Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Graduates of Somerville's first resident leadership class set sail for community engagment

When was the last time an idea “rewired” your brain or completely changed the way you thought?  As the Somerville Academy for Innovative Leadership (SAIL) was wrapping up this weekend that was the feedback that came in from some of the 20+ class participants.

SAIL dealt with adaptive leadership, which requires a pretty dramatic shift in the way you’d think about leadership. Being top banana doesn’t make you a leader; it makes you an authority figure. Leadership is an action anyone can take, but it can be risky. Adaptive leadership is all about asking tough questions, getting to the root of problems, and sometimes embracing a little chaos to create change.

Adaptive leadership also encourages giving the work back so that people own the solutions they create. In that spirit, we’re giving the work back to the first graduating class of SAIL. In exchange for the 26 hours of class time with leadership expert Hugh O’Doherty, we’ve asked each of the SAIL-ers to give back 30 hours of community engagement.

Given the diverse interests of the group, which included everything from beautification to affordability to recreational water use, we’re sure we’ll have many exciting projects, programs, and volunteer efforts to report on soon.

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