Martha Lask Consulting LLC

Where Possibilities Take Shape

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National Children's alliance - president's award

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MovingSystems provides a deep learning experience by integrating principles of organization and leadership development with kinesthetic awareness, movement and mindfulness. Our coaching programs emphasize using coaching skills to change system culture, coaches learning to use themselves, mind, body, spirit to help  facilitate change and similarly, to coach the whole person, mind, body and spirit.

MARTHA LASK NCA NOMINATION LETTER 4/2023

Martha Lask has made a profound impact on the CAC landscape, and specifically on us as CAC leaders. We submit her for NCA’s Innovative Changemaker Award in acknowledgement of the influence she has had on each of us, and on behalf of all Leadership Exchange & Coaching (LEC) alumnae.

Across 13 cycles of LEC, Martha has influenced nearly 300 CAC leaders in 39 states. Her impact is exponential—not limited to LEC attendees—empowering us to develop organizational cultures that support stronger collaboration and partnership.

A 2001 survey of CAC directors conducted by NCA identified that CAC Directors felt isolated in their roles. Martha, working with the Northeast Regional CAC, identified that individuals thrust into these roles needed support beyond what was currently available, and conceptualized LEC.

In many ways, LEC has been Martha’s mission; introducing a generation of leaders to a different leadership framework. Her groundbreaking vision is deeply contextual—holistic, human, and connected, while at the same time more intentional and mindful.

It is a profoundly challenging task to articulate Martha’s impact. Her coaching is transformative in the most literal of senses. Martha’s teaching and coaching helps steer LEC participants to a deeper understanding of their own leadership styles and capabilities, while exposing them to organizational frameworks that help develop greater confidence as leaders, enabling us to better serve children and our respective communities.

Among Martha’s gifts is her curiosity. Her thoughtful questions help LEC participants dig deeper and identify the root causes of problems without judgement. The process holds participants accountable as they deal with discomfort of accountability with support from Martha and peers. Participants build confidence using their new leadership skills.

Martha has coached us to be resilient, to lead from a compassionate, strengths-based perspective and to build and nurture long-term peer support networks.  The skills she teaches through direct observation, practice and feedback shape the way we interact with our staff and members of the MDT. LEC has fostered creativity in identifying new solutions and enabled us to trust ourselves to carry more responsibility.

LEC has created ripples across the CAC landscape as we return to our teams with increased awareness and improved leadership perspectives. As we have moved up through the hierarchy of our organizations and the CAC movement, LEC has empowered us to foster this culture and coach others to be better leaders in turn.

Her deep commitment to this work is evidenced by continuing to steward LEC through funding shifts, political upheaval, COVID, racial unrest and subsequent discourse regarding the role of law enforcement and prosecution. Throughout this, she has remained committed to each of our growth as leaders and continually focused on how LEC can support CAC leaders in navigating this shifting landscape.

 

Even as she plans for the next stage of her life, she has created a framework to hand off LEC facilitation to the next generation of leaders. Given this, it is timely and fitting that NCA acknowledge Martha’s legacy with the Innovative Changemaker Award. We hope you agree.

Martha’s Thank You Speech 6/05/2023

Thank you, NCA for this honor. And thank you, Josh Hansen, the other alumni who nominated me, and my wonderful LEC partner Sue Ascione!  I deeply respect and admire the work that you all do.  It’s truly gratifying to know that my contributions have sustained and even enriched you in such important work.  

I want to share 6 important elements I learned, as facilitator of the “Leadership Exchange and Coaching Project”, that resonated with participants, and that they brought to their CACs:

  1. Strengths Matter: People bring their best selves to their jobs when they work in a strengths-based environment. In every person, group, organization and family, something works. The key is to find out what that is and build on it.
  2. Compassion, Reflection, and Deep listening Matter:

These are vital leadership skills; they build resilience in leaders, staff & in the innovative and ever-changing MDT partnerships. 

 

  1. Connecting with Peers Matters

Taking time to engage in dialogue with colleagues leads to resilience, growth and innovation. 

 

  1. Time and Depth matter.  The year long duration of LEC gives participants the time to delve deeply into their assumptions, beliefs and emotions and to integrate concepts effectively. 
  2. Context Matters:  Examining the context and environment surrounding a situation is critical for a comprehensive understanding. 
  3. Planning Matters: It is not a luxury to pay attention to agendas, group agreements and strategy. It is an essential part of the role of leader.  

These elements combined, help CACs to provide exceptional services to the “kiddos”, as many of you say, and their families.

There are many people to thank – if I have missed anyone, my apologies! Thank you:

  • LEC alumni who participated wholeheartedly and made the program better.
  • My wonderful LEC partners:  
    • Sue Ascione and Katelyn Waltimyer, NRCAC. 
  • LEC supporters, including: 
    • Teresa Smith, NRCAC Project Director.  
    • Chris Kirchner, one of my initial co-creators, now ED of the PA state Chapter.
    • Benita Williams, Executive Director AND The Philadelphia Children’s Alliance. 
    • Lou Ann Holland and DOJ for their continued support.
  • Sustainability Group! LEC alumni who partnered with us to ensure that LEC will continue as I move on. 
  • My colleagues in OD and Coaching: my version of invaluable Peer Support! 
  • Lastly, my beloved spouse, Jonathan Harmon, for his unwavering care & support…of me…

Thank you again for this recognition and the opportunity to help you make a difference in the lives of children and their families. 

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MovingSystems provides a deep learning experience by integrating principles of organization and leadership development with kinesthetic awareness, movement and mindfulness. Our coaching programs emphasize using coaching skills to change system culture, coaches learning to use themselves, mind, body, spirit to help  facilitate change and similarly, to coach the whole person, mind, body and spirit.