Day 4: Leadership for Health Equity and Social Change

Activity 10: Defining leadership

45 minutes

Aims | To help us to:

  • Reflect on ourselves as leaders, and those leaders that inspire us and those that demotivate us
  • Develop a common understanding of what leadership is in conventional terms and how this differs from holistic and collective leadership for social change

Task 1
Journal work: How I see leadership…

15 minutes

Take 10 minutes working alone with your Journal. Don’t think too hard for each question, just write what first comes to mind. After this you’ll take some of your thoughts into small group work.

Finish these opening words to write a paragraph. Do not spend more than two minutes per question. The facilitators will set timers to support you: 

  1. If I am to define leadership in one word, it is… 
  2. Where my leadership role has succeeded was… 
  3. Where my leadership role has failed was…
  4. Leaders who inspire me and why they do, are… 
  5. Leaders who demotivate/depress me and why, are…   

Task 2 Group work
What is leadership?

15 minutes

In your small group, first write everyone in your group’s answers to the first question above (your definition of leadership in one word) in large letters onto a flipchart page. 

Now reflect back on the Orientation to this Leadership Fellowship. In some of those sessions we spoke of   view of leadership for social change as holistic, involving the Head (conceptual), Heart (relational) and Hands (leadership for advocacy). We spoke of the need for us to bring our whole selves, our communities and social identities, our histories, our hopes and dreams for a future of justice and plenty for all, into the practice of activist leadership that is about strengthening collectives for social justice. 

Discuss in your group, this notion of holistic leadership as opposed to conventional notions of ‘leadership’ and how it might come alive or manifest concretely day to day. Look back at the words on the flipchart after your discussion and whether they still stand or which ones not and why. 

Agree who will report back on your group’s discussions in plenary.  

Task 3 Plenary
Agreeing what holistic and collective leadership involves

15 minutes

In plenary, we’ll hear from groups how they view holistic leadership and we’ll consider how holistic leadership for collective organising and social change can best be practiced in the day to day.