Archive for November, 2010

November 30th, 2010

November Chapter Digest

The Stand Chapter Digest is dedicated to connecting Stand members across the country by sharing news, events and advocacy ideas.

This month’s issue features an overview of our policy recommendations, a feature on the Falling Whistles campaign and more! Plus, a very special shoutout to two of our chapters!

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November 28th, 2010

Chapter Benefits: Not Quite Discounts, But Gained Skills

by Lindsay Broadfield

As I work with my high school chapters on a day to day basis, we generally focus on the normal things – planning events, booking speakers, fundraising, etc. While this all sounds part and parcel with what we do here at Stand on the chapter level, I occasionally like to highlight to the chapter reps what they are actually learning. Life skills. Yeah, life skills. These are the things that are written on resumes, mentioned in interviews, and listed on application forms. They seem annoying at the time when you are writing them all down to sell yourself off for a job, but they are required. Eventually, there is an appreciation for them.

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November 25th, 2010

Standing Tall

Earlier this week, Laurie Drake, Stand’s University Chapter Director, wrote a very profound piece on the difference between “leadership” and “management,” and related it to why Stand has continued to exist for as long as it has. Laurie pointed out that Stand exists because it is a leader in its own field which seeks to define the future for itself, proactively thinking ahead how to combat genocide instead of being bogged down by the organizational difficulties of managing an extensive network of individuals. Although Stand defies the organizational and structural norms of most NGOs, the organization moves ahead and continues to be successful.

Reading this entry, I realized that many people are surprised by our continued success, and do not know what kind of accomplishments we have had over the years.  Thus, in this entry, I would like to highlight some of the impact we have had as an organization and in closing, I will attempt to provide an analysis of why we continue to be successful.

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November 22nd, 2010

Taking the Lead

by Laurie Drake

Two weeks ago, I attended a lecture given by Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire during which he discussed the importance of leading the future instead of managing it.  As I was sitting in the auditorium, the difference between these two words, which I previously tended to conflate, became more clear.  As Dallaire eloquently explained, management involves dealing with the problems in front of you, while leadership implies proactive thinking; choosing your future instead of coping with it.  As these words and ideas festered in my brain I began to think about how easy it is to confuse these two ideas and how leadership, if mistakenly taken to mean management, establishes unnecessary boundaries around the possible.

The term ‘manager’ appears so often that I wonder sometimes if we even consider what it means and what it connotes.  A quick look into the definition of the word reveals that it refers to a title or position within an organizational structure.  Organizational structures, by and large, have limits. They are models intended to mitigate risk and improve efficiency, but all within clear delineated borders. Leadership, on the other hand, is limitless – there are no ceilings or parameters to leadership.  Instead, the term suggests something bigger than a system.  In essence, people manage problems, but individuals lead change.

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November 17th, 2010

Advocating Activism

About six months ago, I asked a close friend to look-over my résumé when preparing to look for summer work. When commenting about my work in activism, she gave me some advice.

“Maybe tone down the emphasis on political volunteer stuff,” she said when emailing my résumé back to me. “When people think politics and young people, idiotic radicals often come to mind. You, of course, intend to look like a well-groomed, clean, young, conservative professional. No wacky hippie political bullshit.”

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