Leaders - Claim Your People Now!

Leaders - Claim Your People Now!

skastrul's picture

What community do you claim?
Does it claim you?
When will we be able to claim each other?

Our current cycle recently lost a member, he was let go from the cohort. Resiliency is a key characteristic our interns and alumni share. Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. i.c.stars is tough. The American Psychological Association offers 10 ways to build resilience and the number one suggestion is to “Make Connections.”

Our ability to be resilient is bolstered by the communities we claim and in turn claim us. As we sat in our Allskate discussing and processing the loss of their cycle mate it became clear that he did not find community with his cycle. Each member explained why they did not connect with him; the common thing being that he wasn’t familiar to them or in other words he did not relate to them.

Communities are built by people and defined by boundaries. It’s natural for us to gravitate towards people who have similar experiences as us. No one really wants to be alone, in fact our greatest fear is being alone or being left behind. If I were to ask you who your bestie is and why you claim them you might say that they get you, you can relate to them, they reflect the familiar. Leaders do not exist without being claimed. All the more reason that as leaders we claim each other.

Leading is claiming people even when they are at their worst. It is a sign of need. Think about how we approach our relationships with our children. When your child starts acting difficult and acting up you snatch them up and bring them closer to you without a second thought. “You are not going to eat that candy bar in the store. You are not going to fall out and throw a tantrum.” Our children are no less ours because of the bad moments and like children we all just need to be claimed.

Recently the current cycle learned this lesson. One of their cycle mates just didn’t feel familiar.

What does it really mean to be claimed? What does the day look like when we can claim each other? It’s so easy to claim people who are just like us. For example if we have breast cancer and we beat it, we walk in the fight to beat breast cancer walk or if we know someone who beat it, we walk. It is a noble and powerful act of support. But what if you didn’t know anyone who had or has breast cancer and you walked? You are claiming all of those people. You are standing up for something outside yourself.

What would it take to claim people these people? What would it take to claim someone who is democrat or republican (red or blue). Someone from a different race, a different religion, a different socio economic background or someone who doesn’t agree with us?

The Disney cartoon Lilo and Stitch comes to mind, when Lilo is sharing her family photo with Stitch and she claims him and says “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind.” Even though Stitch is different, he isn’t even human. Add the fact that he is often mischievous and seems impossible to manage, she still claims him.

The truth is that as a globe we can never have peace until we can claim people who are different than us. Leadership is building opportunities for others. Is it truly leadership if we are only building opportunities for those who are like us? Those who serve our interest? As you go about creating opportunities for your teams and clients, I challenge you to claim your people, expand your definition of your people and see that your people claim you.

About Sandee

Sandee Kastrul's photo
I believe that the definition of leadership is making opportunities for others. I am a leadership geek and find that the richest opportunities for all of our futures lie in education. I am a believer in reciprocity in education and that as educators we are both teacher and student. I believe that the world can be a classroom if we open ourselves to the notion that application, concatenation and liberation start with listening. Schedule Sandee to Speak

About i.c.stars

i.c.stars is a non-profit organization in Chicago for adults with a high school diploma or GED. Using project-based learning and full immersion teaching, i.c.stars provides an opportunity for change-driven, future leaders to develop skills in business and technology. To learn more go to www.icstars.org

A Measurable Impact

Initial placement rate:
90%
Industry retention rate:
81%
College attendance rate:
55%
Alumni actively engaged in their communities:
72%
Average 12-month earnings before program:
$10,790
Average 12-month earnings after program:
$44,010