Please Note: Linda's blog has moved to her new website:
From now on, please visit her new website to enjoy all her upcoming blogs

SUCCESS-ion Planning

October 23, 2013

When one has been in a leadership role for many years, people wonder, "How did you summon the detachment to let go of your baby?" "How can you do it without leaving claw marks on your desk?" I can only say what it is like for me as the co-founder of The Virtues Project and head mama of Virtues Project International for 25 years. Seven guiding principles come to mind:

  1. Seek trustworthy people.
  2. Due diligence: get engaged before you get married.
  3. Trust: Support new leadership to move forward with freedom.
  4. Be firm in principle but flexible in application.
  5. Humility: Become a guide on the side rather than a sage on centre stage. Don’t control – mentor.
  6. Trust the process of change. Don’t dominate – defer.
  7. Discern your own yeses at this season of your life.

And the real secret? Knowing that what started with your imagination is in good hands -- diverse hands -- crafting the project (the business, the charity, the work) in their own creative ways. Build in protection of the integrity of the work with clear, guiding boundaries – for The Virtues Project, it is in the 5 Strategies and the virtues themselves. Then watch a wide and luminous rainbow of individual creativity appear.

For me and Dan, and John I’m sure, watching from above, the 25th Anniversary Conference of The Virtues Project, "From the Midmost Heart of the Ocean" on Aitutaki was our rainbow. It was magical, marvelous, musical, and magnificent! It began with our opening ceremony, with Auntie Nane’s beautiful ukele and welcome songs, a prayer and welcome by our island King, and a continuum of 10 nations. Dan gave a profound keynote talk, "The Spirit of The Virtues Project", on how our choices to bring virtues to life actually shape reality, and how Grace moves in the world, around us and through us. Each morning, participants shared their innovative virtues ventures, each one deeply moving and showing the power of virtues to change the world. In the afternoons, we had diverse break-out sessions based on what people wanted more of, and had a session on virtues play in art, and even Bollywood dancing!

We learned about award-winning schools, such as Franklin in New Zealand, with a culture of virtues, and a Canadian First Nation drug and alcohol centre that has integrated virtues and the strategies into every aspect of their healing program for over 15 years. There were stories from Korea of the Virtues Taxi Association such as couples being given a Virtues Pick on their way to divorce court asking the driver to turn around and take them home for another try. We heard examples of new hope for youthful offenders in Seattle and prison inmates in Fiji.

I ended my keynote talk "The Transformational Power of The Virtues Project" with a highlight – a recording of my son, Craig, singing "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka. Everyone sighed when it ended.

We basked in the tender loving care of the staff and the chef at Tamanu resort, the beauty of the beach, the sky, the aqua and purple lagoon at its most glorious.

People enthused to me about the richness of the program and the pace of grace. We had long breaks and meal times to allow for networking and breathing space, and the formal program ended each day at 4 PM. Some floated in the lagoon, including me.

Our celebrations included an Island Night with the most beautiful and powerful Polynesian dancing and fire dancing I have ever seen, then a torch passing ceremony and buffet of island foods on the final night, followed by a cruise to the small islands out in the lagoon with snorkeling in crystal clear waters all day Saturday. The incredibly generous service of behind the scenes planning, coordinating and arranging by Jolene Bosanquet of Rarotonga made all this possible.

The conference was videotaped generously by beautiful young Kim Morae from Korea and methods for sharing it are in the works. The conference received excellent coverage by Cook Island News which can be viewed on line by looking for virtues in the index.

The CEO of Virtues Project International Association, Eva Marks MacIsaac did a fabulous job of MCing, even turning into an auctioneer to raise money for the new International Development Fund which will allow virtues resources to be sent to high risk, low income communities around the world.

The last morning, in the sacred time just before my presentation of Graceful Endings, we showed an In Memoriam power point of beloved virtues community members who died in the past year: Hiroshi Ohuchi of Japan, who first learned of the Project from John, High Chief of Fiji, Adi Samanunu, and Pete Sampson of Australia, all of whom were very dear to Dan and me and many others.  Each participant received an angel crocheted by Dan’s mom, and spoke the names of loved ones who have passed on. We played Josh Groban’s "To Where You Are" and "Going Home."

As the new non-profit, Virtues Project International Association, moves forward, I am not grieving but relieved, grateful beyond words for the love, integrity and new promise of the leadership that has appeared through the Grace of God and the willing trust of those taking the helm.


Author photo
Linda Kavelin-Popov

More Posts:
    (July 23, 2016)

  • Time Management for Spiritual Efficiency
    (July 13, 2016)

  • Virtues are the Keys to Success
    (June 29, 2016)

  • The Gifts of Family
    (June 9, 2016)

  • Family Reunions: Blues or Blessings?
    (June 1, 2016)

  • Mothering
    (May 17, 2016)

  • Learning to Die
    (April 29, 2016)

  • The Power of Presence
    (April 15, 2016)

  • Set Your House in Order
    (March 30, 2016)

  • An Easter Journey
    (March 21, 2016)

  • Living Whole Heartedly
    (March 17, 2016)

  • Determination – the Dream Keeper
    (February 24, 2016)

  • Educating the Whole Child
    (February 3, 2016)

  • Virtues in Paradise
    (January 22, 2016)

  • New Year Hopes for 2016
    (January 12, 2016)

  • Reflections on a Year of Humility
    (December 31, 2015)

  • Home is where the heart is
    (December 15, 2015)

  • Coming Full Circle
    (November 24, 2015)

    (November 14, 2015)

  • Gathering for Gratitude
    Global Mentorship Canada 2015

    (October 30, 2015)

  • Raising the Virtuous
    (October 6, 2015)

  • Too Blessed to be Stressed
    (September 21, 2015)

  • Balance Your Virtues
    (September 8, 2015)

  • Whatever You Do
    (August 30, 2015)

  • Recognising Teachable Moments
    (August 7, 2015)

  • Celebrate Life
    (July 27, 2015)

  • Tap the Power of Thought
    (July 2, 2015)

  • Hope
    (June 17, 2015)

  • Call on your A Team
    (June 6, 2015)

  • From Violence to Virtues
    (May 24, 2015)

  • Banking on Virtues
    (May 18, 2015)

  • A Mother’s Virtues
    (May 9, 2015)

  • Virtues Shine
    – in a South Pacific College

    (April 28, 2015)

  • Being a Good Spiritual Accountant
    (April 23, 2015)

  • Bullying in the Workplace
    (April 13, 2015)

  • Easter
    (April 2, 2015)

  • The Best Present
    (March 13, 2015)

  • A Virtues Valentine
    (February 14, 2015)

  • Cleaning Up Our Act
    (February 10, 2015)

  • A Pace of Grace for 2015
    (January 18, 2015)

  • Choosing Your Best Life in 2015
    (January 2, 2015)

  • Gifts from the Heart
    (December 22, 2014)

  • Transform Holiday Stressing to Holy Day Blessing
    (December 6, 2014)

  • An Attitude of Gratitude
    (November 27, 2014)

  • Simple Ways to Bring Joy to Children
    (October 25, 2014)

  • A Perfect Day
    (October 8, 2014)

  • Let Peace Begin with Me
    (September 18, 2014)

  • Islands of Love
    (September 4, 2014)

  • Keeping Love Alive
    (August 16, 2014)

  • Integrity: Taking the High Road
    (July 27, 2014)

  • Parenting in Paradise
    (July 18, 2014)

    (July 6, 2014)

  • Help Strikes Again
    (June 24, 2014)

  • Help for Troubled Souls
    (June 13, 2014)

  • Tapping the Power of Wisdom
    (June 1, 2014)

  • Path Finder
    (May 9, 2014)

  • Discover Your Joy Quotient
    (April 17, 2014)

  • Trustworthiness: Lemon with a Twist
    (April 3, 2014)

  • Spring Forward
    (March 20, 2014)

  • Appreciation
    (March 7, 2014)

    (January 22, 2014)

  • Virtues Path for a New Year
    (December 31, 2013)

    (December 17, 2013)

  • Thanksgiving is Conducive to Bounty
    (November 28, 2013)

  • Flow
    (November 11, 2013)

  • In the Moment
    (September 22, 2013)

  • Be Here Now
    (September 17, 2013)

  • Grace in Our Tests
    (August 19, 2013)

  • A Pace of Grace Revisited
    (August 5, 2013)

  • Only Us
    (May 29, 2013)

  • Barbecues and Blessings
    (May 8, 2013)

  • Decisions in Paradise
    (April 23, 2013)

  • Daffodil Memorial
    (April 14, 2013)

  • How Full is Your Fruit Bowl?
    (March 20, 2013)

  • Rediscovering Joy
    (March 12, 2013)

  • Planning Your One Wild and Precious Life
    (January 30, 2013)

  • The Power of Intention
    (January 4, 2013)

  • From Violence to Virtues
    (December 21, 2012)

  • What can we do – before and after a tragedy?
    (December 15, 2012)

  • The Presence of Light
    (November 30, 2012)

  • Circles of Compassion
    (November 21, 2012)

  • Dare to Stop Postponing Joy
    (November 5, 2012)

  • The Rain of Grief
    (October 27, 2012)

  • Opening to Gratitude
    (October 18, 2012)

  • The Power of Gratitude
    (October 8, 2012)

  • Time to Celebrate
    (September 22, 2012)

  • The Gifts of Waiting
    (September 13, 2012)

  • Linda’s First Post
    (September 1, 2012)