I’m doing some slow and challenging work around deconstructing Little Red Tarot and looking at how it can embody feminist, anticapitalist and anti-oppressive principles. It’s taking time, and it’s helpful for me to brain-dump from time to time. This My Business is a Garden tag is where I’m doing that.
It is also deeply important to me to be transparent – I know there are many other business owners and/or community leaders out there who are also feeling their way through this work. It is experimental, challenging and powerful. If you read these pieces, please take them as works in progress rather than conclusions or statements.
This work takes place in community. Not one of these ideas is mine and I do not claim ownership of these ideas when I post them here. I am inspired, guided and/or supported in this work by numerous people and programmes, including but not limited to adrienne maree brown and Emergent Strategy, Jennifer Armbrust, Desiree Adaway‘s Freedom School programme, and Tada Hozumi‘s work on the cultural nervous system. I am also inspired, guided and/or supported by a huge number of folks who are part of or in relationship with our beloved and complex witchy/queer community.
What does a leader do?
Because it’s not about soapboxes. It’s not about having perfect answers. It’s not about holding the mic and speaking for everyone and always, magically knowing the One Right Way.
Leadership is an ongoing practice of humility. Of service.
Defining what healthy, effective leadership looks like is a core part of the visioning work I’m doing right now. As far as I can see (so far), looking at the leaders I admire, feeling into my own decision-making practices, observing how folks show up (or don’t) and how change happens within communities, I see that an effective leader:
Asks for help
Consults with their community
Confronts what is happening
Emphasises and brings focus to community values
Acts in alignment with community values
Safely holds space for different and intersecting truths
Facilitates or provides appropriate, safe containers for discussion
Prioritises the safety of the community
Tells the truth
Makes mistakes – then discusses and learns from them
Is transparent and open
Is socially aware and conscious
Understands when to hold the mic and when to pass it
Understands their own intersecting privileges and power, and the implications of these within the community and in the wider world
Practices authentic allyship*
*’Authentic allyship’ is a term coined by Tada Hozumi to define both their specific professional practice, and also more broadly, an approach to allyship. Briefly, authentic allyship’ involves confronting the complexities of race (and other) privilege and become more aware, conscious and grounded – more authentic – in the ways we show up as allies. I am borrowing this term from Tada (with permission) to mean the broader approach.