Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CLP: More than serendipity and improv

Update: I received a CLP invitation to participate 7/14/17; engagement begins this Fall. Grateful.

My paid work-life is bookended by full-time volunteering. I am in more than full-time service mode now. Graduate studies, in research, then in e-media, preceded these opportunities to serve my community; initially as a VISTA Volunteer in New Haven and now operating a nonprofit Community TV station in Wallingford, CT.  

I recently applied to Community Leadership Program offered by a Foundation serving New Haven. Its mission is to equip, support and inspire community leaders. I did this to help moderate, and enhance, the next leg of my journey. If diversity includes a middle-aged white suburban woman, I may get selected. Chances are said to be less than fifty-fifty in this year's aspiring and deserving applicant pool.

My Journey
My personal life is peppered with name alterations and course corrections. The bulk of my career was with one corporation that had many transformations of its own thus providing for no opportunity for my stagnation. 

I have had many common labels like foster mom, analyst, team lead, poet, president, adviser, chairman, a victim and maven with not so ordinary stories to accompany them. 

At age 10, I decided my home would have a window above the kitchen sink with a view of a bustling bird feeder. I have this. At 21, I wanted to be a writer and thought my day job would be a social worker; neither truly came to pass. At 32, I became a mom giving birth to a son and a pen name ~Adele Houston. Both would become my sanctuary. At 40, I had a moment of independence. At 50, I decided to face my technology anxiety which derailed training in Library Sciences in 1975. I returned to school for a second advanced degree which put me into an ever changing e-media landscape and an abundance of life-long learning opportunities. Currently, I aspire to a full-filling mid-life with my sights set to double infinity (88). I still do not know what I want to be when I grow-up. I firmly believe that serendipity makes the most of choices and fate. 

To equip, support and inspire can describe my day job with storytelling at its core. Some days I wish my toolkit was less improvisational. My leadership style is situational as it should be, however, it is not as informed as it could be. Every experience provides a new or revived life lesson. I seem to be acquiring fewer scars along the way.

At the moment my life is substantially driven by whatever walks in the door of the TV station. As such, I change lives including my own in unexpected ways, daily. 

In spite of successful strategic outcomes, sustainability remains elusive for the organization I serve. For this to change, I need to not only help build organizational capacity but be willing to personally be less anonymous. Some peculiar constraints are also tied to local politics with a mayor of 34 years who dare I say is not a fan. Many stories herein. 

I remain uncertain as to whether I should be a bit more take-charge of my life. Ironically, I am perceived as someone in-charge.

Next: Will authenticity grow wrinkles? or Over today's Rainbow