Episode 2 / Season 2How to Find Possibilities in Conflict
with Ellen Sprenger
As a leader, when was the last time you had a conflict that led to a positive result? Well, my guest this week believes there is no growth without conflict, so Ellen Sprenger is here to discuss creative ways to generate new possibilities during conflict situations.
Ellen Sprenger is a coach, strategist, and advocate for social and climate justice. Since 2004, she has been the founder and CEO of Spring Strategies and she describes herself as a believer in human potential and our collective ability to solve the problems of our time. She is a familiar face and force with a rich history of helping leaders show up with presence and creativity.
Join me and Ellen Sprenger for a conversation around how to address conflict, big or small, in generative and creative ways that uncover new possibilities for ourselves and our organizations. Ellen is sharing how to bring awareness to your current conflict strategy, and giving us her practical tips for finding the wisdom that conflict has to offer and sharing the responsibility of change.
What You’ll Discover
- The different reactions leaders can experience when conflict arises, and the pros and cons of each type.
- Why it’s so important to gain awareness of how we, as leaders, currently respond to tension and conflict.
- The wisdom that is trying to emerge through conflict and why we have to think differently in order to harness it.
- Why our brains quickly go to a binary “right or wrong”, and why that’s not always helpful, and the most critical question you can ask yourself when conflict starts to appear.
- Your role as a leader when dealing with generational conflict in your organization.
- What you can do to build polarity and clarity when conflict arises over any issue.
- How to consider and honor the past while welcoming the future when resolving tension in your organization.
- Ellen’s tips and strategies for finding the possibilities in conflict.
ResourcesSpring Strategies Spring Strategies on Instagram Spring Strategies on Facebook Spring Strategies on Twitter Ellen Sprenger on Twitter Disability Rights Fund Africa Women’s Development Fund Self Employed Women’s Association
Full TranscriptDownload Transcript PDF
When was the last time you had a conflict as a leader that led to a positive result? Join me and Ellen Sprenger from Spring Strategies to discuss creative ways to generate new possibilities during conflict situations in this episode of Leadership Moves.
Welcome to Leadership Moves, a podcast for visionary changemakers ready to shake up and re-envision the world. I’m your host, Mallika Dutt. Join me and my extraordinary guests as we discuss how to generate social change through leadership and the entrepreneurial, non-profit and philanthropic fields.
So, good morning, everybody, welcome to this conversation about how do we address conflict in generative ways and creative ways, in ways that create more possibilities for ourselves and our organizations. So, without further ado let me introduce to you our speaker for today, Ellen Sprenger from Spring Strategies.
Ellen is known to many of you, a familiar face, a familiar force. She is a dear friend who has been one of my greatest teachers in the area of organizational development and developing skills, and tools, and practices to really show up as leaders with presence and with creativity. She has worked with, at this point I think hundreds of organizations in building their capacity around financial resilience, visioning a broader strategy and more. In the interests of time I am going to hand this over to Ellen. So welcome everybody and welcome Ellen and over to you.
Ellen: Thank you, Mallika and hello everybody. It’s really good to be in this space and seeing familiar faces and familiar names. So we have the next 50 minutes together to explore approaching conflict in generative and creative ways. And if you are a little bit like me, you’ll probably go, “Yeah, that’s hard.” Because it is really hard. And there is so much tension, conflict, volatility in the world so how do we move with that in creative and generative ways I think is a challenge of our time in so many ways.
So there’s sort of two dimensions to that. So one dimension is what we need to cultivate inside ourselves in order to really have awareness of how we respond to tension and conflict so that we can also catch ourselves a little bit. So for example, myself, when there’s tension and conflict my impulse is to move in, to get really curious and energized by it. That can be really great because I want to pursue clarity, I want to move in. But if I lose connection with a group, it’s not so helpful. It could be experienced as confrontational or maybe even aggressive. So the medicine, the gift and the fixation.
You might be somebody who wants to move away from conflict when conflict arises, you have a tendency. Your whole body it’s like holding breath and moving away. And that could be very wise in a moment. But in another moment, another situation that could be just really, really not generative because you could also stonewall. You kind of block the whole conversation. So our interior is not what we’re going to be talking about but I just want to mention it that that dimension of dealing with tension and conflict is really important.
And I understand from Mallika, that you’ve worked on that maybe in other sessions. So our interior, our sort of habitual way of responding and to cultivate awareness around that is sort of 50% of this conversation. We’re going to focus on the world around us and more specifically, our own organizations’ networks and movements. So approaching conflict, creative tension in our own organizations and movements. And I’m going to be presenting a little bit of content.
But then very soon I hope we can cocreate something and practice together. So whatever comes up for you in terms of your own experiences, that’s great because let’s try to also work with that. So let me bring up the slides, screen share. Alright, so that’s the title. And so yeah, so we’re going to locate it in our own organizations and movements. And here’s a bold statement. There’s no growth without conflict. Conflict is good news and it raises the question, how can we work with conflict and tension in a healthy way?
So if conflict is good news, then something is wanting to emerge. Something is wanting to be included. There’s a wisdom. But we can only harvest the wisdom if we can be with it in creative and generative ways. So that’s sort of an underlying piece of this conversation.
So then here we go and in my own sort of history of running organizations and looking back, it’s like this question is so critical. So let’s say I’m running an organization or I’m part of an organization and tension, we have tension around a certain issue. We’re going to explore certain issues that tend to come up. Is it a problem to solve as in is there a right or wrong answer? Or is it just an ongoing polarity that we’ll always have because it’s alive in the system? It should be, because it sparks and it generates new ideas and helps us see and hold more complexity.
So is it a problem to solve or an ongoing polarity to manage? So let’s look at some examples. And this is so interesting because I’m not sure about all of us but I think it’s safe to say that we are trained, our education system trains us to look for problems, solutions in terms of right and wrong answers. So we go to a binary quite quickly.
So a problem literally has a right answer or multiple right answers that are independent. Whereas polarities or creative tensions have two or more right answers that are interdependent. So we’re going to be playing with this. For example, a problem, of course math, how can I get to the top of this mountain? There are multiple right answers. Even flying to the moon is a problem to solve. But what if I have three children and I want to give each of them a gift and want to respond to both their uniqueness and I want to treat them equally?
So I cannot prioritize their uniqueness, a unique gift for each of the children to treating them equally, that they feel they’ve been treated equally. This is a creative tension. So what does that look like? Let’s make it a little bit more concrete. So you could visualize it by visualizing the infinity sign, very powerful. I’ll give you an example of my initial, my own initial response to the COVID pandemic to just make it real and share, do a little bit of storytelling.
So when the pandemic hit, I went to a state of alertness immediately. And I was looking at the situation. I have family in different parts of the world. So I was thinking, okay, what’s happening in this part of the world, there? Kind of what can I learn from how other people are responding, how this is progressing. And so I found myself being in an alert state and finding it really hard to relax. And as I was in this alert state you could say there’s an upside to that and a downside of that.
And I spent most of my time in the sort of downside of alertness, being very reactive, almost impulsive and a little bit maybe almost feeling slight panic inside, like whoa, am I in the right place on the universe? Am I with the right people? How is this going to, you know, how can I support my community? Is everybody actually realizing what’s happening? So what I was struggling with is relaxation. If we kind of fill out this polarity you could say the upside of alertness is smart precaution which is a good thing.
And the upside of relaxation is to be able to reflect, pause, also rest physically. But the downside of relaxation is inertia, disconnect, passivity. So what I was doing is kind of stuck in the limitations of alertness. And I found it really, really hard to rest because what I was afraid of was inertia and disconnect. And I was really triggered by people who were kind of pretending nothing was going on. So this is where I actually drew this polarity because I was like, okay, I need to get a little bit more perspective.
And I zoomed out and I created this. And I was like, “Whoa, how can I be with, have smart precaution while also being able to reflect and rest?” That just calmed me right down. I was like, “Okay, I can do both.” Rather than I’m fixating on panic and fear of inertia. So here is a way and I’m going to leave this tool with you is how you can build your polarity. So I was like, sometimes I think I’m too panicky, reactive. At those times I was going around the – you see I’m going around the infinity side.
At those times I wish I could, I would like to relax more. But what I fear is if I do too much relaxation, I’ll just become separate, inertia, I’ll fall asleep. I’ll just disconnect from the whole situation. What I value greatly and that can lead to more alertness is smart precaution. So that’s how you can build polarity.
Now, let’s look at something that we often see in our organizations. You might actually be experiencing this polarity. So let’s play together and see if we can build this one together. And I know, I see some smiles, when you have a smile and you go, this knowing smile, I see Diana looking at this like, yeah, I know this story. So as we see a lot of transitions in our organizations. I think at one point I heard that in the BUILD community, and I’m not sure, Mallika, if this is correct, that almost 40% of the organizations that are part of BUILD are going through a leadership transition.
There is a sort of old power transition to new power, very interesting and different ways of working with power, of understanding leadership etc. Then okay, so this sometimes could be a tension that we need to manage. So I would love to hear from some of you, if you recognize this, if you want to come jump in and build this with me and see if we can identify the upsides and the downsides of each.
Diana: Yeah, sure. So I mean this is exactly I think talking to some of the current situation at the Disability Rights Fund where I am the founding executive director and in my last month of leadership. And this has been a tension over the last couple of years as the organization has grown, has a second layer of leadership, new leaders. And the Disability Rights Movement has grown as well and disability rights philanthropy.
So there is this trajectory of movement towards the future which is what I want. At the same time I don’t want to be forgotten because I did a lot of hard work. And so I don’t know if that helps here but yes.
Ellen: So what would be the upside of honoring the past? Kind of looking, zooming out, Disability Rights Movement or any other space that you’re familiar. What would be the upside? I heard something about legacy. That’s about legacy.
You see, maybe I should say a little bit more about how this tension could create a lot of hurt and pain in organizations. Is there somebody who can share an experience like that? And Mallika, also please come in if there’s something that jumps at you. Mallika has allowed me.
Diana: Well, I mean Jan and I just went through kind of an experience about this because we’re coming out with a report on our participatory grant making form and participatory processes. And it was a painful process because there was an external researcher who really wanted to do a good job but didn’t know much about participatory grant making and/or the history of the organization. And the first version of the report was missing a lot of key history. And there was tension in, “Well, but this is what I heard. And this is my research.” And the history, the actual history, was very painful.
Ellen: Yeah. So I’m hearing a couple of things. I’m also looking at the chat. So I hear knowing where we came from. We need to know where we come from because that’s where our strengths come from. That’s where legacy comes from. We’re standing on the shoulders. So also, it’s about honoring our elders
Ellen: That’s right. And now, what if we go overboard with honoring the past? Can we just go there too? What could that bring? What would be the downside of honoring the past? Vivian, do you want to come in? Stifle innovation, yeah. So I would say rigidity, there is a rigidity in that, that’s right, stifling.
Vivian: Well, I also think that the past, can bring you to the present and probably there are good principles that you have to safeguard and maintain. There were bad moves in the past as well. So you have to learn from them. There are lessons learned there so you don’t repeat what was done wrong.
Ellen: Yeah, which is an important part of honoring the past, that you can also look at lessons learned, yeah, lessons learned should be part of it, absolutely. So honoring the past could be, the downside could be stifling. I also want to say fear, fear of loss.
Ellen: The wisdom that’s coming through for me it’s like the continuation and the standing on the shoulders, and the gratitude. And also understanding different positions, maybe old leadership and new leadership or different generations have found themselves in, or find themselves in.
And that nuance needs to be really understood so that you can have a continuation but also some things, letting go and welcoming in the new. So how do you do both well is I think the story, the experience that you’re sharing. And I think that’s a huge challenge because we’re also now seeing the intergenerational dynamic that sometimes pop up here. And different generations sometimes go with different experiences but also different world views. And so how do you build strong organizations? So if we go to the upside then of welcoming the future.
Urvashi: I think in some ways the honoring the past and honoring the legacies of the founders, I think those will always happen. And our fear of our legacies being forgotten, I think that’s the first thing that we have to deal with. Because over the years I’ve come to realize that we don’t actually go away.
The legacies and the work you do, so you may not be remembered personally and it’s a battle with yourself to say, is it I will wish to be remembered or is it the work that should continue? And if the work is continuing then I think that’s an important thing.
The second thing you just mentioned, intergenerational. And I was going to say when you were talking earlier, I was thinking when you were talking earlier, that the tensions or the conflict is also a conflict of generations. And if the people who are taking over that power are closer to you in age and experience, the transitions are a little bit easier. If they’re much younger than me, I mean in my organization there’s a 40-year gap between those who might take over and me.
And that 40-year gap in feminism means so much has radically changed, including ways of working, ways of thinking, ways of interacting. And therefore the struggle is for me to understand where they’re coming from, not to feel hurt by it. But to look at how they are committed at this age to a future. And I think that it’s really hard. I don’t want to undermine, say it’s easy. It’s really hard but you have to unlearn so much of what you have learned.
And the last thing that I want to say and I know this is not a politically correct thing to say, and I would not say it in a forum where I had lots of young people around me because they’d hit me on the head with it. But all of you who are sort of founders of organizations is that very often people are not ready for leadership, they’re frightened of it. And so you might end up going two-thirds of the way where endless discussions have taken place about letting go of power on one hand and about taking power or accepting it and dealing with it on the other.
But in the end, you find that this is not a responsibility I want to take all my life. And you opt out. And so how does one work with younger people to take away that fear of power?
Ellen: Yeah. And I think Urvashi, what you’re doing, you’re actually taking us to the other side, so to the sort of welcoming the future, well, how to do that well as an organization. Because it requires letting go of some things because I think it’s interesting how most of our focus so far has gone on the left side, honoring the past. But if we jump to the other side what I hear you say is also letting go, trust, but maybe also providing some kind of support but not in a stifling way.
And I think Tarcila, you also mentioned this, when young people come in the next generation, how to create some space for them to build and continue but also have freedom and space to shake things up. And that’s relative to the mission and its intergenerational dynamic. So maybe we can hear a little bit more because the new perspectives and innovations we could say is the upside of welcoming the future as well as staying relevant. Connecting with what is in the moment.
And I’m noticing now, I’m in my late 50s, how I see the world is so much based on experience, it’s so much based on the past. I sometimes wonder, what do I really see? And how do I need to cultivate sort of finding the culture point of now? Who do I need to surround myself with? What do I need to read, or watch, or have conversations about? So if we jump to welcoming the future, what would be the upside and some of the maybe downsides of that?
And I think a downside, I’ve also heard is a sort of recklessness. Maybe recklessness could potentially be it’s like, okay, storming in, new generation, forget the past, fixating maybe on the problems, on the things that have gone wrong in the past. And say, “[inaudible], we’re starting over.” So that could actually hurt and that could create a lot of conflict because then you start fighting about is the past better or the future? And you’ve turned a polarity into a problem to solve.
So how to stay with the creative tension in a creative and generative way, what comes up for you when you think about welcoming the future? And maybe some of us can speak from experience here too.
Ellen: I’m also looking at what Alejandra is saying, we tend to kind of then create a single story also about generations, so we should be careful. So I think the point is, and also building on what you said, Mallika, it’s like once – so as a leader in an organization. And you feel there’s a lot of energy going through a certain theme. I remember when I was in one of my earlier jobs, we were always fighting about decentralization versus centralization, where decisions needed to be made.
And I was happily on the decentralization camp. And we dug ourselves in and we came with a 100 arguments and so did the others. And I think for years we spent so much time arguing. And it was in the hallways and people were just like – but if we’d said, “Wait a minute, isn’t it about the upside?” How to actually get the benefit of decentralization while also having the benefit of centralization. And where is the ideal balance, we could have come together.
And so this is an exercise that you can do in your organization if you find, whoa, where is the energy going. See if it is actually a polarity. You could even create. If we’re physically together, I’ve seen a situation where we would draw on the floor literally the infinity sign with the pluses and the minuses. And we would create it together, the two camps, the two poles would come together and see, wait a minute, it’s a balancing act. And that can release and free so much energy if you get to that space.
So that’s sort of where the offer of this time together is, go to your organization, see what is in fact a polarity. And together with all the players start building it and see where the energy frees and where the emergence of wisdom then comes through. So I’ll say a few more things and then we can open it up for a discussion again. So I’ll move a couple of things.
So how to maximize the upside while minimizing the downside. So the benefit of smart precaution as well as reflection and rest, how to feel and acknowledge our roots and strength while also embracing new perspectives and innovation. And then the theme of what kind of support do we need to give each other? What do we need to put in place so that we can do this as well if it is about leadership transition for example? Because if you keep prioritizing poles, the energy goes not to finding the creative generative space, but kind of separating and creating a dichotomy.
So what polarities work in your group? So a couple of ones that we sometimes see is very interesting is content versus process, past, future, theory, practice. What is firm? What could be flexible? Where are we the same? And where are we different? Unity versus fragmentation or difference. Knowing or not knowing, fast, slow, [30:19], playful, serious. So you can come up with your own.
And of course polarity practice becomes increasingly important as a system or issue increases in complexity, increases in speed of change or resistance to change. So it’s sort of like, wow, if we can put on the lens of whoa, am I looking for a polarity here? What can I see? And start drawing it yourself or maybe with your colleagues, it could totally, in my experience from where I’ve facilitated this or where I’ve done this in my own organizations, it completely frees up creativity and more ease in the organization.
So the practical steps and I’ll leave you with that is zoom out and reflect, problem to solve, ongoing tension to manage. And ask others to think with you. If it’s a tension what are the two poles? And very important is that both poles need to be positive. So you can’t have a good and a bad pole. That’s how you create the polarity, so it’s about the upsides of each and the downside of each that you’re going to be drawing it. You can move around. You can even do it in a virtual room with post-its on a whiteboard and create it together. And what wisdom emerges?
You’ll hear different voices because if we’re no longer interested in this is so high stakes in my opinion and my position. And we can look at the whole together and flow with it. That’s where the infinity sign is so powerful. We can explore it together without feeling that we need to take one position, that can be really powerful. So yeah, don’t do the pole preference. So that’s a big sort of red flag. And the second one, don’t try to do a compromise. Really go to all corners of it and keep exploring.
And then of course in the final stage when you facilitate this as a group it’s important to then say, “Okay, what are we learning from this? What are some steps? What are some actions that we need to put in place?
Shannon: Yeah. So this is really helpful to me. I am in a new role with a new organization that has recently merged. They worked in the same field and just building up community and they have a political presence. But they, and the leadership that they have, someone said, I think is Sonia that it was kind of like stepparents and organizations are siding with one parent or the other.
So the situation that I am in as director of talent and equity and not knowing anything about either of the two that merged together to became a statewide organization is now trying to work with these individuals to get them to adapt to or help create the culture of the organization that it is now. So I am three weeks into this position and I feel like I have turned into a counselor.
And it’s like how do I get these people to remember where they came from in a good sense but be able to help create a culture of the new organization that has a new name to get them to work together? What I’m seeing is that people are needing, they’re very sensitive, this is how it used to be. And I am tasked with helping create a culture of who we are now. And I really need help with that because it’s like, wow, there is a lot of tension. They want it to be a statewide organization and the only way to do it is to bring these two powerhouse non-profit organizations together to be able to do that.
And so I just – this is helping me, I’ve taken great notes to kind of create a thought process on how to do it. But if you can talk to me about that and share some strategies, it would really be helpful.
Ellen: Well, Shannon, just listening to you, I can feel, well, there’s two powerhouses, two incredibly successful organizations coming together, merging. You can feel the impact, the meaningfulness, the potential of it, the energy of it too. Because it’s like two streams, two rivers coming together. And so the focus is on new, the culture now and the difference we’re going to be making in the world now. But the part of the heart is also in, whoa, fear of loss, what are we going to lose that we brought into this river, that is unique.
And so definitely the polarity we’re playing with is – well, alive is an understatement. It’s kind of exploding in fireworks, let’s say fireworks.
Shannon: Fireworks is a great way to say it.
Ellen: Fireworks, yeah. And so what ideas are you taking away in terms of what you said, a pathway or a process that you could? And then for everybody to maybe jump in and we can do a little share some ideas and wisdom with Shannon. But what are you seeing now that you go, “Yeah, that’s what I’m going to try?”
Shannon: So where I am now is trying to develop a training plan to help build trust and relationship. So I think those are very important. And then another thing that I’ve realized, I have been what you may say been on a listening tour. So I’ve met with the top executives, and the laymen, and everyone. And what I’m also finding is because of this merger they have added another layer of leadership. And where you’ve had people who would answer directly to the executive director, they are now answering to someone else.
And so they are seeing it as a demotion. And it’s not a demotion, you’re now a statewide organization. So these people are in place to help streamline communication. So I’ve really been working on trying to develop a training on building trust, also getting people to realize that, hey, you still bring quality to the table. Now you just have additional people that you can work with. So getting people to believe in a process that they’d asked for and not be so quick to draw back because now you have to build a new relationship with someone.
And I’ve detected some reluctancy in them having to do that. It’s, “No, we used to do it like that.” So I’ve heard that a lot. We used to do it like that. And so it’s getting people to say, “Now we’re going to explore a new way that we all can do it because you have these two organizations.”
Ellen: So I think if you draw these polarities here then you can almost collapse the two. So honoring the past is for the organization one and organization two. But embracing the future is where the polarities, where the infinity sign actually comes together.
So for each to do an exercise of what is great about our past organization one that we want to take forward, and what do we need to let go of that wasn’t working? And the other organization to do the same. And then the promise of the future, if we bring the best of both together in a sort of reset, like the inspiration that could spark from that, to make that map together. Because I can only let go of what I hold dear from organization B or whatever, if I trust that it’s going to find a place and if I can actually communicate that.
So I could see that exercise could be really powerful because people can just share and put everything on the table, including what they want to let go of and the reason why this merger took place.
Francoise: We were asking what’s simple work. And so I’m with Africa Women’s Development Fund, I’ve been here for about a year. And I think one of the things that I didn’t do on purpose but I’m so glad I did because it keeps working for me. Is that thinking about the changes in the future, I was asking, what is the foundation of people that our cofounders had when they created the organization. And any change that we want to include, that we want to do is about how do we transform ourselves after 21 years and everything has changed.
The world has changed, the way that [inaudible] we have changed, what are the changes that we need to make so that we keep honoring that initial vision into this world. So that’s working in terms of framing the change. What I find a little bit challenging I would say is that sometimes the conflict is not in the big – and sometimes it’s in the big decisions. And sometimes it’s in the daily interactions and in the little things. So I think that sometimes you need to anticipate that and sometimes not always possible.
And also you was saying something about bringing more people. And I’m finding that not everybody wants to be responsible for being part of the decisions that are going to hurt. So I think it becomes a lot more solitary than what it’s supposed to be. And that’s why I also find it – I think in principle it makes sense to bring people in, but it’s not always something that people want to do because then we have to be responsible, even if you were just consulted. So those are some of the things that I thought about when listening to all of you.
Ellen: And I’m also hearing, Francoise, that the transition that you’re part of at AWDF is that a lot of it’s working really well and the wisdom in that. Because I could see this being a follow-up conversation, Mallika where people can really share the pieces of what’s working. And I love this thing, that everybody wants to be part of it or wants to take the responsibility for it. And so clarifying that too I think would actually free up a lot of energy. I would love to hear more about that, Francoise, how that then is working well, yeah.
Francoise: I’ll let you know. But in terms of the responses, the sharing of responsibilities, what I think is – because any new thing, everybody wants to [inaudible] in practical ways. And they’re like, “I don’t know about this.” So I think the sharing of the responsibility of change.
Ellen: Yeah, the sharing of the responsibility of change, yeah. And creating moments that mark that. It’s like okay, this is the change we’ve come to, are we committed to taking this forward? It’s almost like ritual around it or marking the different steps so that there’s a before and an after, this is what I’m also hearing you say, yeah, AWDF, it’s a wonderful organization I know well. Thank you. Megha, how about you?
Megha: Yeah, thank you. And I’m Megha Desal from SEWA, Self-Employed Women’s Association. So if I share my experience, what we have done SEWA is working in India but we also work in some countries where we start working with the grassroot women and then at the end of the project, since we are working in other countries and we are not registered we start work as a project. And we form the organization and then we are running, and then we have to hand over to the local, the communities.
And I’d say, well, also, we also bring in the new generation because our organization, we are a member-based organization, women’s organization, we’re all members, and also third or fourth generation are coming in. And so we also have a management who is having a second generation also. So transition, I mean there are differences in terms of the skill, in terms of the knowledge, in terms of the access. And how we can cocreate, how we can know the skills of the older generation and the knowledge and skills of the new generation.
The old generation have an experience, they have a relationship built with the wider network as organization, while the new generation comes in, they come with some certain skills of technology, or to actual how we can cocreate. And cocreation, it’s not easy. So for that what we do is – we believe in the principles but how based on the principles, if we bring in the new people who believes in the principles, for example, Gandhian principles also. So based on that, when we are working on revamping or making decisions, it’s a partnership and it’s in a participatory way.
So it’s not that the management who is leaving the leaders, who is leaving is saying it, but it’s our cocreation. The new generation is also seeing it and they also take the ownership.
Ellen: What I love, Megha, what you’re saying about this, the core principles, that there is absolute clarity about first principles of SEWA and that the manifestation of that can change in the world, the Gandhian principles like any. But that the principles are clear. So also people, new people coming in realize and connect with that very much. So it’s almost like that you have foundational pieces but it’s not in a rigid way. But it is in a way of being in the world. We can say values or whatever, that are continuous, that you will take forward through the generations.
And I can just feel the stability that comes from that. But also the cocreation that that makes possible, what is the manifestation in this moment. And that’s where we need each other. So that’s beautiful, Megha.
Megha: And it brings ownership among.
Ellen: Absolutely, yeah. So you, in your intervention just now, built a polarity in the most beautiful way. So I just want to say, you went to the upsides and downsides and I can just feel the infinity sign in your conversation, it’s so beautiful.
Mallika, I’m going back to you, we’re coming to the end of the session.
Mallika: Yes, we are, Ellen, and what a session, and what an incredible conversation.
Thanks for listening to the Leadership Moves podcast, which is made possible by the BUILD program of the Ford Foundation. If you want more information or the resources from today’s show, visit mallikadutt.com. M-A-L-L-I-K-A D-U-T-T .com. Until next time.
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Leadership Moves is supported by the BUILD program of the Ford Foundation
Podcast music composed by Devadas, (c) Mallika Dutt, LLC 2022
Production team: Mallika Dutt, Kiani Ned, Loubna Bouajaj, and Digital Freedom Productions