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We talk about a kinder, gentler world, but is it happening? It is not just about letting others win. It is also about being gracious and humble in our lives. Leaders need to find new ways to allow others to rise up and be part of the solutions in a complex and messy world.

Passion For Truths

Some people just want to win,
At all costs-
In competitions,
In business, and even
In arguments.

And so …
What value is the reward,
When opponents are humiliated,
Livelihood of rivals ended,
And friendship lost?

Sometimes …
Allowing others to win,
Delivers the greatest prize,
By unlocking the nobility within.

When others have a chance to win,
Rivalry is defused,
And animosity is laid to rest.

In the end,
Harmony prevails.
And what better world to create,
Than a planet filled with peace?

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About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

15 responses »

  1. The world will need some major changes in the education system, Ivon. We’re taught to compete at such a young age. Even the performance management systems in our corporate organizations have competitive elements weaved into them. We should take lessons from some Eastern cultures who have a more collaborative mentality, and who find it uncomfortable to ‘win’ against others. Its a big subject, but an interesting one.

    • You are right Yaz. Interestingly, the leading educational system, Finland, does not let children begin elementary school until they are 7 years old and there is a lack of emphasis of competition.

  2. I agree with the above comment. Competition is written in to us and people just find it absolutely impossible to visualize a world without it. There is that direct relationship with compassion. The greater the competitiveness in us the less compassion there is. Good post. Thank you,

  3. I appreciate your addition to “passion for truths'” post. Personally, I’m not comfortable with intentionally letting others win, only in rare circumstances would I do that. It seems a little deceitful. Losing is a valuable lesson, one that some winners need to be taught a little more often 🙂 I prefer your perspective. “It is also about being gracious and humble in our lives.”

  4. I agree with mjtannian. I think there is something very false about intentionally letting others win. On the other hand, because of the unusual circumstances of my childhood, I have almost never experienced competitions. Just chess. And what I have seen from the side, is tht competition is a sure way of stimulating motivation. It can be a good help in the learning process. Of course, it is important not to elevate competition above all other values. It has to remain a game… something to be taken lightly. Ultimately, every young person eventually learns his place in society, whether on the ball field, or in the classroom, or in any other pursuit. We’re not all going to be stars. That is why there is a lot of importance in learning to identify with the community as a whole. Because each of us contributes something to the whole.

    • Lovely finishing line Shimon; it is reminiscent of the etymology of the word competition. I am not much of a chess player, but I always got the impression many chess players sought to help their ‘opponent’ grow. I might be wrong. My experience as a hockey player (ice hockey) is that I got better when facing opponents who helped make me better.

  5. Great point, Ivon! Just not sure if leaders allow others to rise up…

  6. Ivon sir, Great Comment you have given. Exactly true.


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