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Anti-Leadership Training

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A more human way to lead

We believe the world is out of synch for the kind of leaders we want and need to respond to the issues facing civil society.  We believe that “the thing called ‘leadership’” is fundamentally about enabling a group to achieve a shared purpose.  However, traditional leadership development programmes focus on developing the skills and competencies of one key individual in a position of authority.  This is too narrow a focus to be effective,


Our programme is different.


We don’t even call it a leadership programme.  We know that most of the accepted practices of leaders are recipes for dependency and mediocrity.  We want to help overhaul these practices, so we call what we do ‘anti-leadership.’  Our training does not focus on ‘the person at the top’ but on helping entire groups (teams, organisations) become more effective at achieving their shared purpose.  We help organisations to develop cultures that promote and enable continuous learning, transforming the organisation to deliver better outcomes for the people who matter most: the people who use your services.

What makes our training different:


  • We work primarily with groups rather than individuals.

  • Our training is fundamentally about the doing - it is about the what, where, when, how, and most importantly why.  Anti-leadership is about collective action and shared processes, not formal roles.  Who does it is of secondary importance.


  • Our training is fundamentally embedded in a unique context – it is about this group, what they are trying to achieve, and the environment in which they operate.  Anti-leadership doesn’t believe there is a fixed way to lead, but that all people are unique with unique things to contribute to the service of a shared purpose.


  • Our training places high value on social interactions and connectedness - collective action can only emerge from mutual discourse, disagreement, and honesty.  Anti-leadership is at heart about relationships.

As practical as it is theoretical, we teach the tools to:

  • Put human flourishing at the heart of what you believe and do

  • Build deep, trusting relationships

  • Support and challenge one another to learn and grow

  • Identify what people do best and how to help them do that

  • Have the courage to think differently and work differently

  • Create the conditions for people to feel motivated by their work


CAN-E member organisations are strongly encouraged to participate. It is an important space for your staff and members to connect and build the skills required for collaborative system change.





Who is eligible to attend Anti-Leadership Training and for whom is it suitable?


Our Anti-Leadership Training is available to any organisation, no matter how large or small.  You do not need to be a CAN-E member.  The training is aimed at organisations with a strong social purpose.  Up to 12 members from an organisation can be part of the cohort, and we strongly recommend this be a mixture of junior and senior staff.  Out training is suitable for people who are prepared to be challenged and to leave their egos at the door.

How long is Anti-Leadership Training course and where does it run?


We offer a two-day option and a six-day option, both of which will run either in or at a location near to your organisation’s base.  The six-day programme runs in three two-day instalments over six months, giving your organisation time to embed the lessons in between instalments.


What research is the Anti-Leadership Training based on?


Our methodology draws on a wide range of sources – community organising principles drawn from IAF and the Sydney Alliance; research into the psychology of motivation, especially the work of Jonathan Haidt; the Human Learning Systems approach developed by Dr Toby Lowe ... and our own experience of being human.

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