Organized collective action challenging the status quo—a social movement— requires leadership that goes far beyond a stereotypical charismatic public persona with whom it is often identified. Unable to rely on established bureaucratic structures for coordination, evaluation, and action, such action depends on voluntary participation, shared commitments, and ongoing motivation. Movements must mobilize under risky conditions not only because well-resourced oppositions often resist their efforts, but also because the undertaking itself is fraught with uncertainty about how—and whether—it can happen in the first place.

Mobilizing others to achieve purpose under conditions of uncertainty— what leaders do—challenges the hands, the head, and the heart.

How do you invest in developing leadership but not in creating dependency of that leadership upon you?

Hope is the belief in the probability of the possible rather than the necessity of the probable.

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February 08

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