Power and Leadership (Laird Schaub)

Presented by Laird Schaub

Session Description

One of the primary challenges of cooperative groups is how authentically they work with power and leadership. In this workshop we’ll explore how power is distributed in groups (hint: it’s always uneven); what can be done to flatten how power is distributed; how power can be used well (as medicine) or poorly (as poison); why it’s crucial that groups are able to discuss openly the perception that power is being misused (though rarely do); why we desperately need leaders in cooperative groups (yet tend to stack the deck against them); and why it’s crucial that groups define healthy models of leadership (but usually don’t).

About the Presenters

Laird Schaub lived for four decades at Sandhill Farm, an income-sharing community he helped found in 1974. In addition, he served as the main administrator of the Fellowship for Intentional Community, a network organization he helped create, for the period 1987-2015. In addition to being an author and public speaker about various aspects of community, he's become an expert on cooperative group dynamics and has parlayed his passion for effective process into a consulting business. Over the last 30 years he's worked with more than 100 different groups—including 61 cohousing groups—many of them multiple times. His specialty is up-tempo meetings that engage the full range of human input, teaching groups to work creatively with conflict, and at the same time being ruthless about about capturing as much product as possible. In 2003, he pioneered a two-year training in Integrative Facilitation that he's delivered 11 times across the continent.

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