In his book Put Your Dream to the Test, John C. Maxwell says,
A dream is an aspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it.”
Diverse Community Connectors (DCC) exists to inspire you to keep pursuing your dreams by introducing you to passionate leaders in Washington State who work hard to harness the power of diversity and change the world!
As DCC has chronicled the journeys of these world changers, we’ve noticed some common principles that are present in each of their motivating stories. Based on our observations, we have created a process that we hope resonates with you, and helps you in your mission to change the world.
In this blog post we will:
- Introduce the IMPRESS process
- Reacquaint you with inspiring Washington Community Leaders
- Extract powerful universal lessons from their stories
- Define the Seven Core Actions that lead to change
- Help you identify next steps to take your passion from spark to innovation
Defining the IMPRESS Process
Core Action # 1: Interrupt/Awaken
Definition. To interrupt is to cause or make a break in the continuity or uniformity of. In this first step, new information is encountered that touches you in a way you’ve never experienced before. It stays with you. It bothers you. It disrupts your life and arouses something in you that cannot be ignored, but must be pursued.
Application. In 2010, I was fascinated by the Census. It clearly showed that our nation is becoming more and more diverse. My only question was, and still is: Are we ready? Everything I do revolves around finding the answer. Now that I have awakened to this reality, I cannot go back to sleep. It is what drove me in my role as Washington State PTA Outreach Director. I was able to experience this process both individually and organizationally.
Core Action # 2: Move – The Quest Begins
Definition: In the literary hero’s quest, struggles must be endured and obstacles must be overcome. In the IMPRESS process, we embark upon a journey to resolve the disruption experienced as a result of the information received in Core Action # 1. In this step, we do whatever it takes to ensure this new awareness gives way to understanding.
Application: Remember Pradeepta? She felt restless in her homeland of Nepal. She did not know why, but she was determined to figure it out. Her struggle led her to America and the discovery of her life’s purpose.
Core Action # 3: Passion, Purpose, Personal Beliefs
Definition: Personal transformation occurs at this stage. We carefully consider the information we’ve received, examine our reaction to it, as well as its impact on us. Next we examine our life and work to this point in order to determine if this is to be our new direction. It’s all or nothing.
Application: Margarita Leas and Marisol Visser founded a community magazine to fill the communication gap between public schools and Hispanic families in Issaquah.
Core Action # 4: Research, Explore, Discover, Grow
Definition: Once our unique passion is defined and we have committed to pursuing it, we adopt it, fully commit to it and embark upon finding a way to do it exclusively. Next, we go deeper to learn about it. We discover the facts to confirm or alter our perceptions. We ask questions like, “What’s happening now? What positive and negative forces are operating? Who is involved and/or affected? How are they involved and/or affected? What part can I play?”
Application: Ay Saechao, a leader in the Southeast Asian community, studied cultural anthropology in college to examine how institutional and cultural barriers affect student success, especially those from underrepresented groups. Then in graduate school he went deeper and researched the graduation gap of Southeast Asians and why it exists.
Core Action # 5: Engage the Beloved to Hone the Work
Definition: This is the most critical action step of them all. At this point, we must get face to face with the object of our passion. This is where we test the results of our research to determine what is true. Get clear on exactly what’s needed and the work we will do.
Application: The City of Bellevue is embracing diversity, leading change and welcoming transformation by ensuring everyone – city employees and community members – fully participate in their exciting journey and work together going forward.
Core Action # 6: Share with Friends and Foes
Definition: We find out who has the same passion, who is doing similar work. We connect with them. Support them. Regarding those in the opposition, we study their opposition. And we learn from both.
Application: Linda Pauley is with the U.S. Department of Education. Her work is focused on building the capacity of every Washington family to support their children’s education and improve their lives, their schools, the community, our state and the world. She partners with everyone she can. Her ultimate goal is to get the work done.
Core Action # 7: Start a Movement: Implement, Impact, Evaluate
Definition: After analyzing all the acquired information and considering all the feedback, we make a plan and take action. Passion starts with a spark. If developed properly it can turn into a bonfire of innovation that changes the world. Passion and innovation inspire hope. Others take notice and join in.
Application: Fields Jackson, Jr. realized diversity is a reality, but not everyone was comfortable. So he published a magazine and started a constructive conversation on this very sensitive subject. His Racing Toward Diversity Magazine reaches 3.5 million readers and showcases the best diversity efforts and initiatives being made today. It is written with business and education audiences in mind, and features the experiences of influential leaders and their organizations from around the world.
We have introduced the IMPRESS process to you, reacquainted you with inspiring Washington Community Leaders, extracted powerful universal lessons from their journeys, defined the seven core actions that lead to change. Hopefully you can use this process to the identify next steps to take your passion from spark to innovation.
Does it resonate with you? Have you experienced these steps personally or witnessed it in an organization? We’d love to know! Feel free to leave a comment.