The Collaborative Leadership Network (CLN)

The Primary Initiative of the Wisconsin Leadership Institute (WLI)

        The Collaborative Leadership Network (CLN) provides young people and those who influence them with a proven approach to leadership development which recognizes both perennial and contemporary challenges, using fresh techniques and emerging technologies. 

        The CLN is an initiative of the Wisconsin Leadership Institute, Inc., an independent not-for-profit organization committed to the study and promotion of effective leadership and followership behavior, especially among youth. The CLN’s challenge is to reverse the widespread loss of confidence in traditional leadership behaviors, which too often rely on personal heroics and top-down chains of command. The CLN encourages participatory leadership through collaboration.
The CLN: Mission, Vision, Values
  • Our mission is to encourage, support, and connect aspiring leaders.
  • We envision a world in which people work, play, learn, and laugh together.
  • Our core values are courage, compassion, continuous learning, service to others, and fun.

                      Coming Soon from the CLN 

     Our Better Angels: Helping You Help Others

Our Better Angels will be an online community which encourages and supports empathy, diversity, creativity, learning, and economic self-interest all at once. Members of the Better Angels Community can turn their $20 annual participation fee into thousands of dollars for good causes, good works, and good people, while earning thousands of dollars in compensation for their own effort. In short, participating in the Better Angels Community will galvanize what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” and help spread the contagion of generosity, altruism, good humor, and good will. Our Better Angels will be sort of like a business, sort of like a school, sort of like a church or a synagogue or a temple, sort of like a service club, and sort of like an on-going non-zero-sum win-win game.

Our Better Angels will work with charitable agencies, nonprofit organizations, and all the individuals who support them as donors, volunteers, and/or employees. We will focus especially on schools, colleges, libraries, service clubs, youth groups, churches, synagogues, temples, and kindred organizations. We will depend on the credibility of those organizations and on the trusting relationships of individual human beings to grow the Better Angels Community. In other words, members of the OBA Community will serve as our advancement, marketing, and sales team. The annual participation fee will be just $20 for individuals, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit corporations – in other words, everyone. We want high-school sophomores to be on the same financial footing in the Better Angels Community as the International YMCA (52,000,000 members) and General Motors (2,786,078 cars sold in 2013).

There will be three elements to the Better Angels experience and thus three reasons to participate:

The Better Angels Learning Experience will provide educational, inspirational, and entertaining material through a website, tweets, blogs, email newsletters, video on You Tube and Vimeo, workshops, webinars, and conferences. Our material will include information and encouragement to help people become productive and responsible philanthropists and creative volunteers. Much of this stuff will be available free to the general public, but some will be limited to member Angels in return for the annual $20 membership fee.

Benefactors: the Better Angels Giving Experience will provide funding support to good causes, good works, and good people. If you want to take full advantage of the OBA Community, you can raise significant amounts just by challenging others to join in for $20 per year. Through the OBA process of “layered philanthropy,” (aka “franchise philanthropy” or “angelfishing”) your $20 annual participation fee can turn into thousands of dollars per year for your favorite causes if you make a small effort to challenge others to join in. For-profit layered sales businesses like Amway and Mary Kaye provide a model and a warning for the OBA process; they offer financial opportunity but require a substantial investment of time and effort, and they are almost entirely about making money. We recognize the need for money, but in the Better Angels Community, the main reason to make money is to give it away. Every member will be required to register in an Angel Community hosted by a nonprofit organization or a charity. Member Angels will also be encouraged to invite other charitable and nonprofit organizations – schools, churches, service clubs, libraries, whatever – to join their own personal OBA Community nested within the global community. 

OBA will return 10% of each Angel’s participation fee ($2) to the designated recipient and to each Angel up the chain of generations for five generations and another 2% ($0.40) for another five generations. As your personal community and the global community grow, all our good causes will benefit as they reap what our member Angels sow. You need not be a billionaire to be an influential philanthropist. You can simply sign up for $20 per year and challenge a few other people to do likewise. It may sound too good to be true, but if any member Angel simply pledges two new Angels to join in, and then each new Angel pledges just two more Angels down through ten generations, the original charity will generate an income of more than $900 per year. That’s just two new Angels in the whole world over one’s entire lifetime. Anyone who pledges five or ten new Angels every year can generate annual incomes of thousands of dollars per year for their designated causes. Pledging an organizational Angel makes that easy, since an Angel organization can encourage its members, volunteers, and employees to join the Angel Community as well.

Beneficiaries: the Better Angels Earning Experience will compensate member Angels for the time and energy they devote to pledging other people and organizations to join the Better Angels Community. We stress giving money away, but you can’t give money away if you don’t have any money to start with. People in dire economic straits, in fact, might be considered both benefactors and beneficiaries within the OBA Community. As a reciprocal process to the giving experience, OBA will pay you 10% of the participation fee ($2) for each Angel who joins your personal Angel Community down through five generations and 2% more ($0.40) down through the next five generations. You can earn thousands of dollars per year for yourself in the same layered process by which you earn thousands of dollars for your good causes. Through its various communication media, OBA will support you in your efforts to generate funds for your causes and for yourself. When you pay it forward, we pay you back. Member Angels will also have the option to designate a charity or nonprofit entity to receive some or all of their own personal earnings. Every Angel can keep their own personal income or give it away.

OBA Mission: to encourage, support, connect, and celebrate the better angels of the human spirit. We help people help people.

OBA Vision: a world in which people everywhere work, play, learn, earn, and laugh together.

OBA Core Values: courage, compassion, learning, service, perseverance, respect, integrity, fun.

OBA Creed: Based on a substantial body of scientific evidence, we believe that most people, most of the time, under favorable conditions, are reasonably intelligent, reasonably creative, willing to work hard for goals they believe in, eager to take responsibility for people and things they care about, and concerned about the long-term welfare of the human community and the planet earth. We believe that courage, compassion, generosity, good will, and good humor are contagious. We believe that the meek have already inherited the earth. In turbulent times, we believe we are living in the storm before the calm.