Leadership At UUMAN – No Experience Necessary

“In every new, energetic and growing movement we’ve participated in, the most enthusiastic and creative people have been the ones with no experience (Becky Bond & Zack Exley, Rules for Revolutionaries, p179).”

Most people don’t think of themselves as leaders. They feel that leadership is something that only certain people possess; that it is some esoteric quality that one is either born with…or not. Also, people often hold a very limited, pre-conceived conception of leadership; and the characteristics associated with it. People believe that leaders are bold, courageous, extroverted visionaries blessed with eloquence, etc., etc., etc.

I personally believe that leadership is highly nuanced and situational. Different leadership styles are needed in different situations and circumstances; and although good leaders possess certain skillsets, the skillsets themselves can also vary between situation and circumstance.

History bears this out again and again. Moses led his people out of slavery in Egypt yet he needed Aaron to speak to Pharaoh on his behalf as he was not confident in his speaking abilities. Moses then led his people through the desert for forty years to the promised land yet it was Joshua, not Moses, who led the people into the promised land. Universal health care wasn’t Nancy Pelosi’s idea, that vision was first proposed by others, yet she (not the visionaries) was the person with the legislative wherewithal and resolve to push it across the finish line and make it the law of the land. Different situations and circumstances almost always require different leadership styles and skillsets.

…and skillsets are learned and developed.

Last year UUMAN completed its Mission and Vision process:


Nurture our spirit. Strive for Justice. Transform the world.


UUMAN’s vision is to be a vital and visible community for all, bravely working toward the day when social, economic, and environment justice is a reality.

Our mission and vision are intentionally broad. A lot can fit under this umbrella. What excites me the most is that there is room for you under this umbrella – you AND your ideas AND your passion.

To me, passion pulls leadership along with it. Passion motivates one to acquire the skillsets (and partners) necessary to make that passion a reality.

Howard Thurman says, “Do not ask what the world needs. Do what makes you come alive. The world needs people who come alive.”

Yes!!!  …and UUMAN needs people who come alive!

As minister, I see a big part of my role as a cheerleader of sorts. I want to water the seeds of your passion at UUMAN, whatever shape that takes, so that your passion can come alive as a ministry under the broad umbrella of our mission and vision.

We need you to supply your passion. UUMAN (and the UUA) can help with the technical side of the leadership equation. We can help you develop your skillsets with leadership training and opportunities.

UUMAN currently has nine members taking the UUA Southern Region’s Extended Leadership Experience.  UUMAN’s Leadership Retreat will be held on Oct 17.  We will be offering Leadership courses as part of our 2nd hour programming on Sunday’s at 11:15. These are for you!

To transform your passion into ministry at UUMAN, no experience is necessary. You don’t need permission…but you might need some help. Let us help you!

Nurture our spirit. Strive for Justice. Transform the world.