The Civil Society Leadership Institute (CSLI) is a not-for-profit training center founded in February 2015 as a civic education initiative—one of the largest pro-democracy movements . The fonding-director who is also a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and a Yale World Fellow .
Its mission is twofold: to foster transformational leadership based on the ideas of liberty and democracy and to educate grassroots activists about the fundamentals and importance of non-violent social change.
To accomplish this mission, the Institute identifies recruits and trains grassroots democracy activists in Nicaragua. CSLI alumni embark upon a meaningful participation in the development of their communities.
CSLI signature academic programs—taught in conjunction that help participants reflect on key concepts such as an open society, adaptive leadership and the politics of non-violent action.
How to work “The Dawn of System Leadership”?
The deep changes necessary to accelerate progress against society’s most intractable problems require a unique type of leader—the system leader, a person who catalyzes collective leadership.
With the passing of Nelson Mandela in late 2013, the world celebrated a remarkable life. But the spotlight on Mandela’s accomplishments relegated to the shadows much of the reason that he has had such a lasting impact, in South Africa and beyond. Above all, Mandela embodied a system leader, someone able to bring forth collective leadership. In countless ways, large and small, he undertook interventions aimed at bringing together the remnants of a divided country to face their common challenges collectively and build a new nation.
Why need “Core Capabilities of System Leaders”?
Though they differ widely in personality and style, genuine system leaders have a remarkably similar impact . Over time, their profound commitment to the health of the whole radiates to nurture similar commitment in others. Their ability to see reality through the eyes of people very different from themselves encourages others to be more open as well. They build relationships based on deep listening, and networks of trust and collaboration start to flourish. They are so convinced that something can be done that they do not wait for a fully developed plan, thereby freeing others to step ahead and learn by doing. Indeed, one of their greatest contributions can come from the strength of their ignorance, which gives them permission to ask obvious questions and to embody an openness and commitment to their own ongoing learning and growth that eventually infuse larger change efforts.
As these system leaders emerge, situations previously suffering from polarization and inertia become more open, and what were previously seen as intractable problems become perceived as opportunities for innovation. Short-term reactive problem solving becomes more balanced with long-term value creation. And organizational self-interest becomes re-contextualized, as people discover that their and their organization’s success depends on creating well-being within the larger systems of which they are a part.
There are three core capabilities that system leaders develop in order to foster collective leadership. The first is the ability to see the larger system. In any complex setting, people typically focus their attention on the parts of the system most visible from their own vantage point. This usually results in arguments about who has the right perspective on the problem. Helping people see the larger system is essential to building a shared understanding of complex problems. This understanding enables collaborating organizations to jointly develop solutions not evident to any of them individually and to work together for the health of the whole system rather than just pursue symptomatic fixes to individual pieces.
The second capability involves fostering reflection and more generative conversations. Reflection means thinking about our thinking, holding up the mirror to see the taken-for-granted assumptions we carry into any conversation and appreciating how our mental models may limit us. Deep, shared reflection is a critical step in enabling groups of organizations and individuals to actually “hear” a point of view different from their own, and to appreciate emotionally as well as cognitively each other’s reality. This is an essential doorway for building trust where distrust had prevailed and for fostering collective creativity.
The third capability centers on shifting the collective focus from reactive problem solving to co-creating the future. Change often starts with conditions that are undesirable, but artful system leaders help people move beyond just reacting to these problems to build positive visions for the future. This typically happens gradually as leaders help people articulate their deeper aspirations and build confidence based on tangible accomplishments achieved together. This shift involves not just building inspiring visions, but facing difficult truths about the present reality and learning how to use the tension between vision and reality to inspire truly new approaches.Publisher: anamvip