Collecting Feedback: A shared definition of leadership

Introduction

The Leadership Development Working Group (LDWG) was initiated from the “Invest in Skills and Leadership” recommendations of Wikimedia Movement Strategy 2030. The purpose of the working group is to advise leadership development work by the Community Development team as well as in broader community initiatives in the near term, pending any future changes of direction coming from the Movement Charter and Global Council currently being formed. It is a diverse, global and community-driven working group made up of 15 members representing all 8 regions, over 17 languages, diverse Genders, different levels of movement experience as well as multiple roles. 

The group members are:

Support

Learnings 

In the few months the LDWG members have worked together, we have learned a lot about working in a multilingual and multicultural group. Here are a few reflections:

  • Diversity – through working together, we have learned that group diversity is highly important. Diversity has allowed us to examine our goals at many different levels and brings different skills to the table. 
  • Inclusion (especially language inclusion) – we have also learned how to work inclusively, for instance by prioritizing translation support and constantly checking in to make sure everyone is following along. Our working languages are English, Spanish, and Russian and we have discovered that with care and consideration, working in multiple languages does not need to be a barrier for effective communication. 
  • How we work – we’ve also realized that how we work is just as important as what we do. To aid our work, we use consent-decision making to facilitate decisions, a balance of synchronous meetings and asynchronous work, and tools such as Asana to track our progress and accountabilities. 
  • A messy and complex process – we’ve learned that working in a diverse group will be messy and complex, but through mutual support, communication and perseverance, we will steadily forge ahead! 

Celebrating Wikimania session

The LDWG made its first group appearance during the Wikimania 2022 virtual conference. The group hosted a panel discussion that was attended by 60 participants on Zoom and over a 100 on PheedLoop (panelists: Nitesh Gill, Goodness Ignatius, Francesc Fort, Jan Lukas Hobrock, Nada Alfarra, & Rae Adimer). During this session, the group discussed and answered questions about what the LDWG is, why it exists, why leadership is important, what goals were set, what progress has been made, and how to stay updated and involved. Questions were welcomed from attendees that connected through Zoom and PheedLoop. See the video recording for more details.

Announcing Definition

In the past months, we have been working on a shared definition of leadership. As a group of volunteers representing different communities, languages, roles, and experiences, the first draft was written after months of discussion, learning and sharing from our community perspectives. We went through several rounds of storytelling, brainstorming, writing, and revising. 

While there are many definitions of leadership that exist in the world, we wanted to draft a leadership definition that takes into account the kinds of leadership that are needed in our unique context. We also wanted to ensure that the definition represents and unifies our diverse experiences, regions, languages, and roles. The draft definition includes a general definition of leadership and subcategories which elaborate on the actions, qualities, and outcomes of good leadership. See the draft definition of leadership here. Now we await community input and feedback! 

Call for Feedback

To ensure that the definition is relevant for our diverse communities, we are collecting community feedback. Feedback will be collected until October 06, 2022 and we will collate feedback through these means: 

The Leadership Development Working Group will be collecting and incorporating your feedback continuously. We hope that this feedback period allows a broad range of community members to share their input about leadership so that we can collectively create a definition that is relevant, accepted, and useful for everyone. 

After collecting and incorporating your feedback, we will share a revised version with you. We recognize that this definition will continue changing and improving in the future, and this is not the only chance to provide feedback! In the next months, we hope to continue having conversations with community members about leadership, where it exists, how it is relevant to you, and how we can support you in fostering leadership in your communities.

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