October 21, 2005
Our cooperative inquiry focused on the question "How can we create the space/opportunities for individuals to recognize themselves as leaders and develop leadership?" Early on, our group realized that we were not referring to leadership as an individual act as is traditionally the case. Instead, most of the stories we shared throughout our inquiry dealt with the details of close working relationships with people in our organizations and communities.Exploring what must happen for leadership to be shared led us to see the need to encourage a genuine shift in the leadership relationship, in which someone steps back (whether they do it consciously or not) and someone steps up. (In our conversations we've termed the latter crossing over.) We are very clear that these two actions are linked but are not necessarily sequential.