Thursday, October 4, 2012

Shared Responsibility and Leadership, Continuous Learning: Principles for Decision-Making

One of my favorite aspects of being a member of SALT is that I get to see how other people grow in their passion for service, knowledge about fundraising, and confidence in pursuing social justice in the world around them. Though we have a staff of students who plan the agenda for each meeting and make executive decisions on behalf of the rest of the members, the important decisions are, in effect, made by all of SALT. Because SALTers are such a diverse group of people with unique perspectives and passions, our discussions in choosing focus group topics and the World Relief Campaign project can be very challenging. However, SALT inherently attracts people who are passionate about social justice and, because this pursuit can take many forms, cooperation is often necessary to achieve the goals of the group.  Even if my ideas are not ultimately chosen, these large-group conversations allow me to better understand the passions of other SALTers, the issues that exist in the world, and how the group will define and carry out our mission during the year.

In addition to voting on focus group topics and the WRC project, members of SALT have the opportunity to serve as focus group co-leaders or WRC committee co-leaders. Because SALT does not have a typical hierarchical structure of responsibility, we are able to foster newer members into positions of leadership. This helps both to retain members and keep them invested in the work that the group is doing. As a senior SALTer, it is hugely rewarding to be a leader mostly by facilitating others’ growth in the organization. Instead of concentrating on moving up a ladder, members of SALT are mentored into roles of leadership that align best with their personal passions and, in later years, are able to continue that cycle of mentorship.

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