What makes a good leader? The gift of strengthening everyone else.
An empowering leader holds and serves a vision broad and deep enough to inspire others and allow them to take parts of it and make it their own. When Rob Hopkins founded the Transition Town movement, his vision was to take the insights of permaculture and ecological design and apply them on a local community level. That was a big vision, far too big for any one person to realize alone. Within it, there was room for many people to step up and realize their own creative ideas and pursue their interests — how to transform a vacant lot into a community garden, how to plant forest gardens in city parks, how to influence policy around water resources or investment in renewable energy. Rob’s original vision called many people into their own power and leadership.
An empowering leader helps the group develop a strategy—a plan for getting from here to there, with milestones and goals along the way.
An empowering leader rarely uses Command mode. Most of the time, she leads by example and persuasion. But when command is called for, an empowering leader will step forward and then step back into a more democratic mode once the need has passed.
An empowering leader also steps back. He doesn’t hog the center or the spotlight, but is always looking for ways to share.
An empowering leader puts the needs of the group first. He thinks about how each of his actions will affect the group.
All of this is, of course, the ideal. We can strive for it, but most of us will fall short in one way or another. An empowering leader makes mistakes. If she doesn’t, she’s probably not experimenting enough. An empowering leader is also a good learner, an experienced and willing apologizer, someone who can make amends and move on.
Power tends to concentrate, and even the most benevolent and empowering leader may unconsciously begin to hoard power over time. When power becomes permanent and static, the group often stagnates.
Collaborative groups need strategies for sharing power and developing leadership in all group members. To keep power circulating and flowing freely in the group, we can adopt a few key elements in our structure.
1. Limit the Accumulation of Power
We can make agreements that limit how much responsibility any one person can take on, how many committees they can join, for example, or how many aspects of a project they can coordinate. We can break big tasks into smaller roles and share them.
2. Share Roles and Responsibilities
Meetings typically are co-facilitated, so that a powerful role is shared. When roles can be shared, we can also reinforce one another’s strengths and compensate for our weaknesses. A born Grace whose strengths are affiliative might look for a partner who is more of a boundary-setting Dragon.
3. Rotate Roles and Responsibilities
Many roles benefit by being rotated—for example, meeting facilitation. Some roles put people in center stage—media spokes, for example, or convener of a gathering. People who take on those roles get more attention—both positive and negative. Rotating them can spread both the praise and the blame around more fairly.
Other roles are more in the nature of chores that must be done—taking notes at meetings and distributing them, turning the compost, doing the dishes after the potluck. When they are shared, no one person is stuck with an unpopular task.
4. Train and Apprentice
Some roles require training and preparation: facilitating big meetings, keeping accurate books, propagating cuttings in the greenhouse. For the long-term growth of the group, we can create ways that people can learn, apprentice, and be mentored in those skills. And when skills are needed by the group as a whole—for example, communication skills, consensus process skills—the group should devote resources to provide overall training for all its members. It will be well repaid over the long term by improvements in function and by hours and hours of fruitless arguments avoided!
"The Five-Fold Path of
a supplemental chapter from
The Empowerment Manual.
5. Pass Power On
Because roles of power are fluid in collaborative groups, part of a leader’s job is to sense when and how to pass the power on. Power circulates, and we can trust that, when we let go, others will take on the tasks and responsibilities, freeing us up to find new areas of interest and new challenges.
6. Let Go Gracefully
In a ritual, we often drum up a cone of power, bringing the group to a peak of excitement. Drummers, of course, love to speed up and go into a dramatic drum roll—but we discourage them from doing so because then they control the pacing and the buildup of energy (and often get it wrong). Instead, we teach them to hold a steady pace, listen to the group and follow the energy instead of driving it. As the cone rises, the drummers fade back until only voices are left. The voices raise the cone, because everyone has a voice, though not everyone has a drum.
Starhawk is the author or coauthor of twelve books, including The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups, from which this article was excerpted. An influential voice for global justice and the environment, she is deeply committed to bringing the creative power of spirituality to political activism. YES! Magazine encourages you to make free use of this article by taking these easy steps. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License ... Other related articles from YES! Magazine: Colin Beavan: Advice From an Accidental Activist Meet 15 Extraordinary People Transforming the Way We Live
Obviously We all have a tendancy to edit things down to a language We understand. The problem with that is, and the questions I must ask My-Self as a Pastor, Writer, Teacher, Professor, Dr.or simple Freind ect., ect.,. Is.
Did I do it to truely En-Liten, Edgucate Some-Body or a Group of People. Or.
Did I do it because of My inability to ask for help and grow. Have I become Non-complacent, greedy E.G.O. Driven & fear driven because of age and social status ???
I have come to Believe, at this St -age of Life thta this buiseness of Words is a serious Thing.
That, Words can kill or, Words can Cure. That Their nothing to be affraid of. Now, that is a God Given Gift of Responsibility that We People of Words have been given, weather We want It or not. I may not want It. But. I cant change what I have been Born / been made to be.
Because in doing so. I cause an-Other to stumble. To Live in darknes from the Lite of His Truth .Or simplely too despise Her's or His Creator.
No. Words are not to be feared. They are a Great-Way of Llife to Serenity and Calm-ness of mind that Will bring Us thru any storm this world can bring Or-Way. And Will surpass all understanding of the need to foolishly question such a Wonder-Full Thing.
A Wonder-Full Person once said : We must stand for something or We will fall for anything.So, the real question is. Will We choose to take stand in the Lite of Truth or, in the self-will of ignor-ance.
So You see. It should'nt be concern Us Whome said what. When it is Good. That should be enough. And when it's nut's. We can take away what not to do with-out Being critical.
BARUCH HA SHEM
Although I like the comment about a good leader strengthening everyone else, I feel like it's written for only leadership of a public sector or community based endeavor. Apple and many other highly innovative companies would never exist with this type of leadership. Having run a small, very dynamic organization http://spatech.edu for over 22 years as well as being in high tech, the role of the leader's vision and values in forming the organization are critical. Without the vision and value, which must include standards of quality and discipline, the companies quickly disappear. The leader must care about people but their primary role is to care about the values and the mission of the organization.
It's hard for me to get that this quote was actually made by John Quincy Adams as this kind of language was simply not used in his time. I see it all over the internet attributed to him and it doesn't compute.
On Aug 21, 2021 Anna Tasya Cindy Wika wrote:
Rutinitas Rekreasi Pulau Sempu Malang sebagai teritori agar alam dan pelestarian yang cuman dapat dilakukan melalui pantai sendang biru. https://wisata-ekstrim.com/
Untuk dapat masuk di sini kamu perlu izin terlebih dahulu pada pihak pengurus. Ini dilaksanakan untuk kelestariannya.
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