Parachute Project History
Leader Coaches Tribes
How did this Project get started?
Back in 2009 we were in Leadership (we’re both Water Dragons) and we came together to do our In-between Project. (Oh, the joys of Date Night – do you remember?). We had a lot of fun with it, decided we wanted to do some more work together, set up a company together, and we still work together 3-4 days a week, five years later. And we remember that not everyone in our tribe was fortunate enough to have had this kind of experience. Since completing Leadership, we’ve both been mentors to others in the program and we’ve continued to notice that some of our mentees, and many of their tribe mates, have also had – how shall we put it?-less than delightful experiences and memories of their In-between projects.
It would be at least cool-ish to do something about this sad state. Something in the form of mentoring or coaching partnerships through their IBP experience with a Stake of “once you’ve experienced co-leading, why would you ever want to lead alone”?
December 2nd, 2013 is as close as we can get to deciding on the first Anniversary of the Parachute Project. That’s the day (in 2013) when we first floated the idea past Henry to get his blessing to work with one single In-between Project Partnership. Blessing was provided (note to self – are blessings provided, given, injected, manifested, or what?). Indeed, we learned that Henry has a personal mission of co-leading with everyone he meets, regardless of whether they are CTI Leadership graduates, or not.
Our first Partnership pair were Jayne and Rae-Ann from the Leopard tribe. At the outset of the Project we focussed on having a Leadership Graduate actually attend the event and provide in-depth, constructive feedback on their co-lead. We called ourselves “Observers”. Thanks to the willingness of these two to be our first guinea pigs, we were encouraged to continue developing the Project with some Elephants. We found that there was additional value in spending time with the partners before their event, talking about their stake, the impact of their I AM types and how to prepare for going out “on stage”. In fact, it became clear that this was where the real value seemed to lie, so we let go of our intention to have someone attend the event itself and switched to providing feedback from their event video. Furthermore, we discovered enormous value in the two of us working with the two of them and modeling our own co-lead, use of stake, interplay of I AM types, and realizing that in some ways, we were actually starting to “co-coach” them.
In August 2014, Henry and Karen asked us to, in effect, stop playing on the edges and come into the deep end of the pool. In other words, make the Parachute Project available to all tribes doing Leadership in Westerbeke, Bend of Ivy, and Sitges. And that we should consider what we were doing with the participants as true Leadership Coaching.
“But of course!” we told them. “When can we start?”
“Now” they said. “We’ll feature the Parachute Project in the Leadership Journal Resources and it will also be accessible from the tribe communication sites. And we trust you will have the resources and infrastructure in place to handle anyone from any tribe.”
But of course!” we replied….
… and ordered fresh underwear.
We recruited two more Europe-based coaches to work with us in the fall of 2014, and we have two more available to augment our service with tribes in California and North Carolina. We’ve worked with 43 IBP Partnerships to date, representing Seagulls, Peacocks, Mockingbirds and Swallows. Cuckoos, Ostriches, Magpies, and more. Our purpose and mission has solidified into an intention to corral and land as much of the Leadership learning from R1 and R2 and the participants can handle, plus more.
Overall, the feedback and gratitude has been amazing (-ly good, that is). Thus far, the impact on Leadership participants has been so positive that we are already exceeding the hopes and expectations that drove us to create the Project. We’re really looking forward to what can be created in 2015 as more people become involved.
Why is it called the Parachute Project?
(Did I hear someone ask that?) Back in 2013, when we first started imagining what this might look like, the left-brained founder (that’s John, in case you’re wondering) was all for working out the details and having a clear plan for moving forward. The right-brained founder (that’s Joss, and we’re sorry, but there was only 1 prize in this category) said something to the (sanitized) effect of
“Screw that – we’re just going to do it and we’ll work it out later.”
“You mean,” (said the left-brained one) “you want us to jump off the cliff and build our parachutes on the way down?”
“But of course!” she said.