Abi Handley (second from the left in this photo) is an inspiration to me and others in the co-op movement. It was a little surprising, therefore, when she told me a couple of months ago that she was stepping down from being a member of Outlandish. After all, she’s been with them for 12 years, almost since the beginning.
As this blog post explains, however, part of understanding the dynamics within a co-operative is to know when to take the reins, and when to step back. She’ll continue to collaborate with Outlandish, but also more than others. This is great for us, and in fact she joined WAO during our last monthly co-op day to explore opportunities.
Congrats, Abi! Onwards and upwards 💪
What I’m trying to achieve in life has changed quite a lot since I started in Outlandish at 29. I’m now 41 and got two kids, a house, built a successful business with people whom I love and respect. So what’s my next challenge? How can I push myself next?
Integrity for me is one of the most important principles I try and live by. Modelling the behaviours and values I hold dear for me is the only true way I want to be. Being able to genuinely live and breathe what I support my clients to try in terms of ways of working is essential for me to be an authentic and valuable coach & facilitator. I need to do what I say to others to try (because I believe and see that it works when everyone opts in), always and in every team I work in.
I have struggled in letting go of the role of ‘Mum’ in Outlandish, despite desperately wanting to, and that is not a solo challenge – it is also incredibly difficult to change those kinds of dynamics within any group. By me stepping down, I am modelling the need to not be at the centre of all things Outlandish, because despite trying with all our might, it is so easy to step into the safe role of looking after things when its not going so well or a challenge comes up for us. I don’t think that serves my goals, nor Outlandish’s. I think the best way we can achieve Outlandish being even more co-operative than it already is, is by me stepping back. That’s a scary thing to do for us all, but I’m going to take the risk and be excited about what might happen, for all of us.