Unveiling the Leadership Development Plan (LDP) and Seeking Community Feedback

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…drum roll please! As members of the Leadership Development Working Group (LDWG), we are excited to share the Leadership Development Plan (LDP) and invite your feedback. After several months of research, deliberation, and writing, we have written the Leadership Development Plan, a practical resource for emerging and existing leaders across the Wikimedia movement who want to develop themselves and others. For an overview of the Leadership Development Plan, read the summary and share your feedback by Sunday, May 28, 2023.

How Far We’ve Come

What is the LDWG, you might ask? LDWG is a global and diverse community working group that convened for a 1-year term (2022-2023) to steward the definition and direction of the Movement’s leadership development. Our work is a response to Movement Strategy’s “Invest in Skills and Leadership Development” recommendation. When we first convened in June of 2022, we aligned on a shared vision:

“As a result of LDWG’s work, movement members across the Wikimediaverse have an understanding of leadership and how to nurture it in themselves, in others, and in their communities.”

A group of 15 volunteers from various regions, identities, and movement experiences, we are joined by the belief that developing the leadership of community members can lead to the decentralization of power and diverse inclusion. Through our work, we want to make the movement a place where new, small, disadvantaged (emerging) groups and individuals who want to join and grow feel empowered to do so. Effective leadership has the potential to bring people together for a common mission, help people feel safe and a sense of belonging, and support those around them. 

Over the past year, we focused on three goals to further this vision: 

  1. Draft a shared definition of leadership ☑️
  1. Draft a leadership development plan  ☑️
  1. Guide the implementation of the leadership development plan 

In September 2022, we published a definition of leadership that we hope brings clarity and alignment to the way leadership is understood in the Wikimedia movement. In short, leadership is “the ability to guide, inspire, build autonomy, encourage and motivate a group of people towards a shared goal or common vision.” It involves the embodiment of internal qualities such as courage, resilience, focus, and accountability; and outward actions such as trust-building, setting a shared vision, and guiding collaborative decision-making. After publishing the definition, we hosted a community feedback period where community members asked important questions and helped refine the definition. A majority of the responses were in support of the definition and as a result, we forged ahead to the next goal!

Check out our journey in more detail!

Leadership Development Working Group Map Journey English.png

Present Day

Building on the leadership definition, we united our collective experiences to draft the Leadership Development Plan. To reach this point, we conducted research to better understand community sentiments about leadership development and worked in subgroups to draft the Plan. There was a lot of writing, that is certain! Throughout the process, our aim was to draft something useful and relevant. What we ultimately wrote is a practical resource, in a “how-to guide” style, that inspires, validates, and encourages community members across the movement to grow as leaders and support others in their development. While it is not a “plan” on the surface, it does lay out a framework to view leadership and leadership development. Section 1: Understanding Leadership Roles and Skills presents a way to understand and discuss leadership skills and roles across Wikimedia contexts. Section 2: Navigating Leadership Situations focuses on five encounters that leaders face, inviting leaders to notice and, where needed, improve their current handling of those situations. It’s not a comprehensive list but rather a starting point from which to expand. Lastly, Section 3: Creating a Leadership Development Initiative offers a step-by-step process for creating an initiative supporting leadership development, may that be an online course, video series, or any other learning initiative. By providing a systematic process and tools, we hope that more mentors, trainers, organizers, and leaders feel able to support leadership development in their communities. The summary shares an overview of what you will find in the detailed Leadership Development Plan. 

What’s Next?

This is where your help is needed! To improve the first draft of the Leadership Development Plan, we are requesting your feedback. Give feedback through the survey, talk page, MS Forum, or email at leadershipworkinggroup@wikimedia.org by Sunday, May 28, 2023.

Once your feedback is incorporated into the resource, we will publish a revised version and share next steps. In the future, we intend for this resource to be more accessible and want to support community members in using and implementing it in their contexts. 

We look forward to hearing from you!

– Leadership Development Working Group

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