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How to become a Democratic Leader to inspire and drive change?

Growing up in a war-torn society in Yugoslavia in the 90s drove me to become an activist at 15, when I joined Otpor, an anti-dictatorship movement. The societal collapse that I witnessed was driven by individuals with absolute power, abusing it and failing to see diversity as an asset. This experience kicked off my quest to understand the relationship between power, authority, leadership, politics, and change. Since then, I have co-founded 3 social movements and 2 social enterprises, and worked with high-level activists, politicians, business and government leaders. What I found out is that we need to be more intentional in enabling more people to Become Democratic Leaders, not only in government but also in the private & social sectors.

儭 What is Democratic Leadership?

Democracy is about sharing power, accountability, and the freedom to express who you are - to become everything you could be. When anything hinders this self-expression, we all lose a part of your potential contribution.

Democratic Leadership is about creating opportunities for everyone to reach their full potential. This is achieved by fostering a structure & culture that enables power to be shared, diverse voices to be heard, ideas to be explored, and differences to be expressed. Diversity is natural; its how nature evolved from single-cell to complex beings like us. The same principle applies to human systems. By using Democratic Leadership to enable full self-expression, we create a rich environment of ideas and endless possibilities, allowing us to transform individually & collectively toward higher levels of being. This approach to leadership is not only more effective and ethical, it also creates a more meaningful life for you and those you work with.

Democratic Leadership is about creating Democratic Spaces everywhere you go! It's not only about politics and voting. It's about how you participate in or lead your team at work, or your study group, how do you engage your family and friends? You have a chance to create Democratic Spaces and empower people in every aspect of your life! It's this mindset of enabling others to become a better version of themselves - creating a new capacity. Democratic leaders DO NOT create more followers, they create more leaders! It's NOT about having all the answers (cos you dont) - its about enabling all the talents.

How do you Become a Democratic Leader?

You need to start focusing on the 4 main areas seen below. To become a Democratic Leader, you must develop capacity in all 4 areas. The secret is in synergy between these 4 areas! We will address each of them in our future newsletters in an actionable and practical manner, enabling you to continually advance your leadership skills.

Democratic Leadership Framework

Action Item

Looking at the framework above, what is ONE thing that, if you worked on and improved, would make you a much more effective democratic leader? Tell us HERE

Until next time, remember, regardless of your position or authority, you can exercise democratic leadership wherever you go! Don't wait, take action now

Bonus: Key Questions for a Democratic Leader to examine

1儭 Who am I? (Identity, Values, Ethics, Purpose)

2儭 How do I relate to others? (Teamwork, Conflict, Agency, Feedback)

3儭 How do I build trust? (Relationships, Authority, Commitment)

4儭 How do I deal with change & uncertainty? (Emotional regulation/EQ, Change management, Problem-solving, Leadership)

5儭 What is my relationship to power? (Authority, Individual/Collective Power, Purpose, Ethics)

6儭 How do I deal with complexity? (Group Dynamics, System Dynamics, Social Change)

7儭 How do I translate values and ideas into action? (Strategy, Tactics, Leadership Interventions, Habits)

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