Having churned through many, many strap lines and personal branding statements over the past few years, I feel I’ve finally found one I like. One I can live by, and attempt to live up to:
“I love to play with organisations.”
I accept it’s a statement open to interpretations other than the one I have in my head. And maybe that ambiguity is a positive, in any case.
It’s The People
To clarify, I love to be involved with communities of people, contributing to what’s alive in those communities and in the people that make them up. I find joy in making and sharing relationships. And in attending to the needs of others. And some joy when that’s reciprocated, too.
I choose to call the nature of my involvements “play”. I accept the risk that some might choose to regard this as frivolous. I’d very much like to rehabilitate the idea of play as something positive, weighty and valuable.
“Accept the fact that we have to treat almost anybody as a volunteer.”
~ Peter Drucker
And what are volunteers but folks who want to play at what they’ve volunteered for?
In practice, playing with organisations, for me, means getting involved with people as they work – or better, play – each day. Listening to how they feel and what they guess they and their communities might need.
Playing together with them to see and explore together how their individual needs dovetail into the needs of the communities in which they live, work, and play. And asking the odd (sic) question here and there to invite folks to consider if their current assumptions and modes of working/playing/living best suit their needs, or if there may be other ways, more effective ways, to do that.
I’d go so far as to declare my support for Marshall Rosenberg’s suggestion:
“Don’t do anything that isn’t play.”
~ Marshall Rosenberg