This report was funded to answer the following questions using a series of interviews, research and findings from a meeting of 45 evaluators and program officers with leadership development expertise, hosted on October 2014 at the Annie E. Casey Foundation: What are the key elements of leadership development approaches that are contributing to measurable progress on significant social problems? What evaluation approaches are being used or developed to successfully measure and document the impact of leadership development that results in large-scale change? What opportunities exist to replicate, spread, adapt, or apply lessons from these models to increase the impact of leadership development programming and investments?
As part of the Leadership for a New Era (LNE) initiative, the Leadership Learning Community has partnered with thought leaders in the network development and leadership development fields to develop the cutting edge report Leadership and Networks: New Ways of Developing Leadership in a Highly Connected World. This publication is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. This report is written for those who run and fund leadership programs that develop and support leadership for social change. It shares many examples of how leaders using network strategies are increasing the impact of social change work, such as the Barr Fellowship Network and MomsRising.org. Our goal is to inspire and help hundreds of leadership programs to question their assumptions about the traditional leadership models and retool their approaches in ways that will enable them to better prepare those in leadership with the mindset and skills they will need to more fully leverage network strategies. Specifically, the report addresses the following questions: Why do network strategies deserve our attention? Why do we need a new leadership mindset? What are the core principles of leading with a network mindset? What leadership development strategies support a network mindset and skills?
Leadership programs can help solve racial inequalities in access to education, healthcare, income and wealth, but many current approaches to leadership development actually maintain and promote racial inequalities. The report, How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice, suggests that a large number of leadership programs associate leadership with equal opportunity and individualism. This thinking does not recognize that current systems (i.e. policy, culture and institutional practices) can cause racial identity to limit one’s access to life opportunities. It also focuses too narrowly on changing the behavior of individual leaders. Instead, leadership programs should: 1) make their programs more accessible for people of color; 2) help participants understand how race limits the access to opportunities – in other words, the impact of structural racism; and 3) promote collective leadership. This approach will help participants work together to tackle the systems that maintain racial inequalities.