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Our power to change the world comes from us once we sit down, look around, and listen to and tell our authentic stories. The “who we are and how we got here”. I’ve noticed a pattern of concentric circles that emanates from individual experience and starts to weave a shared story in communities all across Maine, where I live. By the way, great resources on the personal story come from Glennon Doyle Melton and Brene Brown. The finest experience I have had around community story comes from friends Tripp and Ben Muldrow, whose firm Arnett Muldrow inspires me every day through their work in community branding.

One of my favorite quotes is from Teddy Roosevelt: “Do what you can with what you have, where you are.”  We often spend a lot of time comparing our present condition to others: from “look how much weight she lost” to “look how great Rockland is doing” or perhaps my least favorite: “this place was great 20 years ago when the mill was running”. As I help communities to come to a shared understanding of who we are: (think Myers-Briggs for towns) it empowers us to live and celebrate in our true story, giving us power to move forward with joy.

One fave premise is from a book called Everyone Leads by Paul Schmitz: we begin with the notion that we are all half full and half empty, (the analogy of the glass) and that Leadership is action one takes, not a position one holds. This throws responsibility for change squarely on the shoulders of anyone who wants to see change happen, and refutes the claim that there are some people’s voices who do not matter.

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