From Glenn Barker MKP Chicago Center Director
This is reproduced from the original article on the ManKind Project Journal.
A Journey into Leadership
I was invited for an interview as Executive Director of ManKind Project Chicago recently on the show “Public Perspective” with Kevin McDermott. The show hits 57 area cities on Comcast Cable and will be broadcast twice in January 2012. My first time on camera, no edits, 30 min, straight to tape, no script, and a great story to tell.
For years, my forte has been personal growth studies and building market niche sales companies. Once I discovered Bly, Moore and Campbell the fire was lit. I developed co-ed workshops on gender and boundaries, I started a series of men’s circles based on four rounds of the archetypes and the Iron John Story … (sound familiar)? My goal was to Develop a progressive series of ‘Mature Masculine’ growth studies for men in circle and market it nationally then internationally.
Meanwhile men would tell me I can see you on Oprah, go out on public speaking tours, this is important work! … Knowing somewhere in me that it was true, I shuddered at the thought!
In searching for national or international organizations to learn from, I came upon The ManKind Project in early 2009. The moment I stepped into that center I said to myself “this is it, this, is what I want!” I came to what I thought was an “Open Circle”. It actually turned out to be a Homecoming Celebration. By the time it was over I said “sign me up!”
I completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in April 2009. I have been deeply invested in the work ever since.
In late summer 2010 the Center Director (CD is like a combination of Executive Director and Board Chair) position at MKP Chicago became available. I applied and became MKP Chicago’s CD mid Oct 2010.
One year later October 2011
We started an MKP Chicago Speakers Bureau. Public speaking has been something I’ve avoided … and it seemed as if it was time to push that edge.
Knowing it was time to step in to my next level of leadership, I attended the LT2 (Leader Training 2) followed by a WIT (Whatever It Takes) program fully intending to address this issue and breakthrough this barrier once and for all. I committed at the LT2 that Public speaking would be a reality for me.
That very evening I go out to see a warrior brother’s band playing at a small Café. The band takes a break and out of nowhere I am invited to speak on MKP. I hesitate, and then it hits … No avoiding this time! This is where rubber meets road. And so I speak … Many warrior brothers are in the audience and I am well received. I step off stage to warm smiles and callouts to stop and talk with warriors and guests.
First stop … Two women asked if I thought MKP could help the men in their lives.
A third woman invited me to sit at her table to ask me more about MKP. She spoke of male friend(s) who seem to “suffer in isolation”….”Why can’t men be more like women?”… Just share their feelings?
She looked at me expectantly … and I answer:
“Men live in tiny boxes … And they often think that’s all there is for them! … All through their lives!
To risk being laughed at? … Appear weak? … Loose face?… No way! … Protect! … Shut down!”
What has been missing for most men is Mature Men in their lives men who model that true Masculine Strength is found in emotional intelligence, providing a safe environment and language to experience their depth of feeling!”
We call it …“Men’s Work”
She shifts gears … searching her wallet, producing a card and a pen, she says:
“I have a Comcast Television show!” … Come and be our guest for a half hour on December 8th at 8pm! (I hesitate.) Yes I would be honored.
And what is to be said of all this? This world hungers for what we do, who we are, what we have!
The time is always now … Speak!
Yours in Service,
Check out Glenn’s appearance below …