With Maria Shriver – Architect of Change



This week I am launching a new vehicle that will support and extend Reading for Leading.  It’s a video blog or v-log I will be publishing on a periodic basis at the site of my friend, MariaShriver.  These v-logs will alternate between topics — from  leading at the kitchen table to leading in the work space.  Maria and I sat down in her office in L.A. to explore this new collaboration and talked about why we’re passionate and what we’re excited about when it comes to leadership.

Maria drew out what I consider to be the core issues of leadership, and also asked me about the challenge for women and leadership.  You can see that video below.   It’s about four minutes long.

In addition, I got Maria to talk about what she calls “architects of change,” and you can see and hear her thoughts here and on my website.  And if video doesn’t work for you, drop below the video window to continue.

On my survey that hundreds of you were good enough to fill out a couple weeks ago, quite a few people asked me not to abandon the written word, many explaining that watching video just doesn’t work at work.  So, I am committed to keeping a written column coming your way, even as I expand into video.  Thus, for those who can’t watch the video, here’s a little of Maria’s point of view.

“I began talking about ‘architects of change’ when I was First Lady of California.  I define an architect of change as someone who sees a problem and doesn’t wait for someone else to come along with the solution.  That can be at home; you can be an architect of change by changing the topic of conversation at the dinner table or by instituting a new one… by being the best caretaker for a parent who’s ailing. You can be an architect of change by raising kids that are well balanced, are happy, and that are aware of the world around them.  You can be an architect of change by running for office, [or] by changing the school lunch menu…”

That’s of course what I call “everyday leadership!”  It’s the belief that authority/position is not the same thing as leadership.  Leadership is instead a  decision, a choice, a standpoint you will take.  It’s not a once-for-all-time.  It’s a practice I can choose every Monday morning, or any other time I want to be meaningful and make a difference.  Maria continued talking about architects of change:

“There is an architect of change in each and every  person…

“[They] Really believe that their lives are their message.”

I love that phrase, “your life is your message.”  Each of us matters.  Or, as Gandhi has been paraphrased, when he connected global issues to our own individual ability to change, “be the change you hope to see in the world.”*

Change the world as you

Lead with your best self!


* It’s a good lesson that the viral net can spread half-truths as fast and wide as the truth.  According to the Gandhi Serve Foundation, there is no record that the great Indian leader ever spoke this, arguably his most famous “quote.”  For those who are interested this is what I found:

About 5 years ago I saw this “quote” on Arun Gandhi’s website, prominently placed, for the first time. As I hadn’t come across this quote before I refered to some authentic quote compilations of Gandhi as well as the CWMG but in vain. When I asked Arun about it (by email) his then Office Assistant Betty Jennings replied on 15 April 2004:

“The quote you are seeking is paraphrased from a longer paragraph. We have never been able to find that wording, although we use it also, in M.K.Gandhi’s works of 98 VOLs. This is the paragraph and the source:

We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.

VOL 13, Ch 153, General Knowledge About Health; Page 241, Printed in the Indian Opinion on 9/8/1913 From The Collected Works of M.K.Gandhi; published by The Publications Division, New Delhi, India.”

From the GandhiServeFoundation accessed by DGM on 4/22/12 at http://www.gandhitopia.org/forum/topics/a-gandhi-quote