Nov 25, 2023Liked by Mike Murawski

I feel like I could write an entire book about this Mike! But I think the four points you made in your article back in 2020 still hold, though I think the fourth one about leadership being everywhere might need reframing. I believe it is possible to lead from any role, but doing so takes a certain degree of politicking, leveraging your allies, building coalitions, and luck (to be in the right place at the right time). Many museums are still very traditional in their hierarchies and top-down and unilateral leadership (and often their attempts at inclusive leadership practices are largely for optics), so it's a difficult thing to make change within an entire institution (though easier in one's own sphere or area of impact). On a personal note, I feel like since the pandemic my own leadership has become much more human centered while leadership at the ED level has become less so. I've been struck watching different EDs at the few institutions I've worked out listen less to their staffs, make snap judgments that do not reflect "seeking first to understand," and allowing board members and other stakeholders way too much influence over decision making, while staff members are kept at bay. This has been a real surprise since the pandemic seemed to ignite so much thinking about work / life balance, the demands our institutions put on staff from underrepresented communities, as well as the importance of museums in serving communities as an important learning and social resource. It's been kind of shocking. I could go on, but maybe better over beers! Thanks for reposting this article. Was great to reread.

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Nov 17, 2023·edited Nov 17, 2023Liked by Mike Murawski

My gallery has become much more focused on financial sustainability in my view at the expense of foregrounding meaningful engagement with artworks. I’m worried that we might end up being more like a theme park attraction if we continue largely focusing on art that is popular and has revenue potential. Leadership is not supporting the human aspect these days.

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