Absolutely brilliant, grounded and sharp insights from David Haskell at DreamsinDeed published over at SSIR. His insights on working with people in hard places is among the best I have ever come across. I love his view of leaders he calls "dreamers in hard places".
"Dreamers in hard places" are under valued, under appreciated, under the radar, and under represented in the leadership of our world and our work. In fact, the way we structure movements demonstrates that we fear "dreamers from hard places" participation at the levels of governance and power. Most of the best leadership in traditional organizations can't even interact effectively with people that are genuinely squaring off abuse and trauma spread by government and industry.
David's body of work is inspiring and the approach is network-centric to the core. His team builds networks to support dreamers in hard places.
What sets a dream apart from a good idea? We apply four tests:
- A dream is celebrated by the poor, and unsettles the powerful.
- A dream invites everyone to the table, including those we don’t like.
- A dream requires that everyone change, starting with the dreamer.
- A dream is worth bleeding for, not just working on.
Some of the questions his work leads to includes "Do our models include people not like us?", "Do the poor celebrate your arrival?", "Does the answer also make sense to people that are only educated at the school of hardknocks?", "Have we created a microphone so the smallest voice is heard?", "How does this strategy draw in opposition to be a part of the solution?", "How does this put the last first?"
How many of the strategies and campaigns that you ever worked on pass these questions? Are you working on dreams? Are you pushing power to the edge? Does your work make sense to the people most impacted by the problem? Are they working with you on the solution? Are you seeking diversity of people to support your work or are you working to diversify who you work with so you can serve broader agendas?