What Does it Mean to be A Localist Leader?

The Buell Early Childhood Leaders Network (BECLN) listens to its members. Feedback received indicated that events offered to Alumni are Denver-centric. This led BECLN to offer Regional Buell Leader Jamborees this past spring. Areas visited were: Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Edwards, and Littleton.

The focus of these events was to provide Buell Leaders with an opportunity to re-connect, learn about what it means to be a “Localist Leader” from the work of Deb Frieze, and generate leadership knowledge and practices together.

While each of these events was different, each provided new learning and rejuvenation for participants. Alumni shared their local context, challenges faced in their organizations and communities, and commiserated around our own exhaustion factor. As we all know, the work in early childhood education is never ending. There is the struggle to do what’s best for the children and families in Colorado and the balance to have our own personal lives with our own families.

In her TED Talk, Deborah Frieze talks about systems change and what roles are needed to make change happen in your community or organization. She describes the roles as: Trailblazer, Illuminator, Hospice Worker, and Protector. She goes on to say that: “the change we wish for will happen with small local actions.” We must remember, that we can’t do it alone. The “Hero Leader” is not the answer today. It is working as a collective force around an area of passion.

Alumni had the opportunity to participate in Art Journaling using various materials to represent their reaction to the question: “What does it mean to lead as a localist?” Buell Leaders interpreted and discussed the question and their artwork from the perspective of being an individual leader, as a leader within their organization, and as a leader within their community .

The Jamborees wrapped up by having Buell Leaders give feedback on notecards about the event. Most  appreciated the opportunity to get together, share, learn, and not have to drive to Denver. The Jamborees offered a provocation with the TedTalk and time to reflect and make a connection to their own  community or organization. Buell Leaders left feeling re-energized and encouraged to be agents for change. Participants noted that they would like more opportunities to get together and for the venues to be fun and more casual (like someone’s home).  It was also mentioned that it would be nice to get more alumni involved.

For more information on how to become a Localist Leader, check out:

Or visit the website: http://berkana.org/