Creating the Circle of Leadership


The African village, the American Indian tribal council, and the town meeting are examples of cooperative circular structures in which the community considers important decisions. The African saying “One head does not a council make” underlies their old tradition of tapping into the collective wisdom. The Native American “talking stick,” passed around a circle, gives everyone a chance to speak from the heart, so that a group perspective surfaces. The core Hispanic values of sharing, mutuality, cooperation, and community certainly imply a circular sense of all members being connected and taking care of one another.

Bordas, Juana (2012-03-26). Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age (pp. 139-140). Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Thus does Bordas begin section three of her book on multicultural leadership. Once again the section will feature three principles.

I find it interesting that she lists three examples of cooperative circular structures: one for Blacks, one for native Americans, and one that doesn’t specify its cultural origins. Based on the parallelism she has been using, one would assume that the town meeting was meant to be for the Latino culture. Yet when I think of the town meeting I think of the New England town meeting of colonial American origin. Her examples after that point goes back to the three cultures of color, so I am uncertain.  I do not know whether Latinos have a culture of town meetings or not, I only know that of my own WASP background, and its egalitarian community focus.

So expect upcoming blogs on the next three principles:

  • Principle #7: The Seven-Generation Rule – Intergenerational Leadership
  • Principle #8: All My Relatives – La Familia, the Village, the Tribe
  • Principle #9: Gracias – Gratitude, Hope, and Forgiveness

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