Last Friday, the Center for Integrative Leadership welcomed the 2011-12 Student Leadership Team at a kick-off event at the University Campus Club. Each year, the CIL Student Leadership Team brings together graduate student scholars from across campus and provides a unique opportunity to study, debate, and explore the concept of integrative leadership. This year the CIL faculty selection committee reviewed over forty student applications and invited an exceptional, multi-disciplinary team of students to join this year-long cohort group.
In addition to meeting and learning about each other and the different schools/programs each of the members represent, the team was joined by invited guest leader and UMN Alum, Lowell Kruse, a hospital administrator and community leaders from St. Joseph Missouri, and two CIL Executive Leadership Fellows: Orlyn Kringstad, Executive Director of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, U.S. Foundation; and Tony Wagner, recently retired President and CEO of the nonprofit Pillsbury United Communities in Minneapolis. This accomplished group had a thoughtful exchange about the following five operating assumptions about integrative leadership:
- Leadership is fundamental to making progress on long term challenges and addressing issues of the common good.
- Often, leadership is needed at the places where contrary world views, beliefs, and knowledge intersect.
- The most powerful acts of leadership are those empowering others to make positive change.
- Building broad capacity for acts of courageous leadership may have greater impact than training leaders who are identified as individuals in positions of formal authority.
- Acts of leadership flow from person to person. When viewed this way, shared leadership becomes everyone's job and everyone's opportunity. Fostering this level of collective action is a skill that can be learned.
The team will continue to consider these assumptions as they engage with local leaders and CIL's new monthly research forum throughout the year. We'd love to hear your thoughts about integrative leadership.
To learn more about the CIL Student Leadership Team, please visit the CIL website.