Leader is not a title to claim for oneself, it is a temporary role offered to (or requested of) a person of integrity and good standing in his or her community.
— from Leadership is a Fashionable Hat
Beyond (and beneath) Leadership
Leadership is a word much loved in business culture these days. We have agile leaders, servant leaders, thought leaders, fearless leaders, open leaders, and tribal leaders, to name but a few. We have leadership rules, leadership laws, leadership principles, and leadership lessons. To satisfy this craving the business world is now awash with Leadership Training.
And here's another one: Grassroots Leadership. Yet despite its name this workshop will not teach you to be a leader. You will learn instead to be a good citizen, a member of a collective movement for change. In understanding the nature of citizenship your innate ability to lead will be sparked, positioning you to take on leadership responsibility as and when required, without fear, and more vitally, without the need for positional power.
The Seeds of Change
A grassroots movement is one driven by the politics and needs of a community—in our case the workforce. The term implies that the creation of the movement is natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between emergent change and change programs that are orchestrated by traditional power structures. Grassroots change grows from a seed of intuitive understanding, rather than being designed and implemented according to logical analysis.
Surprisingly, grassroots change can serve the power structure as well as it serves the individual, creating environments of respect and mutual benefit.
The original name for this workshop was Thoughtful Citizenship intended to call out the limiting idea that thinking was restricted to the domain of leadership, and reinforced through terms like Thought Leader. In the knowledge work industry we must all—by definition—be thinkers. A grassroots leader typically has no positional power but leads instead by modeling: working thoughtfully and effectively, adopting a caring, conscientious manner, and confronting aggression and injustice.
The act of reinventing organisations requires gentle guides, considerate stewards, thoughtful citizens who know when to serve, when to step up and when to step aside. Today's organisations require everyone to lead, when the time is appropriate for the type of leadership each of us can offer—and all of us can offer leadership. We just need to try a little less, release a little more.
"This was a chance to think really deeply about what leadership is and is not. About why we need leaders, and why we do not. I left the workshop thinking of myself less in terms of a leader and more as someone who can allow action to happen. If you get the chance to take this workshop, do it!"
— Dr Laurie Young, freelance CTO
Shift your paradigm
This online workshop will take you on a two-day journey to discover you innate citizenship, your ability to love, to serve, to create, to confront, to rise above the mundane and live to your fullness within the madness of the corporate world, seeding transformation as you go.
Using poetry, storytelling, dialog, improvisation, creative writing, metaphor and scripture the experience will challenge your mind and open your heart.
If you are already designated a leader this workshop may be a process of unlearning, emptying your cup in order to make room for a different way of thinking, a different approach to leadership. If you do not (yet) coinsider yourself a leader this workshop will unlock your potential to be one.
"Without a doubt the most thought-provoking agile session I've ever attended. Tobias continues to create angles which give me those aha! moments."
— Jem D'jelal, trainer, coach, coddiwompler
If all goes well you'll leave with a sense of awe at how something as simple as good citizenship becomes great leadership in the transformation space, and you'll be ready to arrive at your next station with a willingness to be the best you that you are capable of being, whether leader, citizen or some oscillating hybrid of the two.
Do not attend this workshop if you have any desire to hold onto, or gain corporate power, or wish to maintain the status quo. This workshop is for fearless adventurers, curious investigators, and unorthodox thinkers.
Learn more about this workshop
Video review with participant comments by Laurie Young
A journey towards emergent leadership by Arif Bobat
Experiments with Emergent Leadership by Richard Arpino
"Tobias is a master in shifting perspectives and producing long-lasting learning outcomes. He guides the group of learners to explore differently what is known, expands your comfort zone to consider different views and opens up possibility to create new tools for yourself. Highly recommended!"
— Anna Rondina, Change & Transformation Agent
Image: Better Communities
Content: Tobias Mayer, 2016-2021
Page last updated: 27/09/2022