Why hello Somerville! I’ve been meaning to write for some time. I attempted to write last week and my post was lost before it was ever saved. Well, the headline (this headline) was saved. Does this sound like, “The dog ate my homework?”

Some of you know that I am studying leadership in a doctoral program at Simmons. Through practice and study, I think about leadership a heck of a lot. I’ve read elegant works and well designed studies about leadership theory, power theory, organizational design, human resource management, organizational culture, and financial management. I certainly have gleaned a lot from these works and their findings. However, the one guiding work that I go back to time and time again is When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron. Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist Nun who gives her readers practical tools for living including breathing and meditation techniques for dealing with stress and anxiety. Most profoundly, Pema cuts to the chase of what she believes brings people together, a better understanding and acceptance of ourselves just as we are, which enables us to have more compassion toward others. She describes this as opening up those soft spots and practicing loving kindness toward ourselves and others. When I think about how to be a good leader and public servant, I always go back to Pema because her readings help me to be a better, more compassionate, more loving human being. I believe loving kindness is at the core of leading.

Yours,

Maria

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