Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
Our CoLeader connection is forming. Our vision is: together we can change the world. We are the proverbial group of thoughtful committed citizens. We are building a social network, or community of practice. We are redefining the language of leadership while we transform our culture of leadership.
Much has been written about the decline in our social fabric (also called social capital). I would like to focus on social networks and the emerging CoLeadership culture.
Most of our options for belonging to groups include fitting into some form of hierarchy. Even our social clubs tend to elect officers, board members, and concentrate decision making in the hands of a few elite members. Too often we are faced with a dilemma; belong to the group and fit into the existing rankings of power and privilege, or exercise our freedom and engage in activism without completely meeting our human need to belong. This was my experience when I attempted to be a social activist and transformative CoLeader within the hierarchical system of the United Methodist Church.
Sociologist and psychologists have demonstrated human beings have a strong need to belong (Freud, Adler, Jung, Maslow, Putnam, Baumeister, Leary, and too many others to list). Social activists also have a need to belong. However, our need may exhibit itself in slightly different ways. We have a desire to be a part of something transformative and expansive – larger than our own efforts.
Scholars distinguish two types of social capital – bonding social capital, and bridging social capital. One of the negative aspects of social bonding is that it tends to create an “us versus them” mindset within the group. Social activists often have to work against the negative insular effects of social bonding. Bridging social networks possess the power to influence social change. Bonding organizations tend to insulate ‘like-minded’ people from social change.
Our CoLeader community can meet this need to belong to something much larger and more powerful than our insular groups. When we assemble activists, rebels, and CoLeaders from many geographic locations and many different organizations committed to changing the world, we are creating bridging social fabric (multiplied)!
Margaret Mead’s famous quote is really only the beginning of the story. Small groups of thoughtful committed CoLeader/Citizens change the world only when they become catalysts attracting and inspiring other CoLeader/Citizens to join and then work collaboratively. A small group cannot change the world unless they generate a movement. Our CoLeader Connection is the place where movement builders belong.
Please visit Our CoLeader Connection and join us on the journey.