Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Community Engagement XV. The Enactment of Generativity Two: Mentoring Individuals and Organizations

XV. The Enactment of Generativity Two: Mentoring Individuals and Organizations

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Another Sage leader was faced with an even greater challenge–the continuing existence of his organization. How does one serve as mentor and observant monitor while facing a stressful crisis that is likely to precipitate the kind of Ready, Fire, Aim decision making described above?

Two years ago, when I would wake up some mornings, I was not sure we were going to keep our doors open. We were short on providers and our bills had mounted due to some mismanagement by one employee. So, we had to make some changes in personnel. We really bit the bullet and tightened our finances. We had to hope for about six months that our one medical provider could survive the increased patient caseload until we were able to successfully recruit, hire and train new people. We weathered those problems and made a successful turnaround, which has been very satisfying.

It seems that successful monitoring requires a balanced ego when helping to engage and resolve a conflict-filled issue. The Generativity Two monitor is doing hard work that often is not acknowledged or even appreciated by many people in an organization or community. Unlike the mediator who is often recognized for the role she is playing, the monitor is likely to be less visible–and usually doesn’t get a plaque in the city park.


Like the activist/monitor, the mobilizer is involved in providing active generativity in a collaborative, mentoring manner. This exemplifies yet again the delicate balancing act in which effective Generativity Two leaders must engage:

I think my strength is as a mobilizer. In all of the day-to-day things that I go through, it’s really not me who’s doing anything. It’s more me knowing the people and having the knowledge to mobilize them in the direction we want to go. It’s asking. “Why can’t we do that?” or “How can we make that happen?” “Who do we need at the table?” The most important function is getting the train going down the tracks.

At the heart of the matter, mobilizers who are generative in their role are finding and activating the energy of people with whom they work; in this way they are acting like the mechanical “generators” we identified in a previous essay. They are translating desire and vision into action.

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