What We Need to Thrive

Feb 26, 2024 | About L2L, All Blogs, Change, Relationships, Stability

How We Invest in Stability to Nurture Change, Part 2. Read Part 1 here.

Stability in Our Systems

Creativity takes preparation. It’s hardly ever spontaneous. Rather, it requires time, a mindset of spaciousness, and the possibility of invention without fear or doubt. Such things aren’t easy to come by in our day-to-day while more immediate goals and obligations take priority. 

For example, last year, as we redesigned the Leverage to Lead website, we had an opportunity to get clear on the programs and trainings we had created. For two full days, we focused on how to describe our work, processes, values, and commitments. We gave ourselves space to think about what our offerings are named and how they’re organized. And we realized how much they had evolved since we first launched them. For us, it was a chance to see how much learning and practice had clarified our understanding of the work we were immersed in, and which we were evolving every day.

Systems help us hold our shared purpose by showing us where we are in relation to others and to goals. And that clarity helps us do two crucial things: hold responsibility for our part and focus on our strengths and areas of passion. 

Recalling when we were naming the ANCHOR Certification Program, it was a brainstorming structure and schedule that helped everyone know exactly how and where they could opt in. For some, it was thrilling to generate copious name possibilities; others enjoyed the more exacting work of culling and combining the brainstorm into viable options. And for others still, it wasn’t until the final options were chosen that they leaned into their strengths of weighing names against our values and commitments, trademark opportunities, and overall company voice.

In a similar but more long-term way, we invested in our creative capacity at the end of 2022. After a Talent Advisement group placement helped us build our savings, we made a conscious decision to invest the income in our team. We intentionally pursued fewer clients so we could have more time to think, reflect, and create.

With peace of mind about the business, we channeled our energy into new ideas–our ANCHOR Certification Program, our new website, gathering our team in person, hiring Melody and Kendall, designing graphics and logos, and pursuing trademarks–all of which happened in 2023 because we built the stability needed. In fact, our ANCHOR Certification Program is itself a stabilizing system, with Kendall as Program Manager developing its structure and processes to support others.

Stability in Our Relationships

Since we create together at Leverage to Lead, our relationships require stability and safety as well. We need each other’s presence and ideas to take risks and be creative together, so we take care to reflect on how we show up together. 

It’s vital to have systems in place, but we are all humans interacting with that system, needing to continuously align ourselves with values and commitments to keep those systems supportive and nurturing. We cannot build systems and structures that solve for our humanity.

Among the many ways we nurture our relationships are systems that include:

  • One annual Partnership Performance Review meeting with supervisor feedback, employee reflections, and goal-setting for the year.
  • Three quarterly Partnership Performance Review meetings with employee reflection, supervisor feedback, and check-in on goals.
  • Weekly or bi-weekly 1:1 meetings with your supervisor to discuss projects, goals, values and commitments, relationships, and growth.
  • Weekly team professional development, which includes onboarding. Every Monday, our team dedicates time to our professional and personal growth We experience and reflect on one of our Human-Centered Practices learning blocks, get trained in our Partnership Performance Review process, develop our sales skills, set and share goals, and more. Onboarding isn’t just one-time and it doesn’t just happen when you’re new. We continuously work to stay aligned with our values, learn about ourselves and each other, grow, change, and build our relationships.

The Root of Creativity is Our Agency

One crucial thing we create for each other with our systems and relationships is agency–the power and autonomy to choose how we show up. Real agency shouldn’t be confused with individualism. It’s not about being independent, doing anything we want, or wielding power over others. 

We have agency when we have full knowledge of the systems in place and how to navigate them. They offer us freedom, not restriction. 

We are free to choose our actions when we know the standards and accountability measures. 

We are free to do our work when we know our purpose, our role, and how to ask for what we need. 

We are free to create when we know feedback and performance reviews are based on partnership. 

We are free to stay or leave any organization when we know its values.

We love that our team chooses to be together in our humanity. We’d love to talk with you about what systems and processes can support your team as well.

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