Celebration is Essential to Leadership

December 16th, 2008


It has been an amazing year here at Rockwood, and as I look back over the last 12 months, I am gratified by how much we've accomplished in such a short time. Our leadership transition has been graceful and smooth, with surprisingly few bumps in the road. Andre, our founder and former Executive Director, has been and continues to be a great source of wisdom and support to me personally and to Rockwood as a whole. I am grateful for his partnership this year. Our staff is strong and vital, even though they have been sprinting hard all year long. I look forward to moving into a more sustainable pace in 2009 as some of the many seeds we have been sowing sprout. Kudos to a hard working and dedicated staff.

Rockwood's trainers are the backbone of our work, and I want to thank them for their steady wisdom and great spirits. They made some sacrifices for Rockwood this year, and I appreciate each of them so very much. We are lucky to have a terrific Board of Directors, as well as a very helpful National Board of Advisors. I could not have done my work without all of their support.

And then there's you - our alumni and supporters. This year we had 20 training events, graduated over 300 people, offered special trainings for leaders working on Climate Change and Climate Justice, for women in Racial Justice and Human Rights and leaders in creating a Sustainable Ithaca. We held trainings in California, New York, Colorado, Washington and Maryland.

We received support from 20 foundations, 12 of which are new to us, we've initiated a Sustainer Program which is gaining ground every week -- please feel free to join us. We've developed a relationship with our first corporate sponsor, and I'm pleased to say that we head into 2009 with a strong fiscal foundation.

We've taken some risks, made some interesting mistakes, and tried out new ideas - some turned out to be brilliant, others, well, weren't. We laughed and learned a lot this year. We fussed, got tired of each other a couple of times, made up, came together and are ending up strong and in great spirits. We have much to celebrate. I am quite pleased about our work this year.

Celebration is an essential aspect of leadership. If we don't stop and celebrate both our successes and what we learn from our failures, we can lose track of why we do what we do. So take a moment and consider what you have to celebrate.

What have you done this year that gives you satisfaction?

What have you learned from the mistakes you made?

Who was with you that made this year's journey possible? Who might you need to thank for their good partnership?

What have you personally done that deserves honoring?

In all of the hustle and bustle of everyday life, please don't forget to stop and acknowledge what you are doing well. Take time to reflect and celebrate. It is good for you, and good for the world. I hope you all have wonderful winter seasons. Thanks for being good partners to us this year. We literally couldn't have done it without you.

My best to you,

December 2008