This is a guest blog from Leah Davcheva of Aha Moments in Sofia, Bulgaria. Leah is an experienced user and teacher of host leadership in many settings, and has designed a new collection of posters to support her work. These posters are now available for free download through the Host Leadership website.
The Host Leader metaphor underpins the host leading practices which can be thought of as involving two steps, four positions and six roles. For those willing to explore the metaphor and generate engagement in their own settings, a conversation about the metaphor can be usefully complemented by the images that capture their meaning. At the same time, they open space for learners and users of the model to create their own meanings and ideas.
For several years now, as coach and facilitator, I was using the images that Mark and Helen, authors of Host, have created (McKergow & Bailey, 2014). Their figurines did an excellent job supporting learners of Host Leadership in their understanding of the elegance and simplicity of the metaphor and at the same time bringing forth smiles of appreciation on their faces.
By and by, I realised I wanted to have images emerging from my own developing ideas and practices, as well as from the insights of the people I have worked with. The moment came to respond to this “call to action” (Initiator). What I did was invite an artist (Inviter), who I knew to be very good at collaborating with people. Her name is Radostina Nejkova.
Our joint journey towards the creation of the new images took the shape of a dance. As our respective areas of expertise were called upon, we alternated between performing as host and guest. The transitions seemed to flow spontaneously. I welcomed Radostina as a guest to the field of Host Leadership while she guided me elegantly round and about her artistic home.
With the wisdom of hindsight, I can see us both performing as Gatekeepers welcoming each other to our respective understandings. It did not take long for us to discover each other’s resources and connect on the images piece of common ground (Connector) which we expanded as our work gained speed. Step by step we were getting closer to both our shared and separate horizons.
The outcomes of this co-participative journey are several:
- New images for the two steps, four positions and six roles
- Radostina’s satisfaction with her artistic work and my joy of the new images
- A new friendship emerging between two professional women who have performed as both Host Leaders and Guests in their shared two-week project.
You can download our posters at: http://hostleadership.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Leah_Posters_colour.pdf