Joe Perez, one of my integral blogging heroes, and someone I consider to be a good friend even though I don't get to see him enough, has offered some feedback on my post about The Radical Transformation of Integral Salons Into First Tier (read it, and the other comments, here). My post was an effort at a conversation no one else has started, offered an alternative proposal to until now, or even acknowledged that there was a need for such a conversation.
There are, as has been pointed out in more than one comment on that blog, different approaches and paths on this journey, and as former I-I CEO Steve Frazee pointed out in his comment to that blog, leaders get things done. My approach is the approach that I'm most familiar with because that's where my experience lies, just as Joe, and a couple others, have pointed their own familiarity with other approaches.
If anyone thinks my approach won't work, or that there's a better way to do it, I'm happy to have a conversation around that. However, if people are just pointing out that there's more than one way to do this, well, duh.
Leadership is determined by who shows up. I love who showed up in Joe's model of a non-profit without dues. I also love who is showing up at seattlIntegral, including myself, and rather than putting out 10 different approaches and asking, "well, what do you guys want to do," I'm picking my favored approach and asking who's following?
We can always have more conversations, as in the questions Joe asked about SI's purpose and who we are: "Does SI intend to be a primary spiritual community or religious organization? Or does SI aspire to be an adjunct orgnization to complement the more formal commitments members are making elsewhere?"
Are those the only options? I would submit SI is already a "spiritual organization," at least for me and many other members who express and embody that sensitivity and awareness. I would also argue that even if people don't acknowledge spirit, or are aware of spirit, that spirit still pervades our very being. One of the things we learned about SeattleIntegral very early, is that different people come for different reasons: Some for community, some for knowledge, some to be challenged or to challenge, some to practice, and even some to argue. Si is a lot of things to a lot of people.
No one who has offered an alternative view has said why they don't like the membership model, how it's inadequate, or that it's wrong, only that they prefer another approach. Great! Then lead. Take up your banner, make your case, and show up....or, stand on the sidelines, offer alternative ways to do things, and go back to doing what you do, which is perfectly fine, and I have no problem with that.
In the meantime, I'm reminded of the old saying, "lead, follow, or get out of the way." I'm asking you to help SeattleIntegral to accomplish this, not make it harder.
One of the reasons I've pushed so hard for a leadership group (which we now have) and solid structure is so that the organization, SI, can stand on it's own, and I can take my leadership and vision to other projects and directions I want to concentrate on. I care a lot less about how we mature, than that we mature. As a leader, I've been blessed with a remarkable group of people who show up. Without them, I'd be leading somewhere else.
....and everyone...thanks for paying attention.