|Copyright 2007, Meyer Leadership Group
All rights reserved.
|Go back to Case Studies Home Page
Lita had come a long way before she got up to speak and provide the input
that transformed a rapidly disintegrating international gathering into
an opportunity for some authentic communication and action. She had
grown up comparatively poor in the Philippines, married into wealth and
become a social activist because of her lifelong concern for the welfare of her
countrymen and women. Due to a growing disillusionment with what was
happening in her country, she traveled abroad to see if she could find a better
way. She was again disappointed because she recognized that the behavior
of leaders in sometimes vastly different political systems was often similar;
simply changing the system would not necessarily improve the plight of her
people. Later, back in her own country, she participated in a group process
workshop and felt she had finally found a forum for creating genuine change.
She became a group leader and began to help organize workshops and
trainings in the Philippines.
She met Dr. Meyer at a workshop and invited him to bring his work to the
Philippines. This began a long-term relationship in which he traveled to the
Philippines several times over 13 years to lead a series of highly successful
trainings. The ripple effect was considerable as participants in these
programs went on to hold leadership positions in government, higher
education, religion, health care, community activism, psychology, consulting
and organization development. One founded the Philippine Institute for
Alternative Futures. Lita was instrumental in starting a facilitators group,
remained committed to improving the welfare of the Filipinos and became
involved with Dr. Meyer’s International Human Development Project (IHDP).
In fact, she exemplified a large part of what the IHDP was about: serving as
a catalyst for the emergence of natural leaders and supporting people who
have much to contribute.
Because of her work in the Philippines and her involvement with the IHDP,
she was invited to participate in an international conference held in the United
States which brought together "doers in the world" in hopes of making
a difference. Unfortunately, the conference wasn't happening as planned.
Instead of the "open space" format operating as intended, it had largely
become a setting where individuals and groups were promoting their own
projects or attempting to impose their orientations and methods upon the rest.
Many of the most well known and competent individuals were dropping out of
the large community meetings where they were most needed.
Now this petite woman overcame her reticence, walked to the
microphone and began to speak in a way that had not yet been heard.
She spoke from her heart about the world of the common Filipino who, like so
many other purported beneficiaries of international development efforts, is
rarely touched by them. Her presence and words deeply touched those who
remained at the meeting and helped mobilize them to create a much more
meaningful and productive conference.
|Leadership Program Case Study