About Us

Imagine many thousands of young people around the world practicing collaborative leadership to make a real difference in their families, their schools, their neighborhoods, their communities, and their own futures.

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.

We seek to promote and support the values of courage, compassion, continuous learning, and service in group and community settings. Recent studies provide compelling evidence that most American youth see working together to address critical challenges as more effective than working alone or relying on top-down chains of command. The CLN connects public and private institutions, agencies, and organizations that impact the lives of young people - primarily schools, school resource groups, and youth leadership development organizations.

The CLN curriculum is guided by four principles: the necessity for life-long learning; the primacy of stories over theories and lectures; the value of active and interactive learning; and the importance of practice, exercise, enjoyment, and play. Curriculum content will include interdisciplinary scholarship; the insights and practices of the “learning discipline” approach to leadership education (e.g. personal mastery, team learning, and systems thinking); and the experiential or “adventure” approach to leadership education. CLN materials will be delivered through the Internet, interactive electronic media, traditional print media, and a variety of face-to-face experiences. 

Imagine . . .
A complete curriculum for use in secondary schools and in youth organizations.

Workshops, conferences, and camps for students, teachers, and youth-group leaders.

Video and print productions relating the critical values, skills, and habits of collaborative leadership to various career fields and aspects of human endeavor. (The Key Leader Values video series was introduced in the fall of 2007 with the 27-minute program, “Service: The Heart of Leadership.")

A network of interactive web sites featuring the latest and most useful thinking in the field of leadership development, and celebrating the heroes, sheroes, and servants of human history in all times and places. The hubs of this network are on line here and at keyleadervalues.com and at pluribusinc.com.

 
 
The CLN is an initiative of the Wisconsin Leadership Institute, Inc. (WLI), an independent not-for-profit organization committed to the study and promotion of effective leadership and followership behavior, especially among youth. 
 
Executive Director:
Jack Christ Emeritus Professor and Director of Leadership Studies, Ripon College; Founder, Our Better Angels
 
President:
Terry Shelton, Outreach Director, La Follette School of Public Affairs
 
Vice-President and Secretary:
Carla Hacker, Coordinator, Stress/Challenge Program, Madison Metropolitan School District

Treasurer:
Craig Tebon, Executive Director, Ripon Main Street Program.
 
Board Members:

John Greenwwod, Program Manager for Education and Outreach, Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service

Mary Avery, Director of the Business Management Program, Ripon College