Let's Talk About This Thing We Call 'Leadership'

Tracy Knutson
Executive Director

This past week, we had the pleasure and the privilege of convening a group of leaders as we move forward with our work in Collective Impact. Our work focused on looking at the idea of collaboration and what we need to do it well. Concepts and needs related to ‘leadership’ always surface - and the need to turn the dial on how we position leaders in the work we do.

These days, I am hanging out with many folks who have chosen to intentionally grow and deepen the practice of shared or transformational leadership. In one of the practice circles, Margaret Wheatley’s work was brought forward as a centering point for learning and conversation. This quote so beautifully describes the leadership style we are striving for in our work to bring people together:

“A leader is anyone who wants to help at this time. In fact, in this day and age, when problems are increasingly complex, and there simply are not simple answers, and there is no simple cause and effect any longer, I cannot imagine how stressful it must be to be a leader and to pretend that you have the answer. And a life-affirming leader is one who knows how to rely on and use the intelligence that exists everywhere in the community, the company or the school or the organization. And so these leaders act as hosts, as stewards of other people’s creativity and other people’s intelligence. And when I say host, I mean a leader these days needs to be one who convenes people, who convenes diversity, who convenes all viewpoints in processes where our intelligence can come forth. So these kinds of leaders do not give us the answers, but they help gather us together so that together we can discover the answers.” (Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World, Margaret J. Wheatley)

Does that resonate for you? Sure does for us! Take it a step further and check out this video of Margaret talking about shifting leadership to support collaboration.

Convening conversation is vital to discovering answers to the challenges of violence in our communities. Over the coming months, we will be extending invitations to sessions and circles in communities throughout the province to share more about Collective Impact and to talk with people about leadership, collaboration and change making. Looking forward to learning and talking with you!