Leadership, I think, is like butter. It does not really taste good when its powers are concentrated on one person. In fact, it is most effective when it is spread out where it matters.
What do we look like from where we work inside our organization? I look at the way we work as being guided by a “buttery” philosophy that we have adapted in our team when we work with each other to make things happen with our science and art offerings whether it is for our public and our partners. It became even more emphasized when the pandemic happened because new and tough challenges required each team member to step-up in ways that were mostly new to all of us. But somehow, the innate passion of each member of our team melded to make sure our purpose as an organization was “oiled” with what each one had to contribute.
Like butter, we spread ourselves (we are just a little over 2 dozen individuals) to what we think matters: to the sources of good ideas because it could come from any team member, to our constructive criticisms, the responsibilities, the rewards, and yes, even the sacrifices and the setbacks. Because of that, we stand a better chance that the science and art “dishes” we concoct for the ones we serve, will be well-thought through making them unique, creative and whole “delicacies” for feeling and thinking souls.
Butter can also let things slide and also blend them into its whip. We have learned from each other what things we could let slide because it is part of learning (part of life!) and what we should make sure, sticks to memory so it leads to better days. There were days that were so sad and also exhausting that they made us cry and we all took turns assuring each other these will pass. Spreading the “sorrow” also made it more bearable.
We also call ourselves “Bubbles” – because we are transparent to each other in the ways that matter and we work in such a way that it allows any of us “Bubbles” to attach to the “Bubble/s” who need our ideas, talents and skills. For this team, work is not a mere job but a chance to flesh out purpose in the unrepeatable days and nights of each of our own lifetimes. As their “Chief Bubble”, they would laugh that I added “butter” into the strange abracadabra that makes this team, a dream team.
That is why the things that came out of our playbook this year – science kits, a breakthrough augmented reality book (which will augment your status as a “ninang/ninong” or “tita/tito” if it came from you), MIND S-COOL access– are not mere gift items in a catalogue! They are what happens when you put a dollop of butter on a burst of wonderful bubbly, talented and committed humans who care beyond themselves to bring you wonder and tactile “hope” where you are because you cannot (yet) come to us.
That is what it looks like inside our Bubble (or “Butter”) Collective and I am one proud and happy Bubble to be part of the team that works purposefully, for a Butter, Better Normal.