Introduction

Women Holding Handsby Barbara Spraker and Patricia Hughes

Welcome to Developing Women’s Leadership ~ Around the Globe! This has been a two-year project all about learning and building relationships, and we are eager to share our learnings and passions with you, and extend the relationship across time and space to include all those who are champions for women’s ways of leading change.

Intention
The intention of this project is to empower women around the globe to appreciate their skills, to value the contributions they make to their communities, and to expand their influence and impact. Women around the globe are leading change in their families, towns, villages, and cities.  Their powerful impact will not only benefit their local communities, but the larger global community as well. The need and the opportunity have never been greater to support and nurture this leadership. By tapping into the insight and wisdom of women from different cultures, and creating a strong network across cultures, the Project nourishes and amplifies collective impact.

“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” – William Ross Wallace

Methodology
This Project supports women and organizations engaged in developing leadership competence by identifying cross-cultural leadership development needs and sharing effective strategies. The Project first engaged key women coordinators (Country Conveners) in a variety of countries who could speak to the leadership needs of women in their country, and could identify and convene a small group of women in Conversation Circles – a process of guided conversation focusing on addressing leadership challenges as group members experience them.  These Conversations provided data and created interest and readiness among participants for utilizing the leadership strategies developed.

The results of these first Conversations form the basis for this Capacity Guide, designed for use by individuals, groups of women, or trainers of women around the globe. We refer to this workbook as a Capacity Building Guide because the skills and strategies needed for shared leadership inevitably lead to both increased capacity to perform on the part of the individuals who participate as well as increased capacity to get things done by the community at large. The Country Conveners will call the original group together and use this Guide to facilitate a second Conversation in their countries about developing leadership skill among women. They will discuss ways they can use this Capacity Building Guide to enhance their influence and impact as leaders. The intention of this action research approach is that the women who participate in these Conversations will experience being heard and will see themselves as part of a global energy field of solidarity, as women world-wide are stepping up to lead change where they see a need.

Lastly, the Kitchen Cabinet (more about this group of women later) and Antioch University Seattle (AUS) students are co-designing and co-facilitating a Women’s Leadership Conference on the AUS campus September 28-29, 2013.

 > Next – The First Conversations