I recently had a founder say to me that this is a really hard time to be a leader. It's a funny statement if you think about what it really means. Is it not in the times of greatest change that we have the privilege to know exactly what is meant by leadership? Or have we been bamboozled to think that leadership means pushing through with our personality instead collaborating around a point of view, and seeing perseverance as a destructive opportunity to grind instead of a regenerative opportunity to re-imagine?

It seems every week I sit down to write a newsletter, another tragedy rears its head and has to be incorporated as a current reality. And it was the Supreme Court's recent decision on Roe that I found particularly baffling due to its connection with Christianity and particularly, Catholicism. What's interesting about the grip that Catholicism has on these Justices is that our present-day practice, where men rule and control is the name of the game, isn't even likely the origins of Christianity. Instead, it was likely led by women and one in particular, Mary Magdelene, who was known as the apostle of the apostles. It potentially centered around psychedelic rituals much like the pagans, and it honored women so deeply that only they were trusted with its most sacred of rituals and rights of passage. But we all know that the story changed. Texts were buried, laws enacted and soon, Catholicism was a political force wiping women from relevance. The truth, it seems was no match for someone's imagination


If we could imagine ourselves into such oppression, can we not re-imagine ourselves into liberation? I'm not the only one considering this. Since I started getting my Master's Certificate in Religion, I have often been asked, why? And the answer has much to do with having a better understanding of both history as well as the origin of meaning-making. And I got excited when a reader recently tipped me off to the fact that Phillip Picardi, former Chief Content Officer of Teen Vogue, was also at Harvard, graduating with a Master's in Divinity. (His substack is two thumbs up.) Phillip recently visited everyone's favorite podcaster, Gwynny, to talk about his own journey holding his own duality between his identity and his faith. His energy is infectious and his words are wise. What I appreciate most about his point of view is his willingness to explore and re-imagine.

It reminded me of an interview that was simultaneously taking place over at onbeing with adrienne maree brown, author of emergent strategy.  adrienne's work is deeply influenced by Octavia Butler and "has found in speculative fiction the transformative force of vision and imagination that might save us." About 15min into the unedited interview, adrienne shares, "We're living inside of imaginations that other people told us were true and that is how the world is."  And she shared a quote from Terry Marshall, "we're in an imagination battle."  She further explains we live in an abundant world, but are given plenty of stories about scarcity and because of that scarcity, we have to fight each other constantly.

Which connected me to a class I recently took with Professor and Public Intellectual, Loretta Ross. Loretta has famously cleared a path in the direction of what she calls "calling-in" when so many are going down the path of calling out. Here course, Calling-In: Creating Change without Cancelation visited the archetypes of social-justice personalities. There's Debbie Downer and Unhappy Ulysses, Serious Shoshana and Critiqueful Cynthia, Deferential Devon and Neutral Nestor, and finally Joyful Jose and Balanced Bev. (If you know the work of Loretta Ross, you know she brings joy and laughter to just about every topic.) I would say these social-justice personalities can also be applied to leadership in general. They are a spectrum we can all experience. And Loretta reminds us to reflect on ourselves and where we are within each of them. And when we get to being a Joyful Jose and Balanced Bev, we are "able to live into our values in a way that doesn't involve harsh judgment of ourselves or others for shortcomings." 


When the conversation with adrienne took on heavy topics, she prefaced it by saying "what a time to be alive" and I couldn't agree with her more. Often when I start with a new client who is in the growth stage I have to warn them, it often gets worse before it gets better. When we start re-imagining, we are forced to face all of the things that we were unconsciously avoiding. This brings us back to that feedback from a client, that it's a hard time to be a leader right now. What leadership personality is informing that statement? How does that statement change when we step into a different leadership personality? And how willing are we to re-imagine ourselves differently as leaders so that collectively, we can win that battle of imaginations? 


I’m so excited to share with you the official podcast of Ask Holly How, Cultures within Capitalism. This podcast serves to highlight the Clients & Students of the Ask Holly How community with a focus on company culture. You can listen to the trailer to learn more about it (and the origin of our theme song😸) and this interview I did with Matt Little to learn more about my history and the wild journey that lead to the beginning of Ask Holly How

And for our first official interview, I’m super excited and honored to share this episode with Alex Daly, founder of Daly. When it comes to communication, nobody does it better than Alex and Daly. Daly is a communications agency that digs deep to tell untold stories for people and companies who truly believe and invest in what they're doing. Alex is inspiring and thoughtful and her words of wisdom are generous. We talk about all things company culture, building a company, pivoting a company, vulnerability, and leadership. I always learn something from listening to Alex. Join us! 


As we look towards the next 10 years, we’d love your feedback so we can continue to meet and exceed your expectations and guide you through these rapidly changing times. This survey takes about 10-15min to complete. We are grateful for your time looking forward to hearing from you.


This summer, we'll do one book club in late July. We'll read Jonah Sach's most recent book, Unsafe Thinking. This is a free event and will be hosted on Tuesday, July 19th at 7PMEST via Zoom. Please email me to register. 

This email may contain affiliate links via such as our page. If you purchase through these, AHH may receive a small commission.


You are receiving this email because we thought you would be interested in Ask Holly How.
You can or
unsubscribe or update your subscription preferences.

Add Holly to your
Ask Holly How

Add us to your address book" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #e88e46;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">address book

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Ask Holly How · 8801 Shore Road · Brooklyn, NY - New York 11209 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp