Generating ideas, connections, and action

Leadership in Networks

I just returned from the Center for Ethical Leadership’s annual Confluence, a meeting that brings a diverse group of people for 2-3 days to explore specific topics.  This years’ Confluence was a meeting on Network Principles in Play that brought together 65 network practitioners who are supporting networks focused on hunger and food insecurity, aging and a number of other issues.  I am still mulling over several questions that emerged for me in the course of conversation and the one that has the most traction of course… is about leadership.

I found myself thinking that it may be useful to draw on the parallel distinction between leadership and management that we bring to organizational leadership as we think about the type of leadership needed to help networks innovate and take action.  In her blog post last month, Miriam shared some observations she gleaned from a CompassPoint session on Leadership that explored the difference between management and leadership:

“Management concentrates on the details; what needs to be done now to reach our goal (agenda), the logistics, producing order and systems. Leadership keeps its eye on the larger picture; the mission, visualizing the larger goal (agenda). Success cannot be achieved if you do not have both in our projects.” read more »

Leadership & Networks: One Year after the Publication, Looking into Application

Last year, we published the publication Leadership and Networks: New Ways of Developing Leadership in a Highly Connected World, which outlines ideas, examples, and resources that inspire and help leadership programs to question their assumptions about leadership and more fully leverage network approaches.  Since then, we have seen increased interest from the community to implement some of these ideas into action.  Over the next few months, we will partner with two of the co-authors of the report, June Holley and the Interaction Institute for Social Change, to conduct a research and development project focused on improving network leadership development, with the support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.  With this new project, we are hoping to dive into the application piece and get to the core of what is needed to leverage network approaches.  Our approach will be experimentation focused – we will develop prototypes to test our assumptions and refine our thinking of the gaps and opportunities that exist in this area. The research and development phase will guide our efforts to ultimately develop a relevant and comprehensive network leadership curriculum plan.

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Register for the Bay Area Learning Circle: Star Power


                                       Bay Area StarPower Simulation
                                                     February 27, 2014

We look forward to sharing and dissecting the process of this powerful tool with Leadership

                                             Development Practitioners in the Bay Area! 



Bay Area Learning Circle: Star Power

Date:February 27, 2014
Location:The California Endowment
1111 Broadway (7th Floor)
Oakland, CA 94607
Note:Brown Bag Lunch- Please bring your own lunch. 

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Actualizing Evolutionary Co-Leadership: Bay Area Learning Circle Reflections

Why are new forms of leadership urgently needed?

This month our Bay Area participants brought necessary questions about Collective Leadership to a Learning Circle on October 1st.

A bright sunny room filled with 19 participants from all over the Bay Area at the California Endowment set the stage to learn about Evolutionary Co-Leadership with Alain Gauthier of Core Leadership Development. To begin,  Alain first engaged participants by asking them to share in small groups  what “evolutionary” means for each person. In small table groups participants shared definitions that included viewing evolution as a biological and anthropological process, a process of growth and learning, and of adaptation and innovation for survival. Many of us at the circle also likened evolution to progress, continuation and improvement. We were asked to share our experiences of collective leadership and the questions we bring. Questions surfaced around the role of an individual’s identity in the collective process, how accountability is achieved, what degree of openness is required, and ways to equitably bring together stakeholders regardless of positional leadership status.

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LLC MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Learning Cluster Organizers Cheryl D. Fields and Mary Stelletello

This year following our national gathering, Creating Space X, LLC recognized the need and interest of participants to self-organize in order to continue building relationships and pursue collective learning. CSX participants surveyed in June indicated the greatest interest in exploring Leadership and Equity as well as Leadership and Networks. We are proud to Spotlight the members of our community who have boldly and generously accepted the challenge of organizing learning clusters around these themes. Cheryl Fields of Langhum Mitchell Communications, and Mary Stelletello of Vista Global Coaching & Consulting  are currently partnering to prepare for the launch of LLC's Leadership and Equity learning cluster. Learning cluster participants will be able to share insights with the community as to what “works” in terms of virtually building small hubs of peer learning and study. We are excited to follow Cheryl and Mary’s progress in their organizing and share the highlights with you.

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Leadership in Transition: Ceasar McDowell at Creating Space X

Leadership in Transition: Ceasar McDowell at Creating Space X
from Leadership Learning Community on Vimeo.


In this clip, Ceasar discusses the challenge of existing in a transitional state of leadership between the world that we live in and the world that social justice change makers wish to see in the future. Tawana Petty responds by discussing the New Leadership Mindset that is required to recognize and develop leadership that is more collective, networked, and inclusive. 

Ceasar McDowell's Show at Creating Space X featured June Holley, Alvin Starks, Kenny Bailey and Deborah Meehan as panelists. 





Let's connect:    

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Nonprofit Leadership Newsbrief: September 2013

This month’s newsletter will focus in an issue very important to LLC as a learning community committed to equity.  Immigration reform is crucial for creating a more equitable future for our country founded on immigrant histories, labor and culture. 11 million undocumented immigrants are left without a path to citizenship or basic rights and cannot fully participate in our society. The 1.8 million DREAMers (undocumented youth brought to the US as children) have shed light on our broken immigration system by exposing their struggle to gain citizenship by means of legal process. This month we honor the immigrant paths that have shaped your family and urge all to understand the urgency for taking action on immigration reform. 

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Management ≠ Leadership

Eleanor, Marla, and Miriam at CompassPoint’s “Take Control of Your Leadership Development: Frameworks for Emerging and New Leaders” Workshop

As part of our own leadership growth, Eleanor and I from the LLC team, were able to participate in CompassPoint’s workshop “Take Control of Your Leadership Development: Frameworks for Emerging and New Leaders.” Our facilitator, Marla Cornelius, shared many resources with us to help frame the conversation for the leadership workshop. With Marla’s permission, we are sharing some of these resources with you in this blog post.


At the workshop, Marla shared a timeline demonstrating some common Leadership Theories and dates of when they were prominent. Since leadership is a social construct, it is difficult to define leadership when there are many interpretations of what leadership is and how it shows up. You will note that many of the assumptions that show up on the timeline are still prominent today.

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