Hidden Gems – Reviewing the Interviews

I’ve made a list of all the interviews and am going back through all the ones that don’t seem to have enough space in the book so far. What fun! I keep finding bits and pieces that I’ve forgotten about. Phoebe and her husband, for example, renovated eight homes in the course of their many moves. Today’s most exciting discovery was in Lynda’s interview.

I had forgotten about Lynda’s travel experiences:

So as a sort of a seeker of exploration, I’ve traveled on my own or with a friend or two. I’ve driven a car across the Andes. I’ve traveled to China and Paris and Italy and all those places. And I always have found, again, people to be helpful and friendly and willing to come to the assistance of someone who may be asking questions about where are the best places to have a good meal. I have been helped so many times by people I’ve never met before or will never meet again.

And her ability to be involved in so many things and to be involved in complexity:

I need that kind of stimulation, I think, to have several things going on at once. I think I’ve been successful in doing a lot of juggling and managing chaos in my work. At the Foundation for Community Vitality, where I was at for 10 years, I had an opportunity to work with an organization—Plexus Institute. Plexus is a group of scientists.

They study Chaos Theory and Complexity and do a lot of work in healthcare. But anyway, at the Foundation for Community Vitality, I was able to put together what we called a Leaders Learning Network. We had 2 facilitators that came from Plexus, 2 board members. And we invited the executive directors or leaders of the non-profit organizations in Montana and Wyoming and Argentina (that the Foundation supported). And we spent about 2 days just talking about Complexity Theory and leadership skills and things like that. So, I’ve used a lot of that type of thinking in my personal and professional work.

I think maybe I’ll add something, too, Susan, that I think, in some ways in my work as an administrator, I was always thinking in the back of my head, all right. I probably should have gotten an MBA instead of an MFA, Master of Fine Arts. I think several years ago, I was reading something about leadership and the world today—the changing world that we live in. And there’s a comment that the MFA is the MBA of the 21st century. So I feel that an MFA certainly provides the individual with those skills that you need–the ability to take risks, to not see any particular work experience or product as precious, that you’re always re-inventing, re-designing and kind of going through a whole ecosystem of destroying and re-imagining and sharing and things like that. So I think that fundamental work and training that I’ve had as an artist has really helped me in my professional work.

Q. Yeah. I can see a lot in terms also of seeing patterns–that sort of thing–that really comes with creativity, you know? Seeing relationships differently, which an artist would do. And somebody else might not do. That really makes for a marvelous addition to management.

Sometimes I say that it’s “network weaving” and that’s one of the aspects of the work that I have done and am still doing, you know—bringing people together and creating opportunities for collaboration and exploration and opportunities for people to be part of that creative process. So I also used those skills in my legislature experience. And at one point, I had a colleague across the aisle. We were always at odds on our positions on various pieces of legislation. And one day he just looked at me and he said, Senator Moss, we just don’t know where you’ve come from and what kinds of experiences you’re bringing here. It’s very different than what we’ve ever had before. And I was, well, really one of the first artists that was ever elected official. So it was great to bring that perspective to the policy-making process, too.

I’m planning to spend the next few hours continuing this process. I can’t wait to see what surprise will be next!


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