Editors’ note: This article is from the Nonprofit Quarterly’s winter 2017 edition, “Advancing Critical Conversations: How to Get There from Here.” It was excerpted from Five Elements of Collective Leadership for Early Childhood Professionals (Redleaf Press, a division of Think Small, November 2017; Copyright © 2017 by Cassandra O’Neill and Monica Brinkerhoff), with permission. The excerpt has been lightly adapted.
What is collective leadership? How does it compare to a more traditional concept of leadership? Why would anyone want to use it? What are the benefits? How did it develop and what are its theoretical foundations? In this article, we outline key aspects and benefits of the process.
What Collective Leadership Is and Isn’t
We have defined collective leadership as a group of people working together toward a shared goal.1 When collective leadership is happening, people are internally and externally motivated—working together toward a shared vision within a group and