I was in a bookstore last week searching for a gift for a friend’s birthday when I wandered through the leadership and self help section. I walked past title after title touting leadership advice- all from great leaders who have certainly proven their expertise in the field. Looking at all of the authors and titles, I found myself conceptualizing leadership as a future state of being, as if I should be preparing myself for a time in my life, maybe 10 years down the road, when I would truly be considered a leader.
Then, I remembered the words of Drew Dudley- one of my favorite TED speakers:
“As long as we make leadership something bigger than us, we give ourselves an excuse not to expect it every day from ourselves and each other.”
In 2011 Dudley gave a talk called Everyday Leadership at TEDx Toronto, and his simple point has always stuck with me. We should expect great acts of leadership from ourselves every day. If we continually operate under the assumption that leadership is a future tense description, we can lull ourselves into being less than extraordinary.
Take a few moment (6 minutes to be exact) and watch the whole talk below. How can you practice and acknowledge everyday leadership this week?
For National Poetry Month, we celebrate TEDxPeachtree 2012 speaker Ayoka Chenzira who will receive the Legacy of Leadership Award from Spelman College at the National Women of Color Conference this year. This conference recognizes dynamic women who are visionaries leading in the field of technology.
Chenzira is an educator and international award-winning video artist. She is one of the first African Americans to teach film production in higher education. A pioneer in Black independent cinema, Chenzira is one of the first African-American women to write, produce and direct a 35mm feature film, “Alma’s Rainbow,” one of Billboard Magazine’s top 40 home video rentals. She is also noted as the first African-American woman animator.
Chenzira has worked and lectured extensively on film throughout the United States, South America, and Europe; traversing the African continent collecting oral narratives from women, as well as training and mentoring emerging filmmakers. She is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including a Sony Innovator Award for her early work with converging film, video and computer animation.
In 2002, she was honored with the Trailblazer Award from Atlanta’s Black Women’s Film Preservation Society. Chenzira became the first African-American professor to receive a Distinguished Educator Award from technology giant and innovator Apple for her work with storytelling and digital technology in 2003.
Did you know that National Poetry Month is celebrated each year in April? Inspired by Black History Month and Women’s History Month, it was created to increase awareness and appreciation for the art form. Since 1996, it is the largest event in the world for poets who are on the pulse of modern culture.
The TEDxPeachtree stage has had its fair share of poets over our seven-year history but before we introduce you to them, and if you’re not convinced that poetry is vital to our lives, here’s a persuasive talk given at TED2013 by Stephen Burt on why we need poetry. Being a “word person” Burt was always on the hunt for answers to his “how” and his “why?” He says we need poetry because it helps us to celebrate, to live and to say goodbye when we need to and that it provides an inner strength we would not be able to perceive on our own. Do you agree?
Local poet and executive officer of the Dragon Con science track Rachel Pendergrass wrote a wonderful sonnet to sum up TEDxPeachtree 2013. Watch if you missed that edition or relive it through her words.
In 2011, Daniel Weingarten shares his love for poetry by explaining how his life we all shape our life experiences with the art form. He reminds us that innovation includes us all — writers, artists, speakers. No matter what we touch or where our words go, we are bound to shed light.
Finally, just last year, we welcomed a most unusual poet to our stage. M. Ayodele Heath is an accomplished poet but he also wanted to share in the creative process with others and so he created a vehicle called Electronic Corpse which uses Facebook as a platform to allow people all over the world to contribute to a poem in progress one line at a time. Watch his fascinating illustration of how a poem unfolds.
Poets help us gain perspective and categorize our emotions creatively. It unleashes unconscious connections within our thinking. Poetry is needed in the creative space because oftentimes we need those barriers to come down before anything else can take place.
We have a call for speakers out now for those who can give us the same introspective views for 2015. We are looking for storytellers regardless of forms of expressions: poem, dance, beatboxing, rapping, performance art, etc. who can strengthen the landscape of communicators, creating a “Ripple” effect and contributing to a community of thinkers.
================================== Kelly Raye is an Author, TransMEDIA and PR Professional. In 2008, her book “A Divine Revelation of Hip Hop” was featured in the New Author Showcase at the London Book Fair. She loves to read, write, meet new people and travel.
There are many things that are synonymous with Atlanta. The Majestic diner, Piedmont Park, the Peachtree Road Race, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, the list goes on. Many people would agree that Evereman deserves a spot on that list.
Since taking the stage at TEDxPeachtree 2012, Jay Wiggins’ Evereman glyph has appeared in the most unexpected places around the world. Its image has been projected onto the side of buildings, wooden objects bearing its image perched atop tents at Burning Man and affixed to street signs, lamp posts, etc. Most recently, Evereman was selected to be among the nine TEDx street artists featured by the Google Cultural Institute.
The message behind Evereman is simple – there is power in giving and that co-operation yields better results than competition. Evereman is for all!
Watch his talk below, find your own Evereman treasure by following him on Twitter @evereman, and learn more about the Evereman at his website www.evereman.com.