Collective Leadership Slides Leadership Alchemy

Published on Mar 18, 2016

This presentation is an overview of Collective Leadership. More resources and information available at my website


Collective Leadership

 Cassandra O'Neill CEO, Leadership Alchemy
Photo by wildphotons

Collective Leadership: A Pathway to Sustainability
This is for YOU IF:

You are excited about bringing in more voices, sharing responsibility, maximizing potential and having everyone working toward a shared goal with enthusiasm.

You are tired of talking/hearing about the "lack of leadership" and want to be part of the solution.

You are tired of feeling like you are doing all the work, and are ready to inspire others to set up their leadership so the whole group benefits, and you get more joy back at work.
Photo by mikecogh

Group Learning Goals:

  • Learn about Collective Leadership
  • Skills, values, and behaviors required for Collective Leadership
  • Ways to use Collective Leadership
  • Reflect on what you've learned and how you can apply it to your work
Photo by mikecogh

Learning Goals:

  • What Are YOURS?
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Collective Leadership: What it isn't

What are some old ideas about leadership?
command and control
higher-ups making decisions
top down
small number of "leaders" - everyone else is defined as a follower
old views about people - that they need to be told what to do
organizations are machines

Collective Leadership: What it is

What are some new ideas about leadership?
sometimes called shared or distributed leadership

shared goals/agendas, decision making, collective intelligence,
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more productivity from teams
increase impact of organization
Sustainable leadership - not dependent on one person
a goal so large that it can only be achieved by multiple organizations working together

Collective Leadership: BOTH/AND
Both individual and collective leadership

It is a both/and - not an either or
we need both individual leadership and collective leadership

can have some traditional leadership and some collective within teams and organizations

can move a group from traditional to collective

can start a new group with some or all of the elements
shared goal, shared decision making, rotating roles,
Photo by mikecogh

Untitled Slide

It is a both/and - not an either or
we need both individual leadership and collective leadership
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Collective Leadership:

  • Teams and Programs
  • Whole Organizations
  • Networks and Coalitions
  • Collective Impact Initiatives

The 21st Century Leadership Mindset
1. A different definition of leadership
2. A different view of the leader's role
3. A different way of being

What connections are you making right now between Collective Leadership and your work?

Photo by tinyfroglet

Evolution of Leadership:

  • Bureaucratic -- Leader as Commander
  • Paternalistic - Leader as Parent/Hero
  • Servant - Leader as Empowerer
  • Collective - Leaders as Stewards of Authentic Purpose

Education should not involve one person acting on another, but rather people working with each other. Too much education, Paulo Freire argues, involves ‘banking’ – the educator making ‘deposits’ in the educated.
Paulo Freire

Evolution of Leadership:

  • Guiding question for Collective Leadership:
  • How can everyone most powerfully pursue a purpose that transcends us all?
Photo by marfis75

“Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say, ‘We have done this ourselves’” -Lao Tzu

Photo by Mathesont

Ready Set Go

  • Core Competencies
  • Elements of Collaboration
  • Practices of Collective Leadership
Photo by Mathesont

Evolutionary Leadership informs the skills we need for Collective Leadership

Photo by Mathesont

Evolutionary Leadership is a framework by the Center for Evolutionary Leadership

Photo by Mathesont

7 Core Competencies oEvolutionary Leadership:

  • Personal Evolution
  • Emotions and Generative Language
  • Systems Thinking
  • Intentional Design
  • Systemic Sustainability
  • Adaptive Challenges and Collaboration
  • Visions of Growth
Photo by Mathesont

1. Personal Evolution -

An evolution of consciousness, a global mind
Photo by kevin dooley

2. Emotions and Generative language

Building loving, trusting relationships
Photo by mikebaird

3. Systems Thinking- Understanding

and influencing the systems that shape our world

4. Intentional Design - Consciously designing

our institutions/culture for justice, flourishing, and sustainability

5. Systemic Sustainability - Take care of humanity's

basic needs and relationship with the biosphere

6.  Adaptive Challenges and Collaboration

collective intelligence, innovation, creativity and networks of collaboration
Photo by hey mr glen

7.  Visions of Growth

Building a flourishing future

What connections are you making between Collective Leadership and your work?

Photo by tinyfroglet

6 Elements

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1. Inspiration

6 Elements of Collaboration
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2. Agreements

6 Elements of Collaboration
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6 Elements of Collaboration
Photo by ItzaFineDay

4. Acknowledgement

6 Elements of Collaboration
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5. Renewal

6 Elements of Collaboration
Photo by nrg_crisis

6. Mastery

6 Elements of Collaboration
Photo by Néric Blein

6 Elements of Collaboration


Photo by tinyfroglet

Simple practices:

  • Shared/common goals
  • Shared decision making
  • Rotating roles/responsibilities
  • Build on strengths of group members
  • Identify and align individual goals with collective goals
  • Shared learning


  • Downloads at
  • Packet on Collective Leadership
  • Interview Guide on Collective Leadership
  • Group Alchemy by Deborah Pruitt

Contact Me:
Cassandra O'Neill
Leadership Alchemy

Cassandra O'Neill

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