Generating ideas, connections, and action

Leadership for a New Era

Support Leadership Development That Ignites + Sustains Social Justice


We invite you to partner with the Leadership Learning Community in our mission to advance to a more just and equitable society by transforming the way leadership development work is conceived, conducted and evaluated.


Your contribution will provide crucial support for our core work, specifically to:   

Your donation will help us continue to provide free services and resources to the leadership development community in the most open, transparent, and participatory ways. Please support our work today with a tax deductible contribution. read more »

New Report: A Guide for Strengthening the Collective Impact of Your Leadership Development Work


As part of the Leadership for a New Era (LNE) initiative - a collaborative research initiative that seeks to promote more inclusive, networked and collective leadership models - the Leadership Learning Community (LLC) has generated a series of "How To" guides for leadership program staff. The guides are supported by funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.


The guides can be read separately or as an interconnected series. They also offer recommendations on these important topics: read more »

  • How to use action learning to achieve your results
  • How to recruit to maximize the value of your cohort
  • How to cultivate and activate your network

From Talking to Doing: The “How To” Series


For the past two years LLC has been talking about the need for a fundamental change in the way we think about and practice leadership and leadership development. We have highlighted examples of innovative approaches in our newsletters, blog posts, and webinars that we believe demonstrate the potential to increase the reach and impact of leadership development work when we move our focus from supporting individual leaders to supporting leadership as a process that engages many people in aligning their leadership action.  As the next frontier of supporting this change in practice, with the generous support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we have produced a new how -to series that goes one step further, translating what has worked for others into practical advice for leadership development practitioners.  read more »

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

By: Deborah Meehan

There is more to our consulting services  than may meet the eye.  It’s not just about money, or as we like to say, diversifying our revenue streams; although it been a very helpful source of income during the past couple of years when grant funding was more restricted. 

http://www.freedigitalphotos.netIt may help to give a little history to LLC’s consulting services.  When we were first approached to take on a larger evaluation project it occurred to us that we had the opportunity to bring consultants together on projects who as potential competitors most likely had little collegial opportunity to share and develop tools and protocols together.  We loved that consulting provided a platform for increased collegial learning among consultants, and also for sharing knowledge and insights generated through the project with our community through our website and blog.

Fast forward to 2009 when the LLC team (staff and board), had an important, and timely, discussion that brought a whole new lens to our consulting work.  As part of the Leadership for a New Era  work we became aware of the need for new models and practical applications of leadership approaches that are more inclusive, networked and collective.  We began to appreciate our consulting services work as an applied research opportunity.  Since this time we have sought out consulting projects that would test our thinking and deepen the leadership field’s understanding of what it looks like to bring a race conscious lens to the work or design a network centric leadership program or use social network analysis to catalyze alumni networks.

 read more »

Leadership and Race Publication Launch Highlights

We launched the "Leadership and Race: How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice" in September 2010.  The publication was developed by the Leadership Learning Community and other thought leaders in the leadership and racial equity fields.  The publication offers practical methods and recommendations to help leadership programs prepare their participants to bring a more race conscious lens to all policy and service work; and empower people of color to better lead their communities.

We reached out to key partners and media (bloggers, etc.) to help us communicate the messages from the report.  We wanted to share with you some of the highlights from the launch campaign: read more »

Leadership and Networks Draft Synthesis: Bringing a Network Lens to Leadership & a Leadership Lens to Networks

We are working on the second publication of the Leadership for a New Era project on Leadership and Networks.  We just finished the first draft of the synthesis and are working with the writing partners to get it closer to the final publication.  We encourage you to share your ideas and feedback as well - you can add comments below or start a discussion on the Leadership for a New Era site.  We are also hosting a meeting on January 31st in San Francisco to explore some of the ideas and questions from the synthesis. Register Now!

1) Why this matters:

The 2008 presidential election campaign mobilized 13,000,000 Obama supporters, many of whom were first time activists. Some participated in small ways making cell phone calls from the privacy of their living rooms while others hopped in their cars and took off for new cities to play a major organizing role opening new offices. The campaign was able to generate over $750,000,000 with many small donations. The ability of the campaign to inspire, generate resources, engage and organize millions of volunteers has raised interesting questions about leadership, civic participation and how change happens. This campaign was not an isolated event. There are a number of examples of ways in which new technologies have transformed our ability to connect and communicate enabling us to increase the scale and impact of our work in previously unimagined ways through networks. read more »

Structural Racism and Leadership External website [view] [more info]

The election of our first African American president has sparked debate over how far we have come as a nation on issues of race. Some suggest that we are in a post-racial society, but this assumption has not been supported by recent census statistics. While one in seven people in the U.S. are now living in poverty, statistics show that African Americans and Latinos have fared worse during the recession.

Authors: Deborah Meehan

Subjects: structural racism, leadership, Leadership for a New Era

12/01/2010 - 01:00 - 0 comments - 0 attachments - Posted by Natalia Castaneda

Supporting leadership that promotes racial justice (

Guest blog on

By Deborah Meehan, Executive Director, Leadership Learning Community

Oakland made the headlines again this summer when a jury delivered a verdict of involuntary manslaughter in the trial of Johannes Mehserle.  Mehserle, a BART police officer, was on trial for shooting Oscar Grant, a young, African American, unarmed passenger who died on New Year’s Day 2009.  Oscar Grant’s shooting and death were captured on a cell phone video and posted on YouTube.   Oscar Grant was shot in the back while he was defensively held face down by other BART police officers with his hands handcuffed behind his back.  Mehserle asserted that he accidentally pulled and fired his pistol instead of a taser gun.  It is possible with this verdict that Mesherle will be given probation and no jail time when he is sentenced on November 3rd 2010.

Months in advance of the verdict, a number of youth organizations in Oakland began organizing to provide opportunities for young people to gather and talk about how this could happen and what could be done so that it doesn’t happen again.  This is a leadership question and makes the findings of a report just released on Leadership and Race particularly relevant.  Why? The report, How to Develop and Support Leaderships that Contributes to Racial Justice, suggests that the focus on the individual has permeated the ways in which we think about leadership with some serious costs to our efforts to change the realities of people like Oscar Grant who have been denied many life opportunities because of their race. read more »

New Report: How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice


Leadership programs can help solve racial inequalities in access to education, healthcare, income and wealth, but many current approaches to leadership development actually maintain and promote racial inequalities. The report, How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice, suggests that a large number of leadership programs associate leadership with equal opportunity and individualism. This thinking does not recognize that current systems (i.e. policy, culture and institutional practices) can cause racial identity to limit one’s access to life opportunities. It also focuses too narrowly on changing the behavior of individual leaders. Instead, leadership programs should: 1) make their programs more accessible for people of color; 2) help participants understand how race limits the access to opportunities – in other words, the impact of structural racism; and 3) promote collective leadership. This approach will help participants work together to tackle the systems that maintain racial inequalities. 

Over 1,100 Downloads - Get your Free Copy Now!

 read more »

Guest Blog Post by Raquel Gutierrez: The Leadership Development Paradigm is Changing

Author: Raquel Gutierrez

Date: 08.16.10

Source: 22nd Century Leadership

A new paradigm for leading social change is emerging; a worldview acknowledging the importance of leadership that is life-affirming, inclusive, and sustainable. The transformation of social change leadership culture is a response to beliefs, practices, and teachings that are passed on from one generation of social change workers to the next; beliefs which ultimately determine the quality of life, leadership practices, organizational practices, and efforts of professionals working for social change. Leadership paradigms and approaches by nonprofit leaders often reflect the lack of possibilities for action that are bound by old ways of thinking and being in the sector. (1) Today, practitioners and scholars have a better understanding that “leadership development is not about filling a gap but about igniting a field of inspired connection and action.” (2) read more »

Syndicate content