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Shared Leadership

Shared Leadership


Leadership is influence that enables others to bear fruit that will last in God’s Kingdom. It begins when your life is yielded to God and welcoming of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit so that His will for the world becomes yours. This enables you to receive humility to remember what God has forgiven you, vision for His preferred future, love for others and desire to lay down your life to serve them, and certainty of His ongoing work in the lives of others. Leadership begins with learning to desire what God wants, and matures when you receive a life vision from him and act on it: it is the right desire, right vision, and right action. Shared advisor-student leadership is a core strategy for mentoring in the Collaboratory. In the traditional classroom, educators serve as the final authority on the content and direction of a course. Advisors in the Collaboratory are also educators, but their role is that of a player-coach, developing student leaders while also making hands-on contributions in their field of expertise. A primary task of the advisor is to work himself or herself out of a job by developing student leaders to assume responsibility, and by transferring authority and responsibility that is commensurate with students' maturity and ability. Early in the relationship the advisor will generally be prescriptive in directing the leader’s work, to protect the long term interests of other students and Clients (from rookie errors); but the goal is to transition from the role of boss to coach, and from coach to delegator. The benefits provided to Clients are not more important than educational goals for students. For this reason, advisors will sometimes give student leaders the freedom to choose their own course and to learn from mistakes. Finally, advisors work to cultivate an attitude of humility among student leaders and workers regarding Client organizations and communities served, and an expectation that they will benefit from relationships with their partners in addition to serving them. Such humility is of course a lifelong lesson. The great work in every discipline is almost always the work of a student; one who is able to pay attention to and learn from others. Our students share leadership responsibilities with educators and volunteers and learn by seeing teachers and professionals in action.