and ledge.
We don't want to burnout, individually or collectively, or lose perspective of the long view of change.
When our communities experiences crises, the typical western response is often blame, judgment and anger.
Some of this tension can be diffused when we agree to stop, slow down, breathe, and reflect.
As this piece points out:
"In times of strain and crisis, contemplative practice must also become second nature, and ingrained in our culture. This enables us to be effective, and move effortlessly between periods of intense activity, disengagement and crisis."
So, let's stop, slow down, and take care of ourselves, because our effectiveness as change agents depends on it.