Category Archives: Navigating Polarities

Beautifully Hard Transitions

This post was shared by Kelly Lewis- director of the Executive Certificate in Navigating Polarities in the Institute for Transformational Leadership in light of the worldwide transition we all face as a result of the Coronavirus and Covid-19.

Transitions are beautifully hard. They can be initiated by a situation not of our choosing or inspired by a possibility of our liking. Some are long and drawn out while others are short and swift. Often, they feel chaotic and messy and we try our hardest to make them neat and tidy. For most of us, they are easier to think about than to experience. For all of us, transitions are an invitation to wholeheartedly embrace reality and unequivocally step into possibility.

Early this spring, I was invited into a long, messy, beautifully hard transition by a situation not of my choosing. I am grateful that I said “yes” to this invitation even though it is easier to grasp intellectually than to experience emotionally. Through this article, I would like to invite you into my transition and my learnings to date; I hope it supports and perhaps challenges you (and your clients) to navigate the  transitions you are experiencing.

This particular transition knocked on my door one Tuesday afternoon in late April. I was in the midst of doing work I love—co-facilitating a two-day intensive on Relationships and Leadership with a group of incredibly caring and competent leaders. We had just finished a delightful lunch in the blooming gardens of our nurturing venue when I checked my phone. There was a text from my older sister, Lisa, telling me to call her ASAP.

Read how Kelly Lewis uses life lessons to support both the reality AND possibility of transitions here by the Organization Development Network.

Educating the Whole Person

The Institute for Transformational Leadership (ITL) has always derived great strength from the foundation on which it was built, Georgetown University and its Jesuit Heritage.  Today, the work of ITL is best captured in its mission: to develop and sustain worldwide communities of leaders dedicated to awakening, engaging, and supporting the leadership required to create a more sustainable, harmonious, and compassionate future.   In addition to offering educational programs that develop leaders, this mission speaks to our higher purpose and responsibility to prepare leaders who can address the issues that will lead to greater peace, environmental and economical sustainability, and a future in which human beings relate to one another with a caring approach consistent with Georgetown’s Jesuit values.

Connecting with and Embodying our Values

Each year, ITL chooses one of the Jesuit values as an area of curricular focus.  This year our focus will be the value of “Educating the Whole Person.”   We will explore this value through our programming, our community dialogue and in our classrooms.  By making these explicit connections, we will link our unique Jesuit and transformational missions to the learning experiences and outcomes of our students with a committed focus on the development of the intellectual, artistic, social, physical, and spiritual aspects of each person.

Mind, Body, Emotion, Spirit, Identity

While institutions of higher education are recognized for challenging and developing great minds, the mastery of leadership must address the whole person; mind, body, emotions, spirit, and identity.  Through our Certificate programs, advanced training, and professional workshops, the ITL curriculum guides participants to explore these rich domains and to develop continuous on-going practice and reflection on the life-long journey of leadership.

We look forward to engaging with our faculty, students, staff and community as we embrace our commitment and value of “Educating the Whole Person”.