"Did you remember to do...?"
The role of the Leader is to oversee the operational work of the Circle in the service of the circle's aim and on the basis on consent. The Leader communicates the interests and decisions of the Circle’s broader Circle.
Their role is to pay attention to 'the bigger picture'. They pay great attention to the sociocratic value of effectiveness.
It's a role that lots of people can do. Any member of a circle may be nominated into the Leader role and every member may have held that role at some point in their circle.
It's a 'both-and' role: you are running partner, challenger, coach and cheerleader. You pay attention to what's been agreed (by consent) and you're there to help and ensure that those agreements and plans actually happen. Then if they're not, to act with curiosity and kindness to find out why and what you can do to help get things started again. You listen, ask for suggestions and propose how to move things forward. It's the balance between holding circle members accountable and trusting and letting go. Another way of thinking of it: giving direction to the circle's work whilst proactively dispersing power. Notice what falls through the cracks, what needs to be picked up?
This includes asking regularly for feedback on style and approach, how people want to be checked in with and how they like to be held accountable (what works for them?) and this is the 'uncomfortable conversations' role too by default.
When a new Circle is created, the broader Circle that creates the Circle will select its Leader. Thereafter, the Circle may propose its own Leader, to be confirmed by the broader Circle.
- Ensures that operations and decisions are moved along between meetings
- Follows up with Circle members and responds to any concerns or difficulties with agreed work. This includes being the named person for HR processes.
- Work within the frame of policy that's already been consented to by the Circle
- Ensures that decisions about apportionment of work or upcoming work are brought to Circle meetings. This may trigger creation of new roles.
- The Leader is a full, working member of the broader Circle.
- May make time-sensitive decisions without being authorized to do so by the Circle, but should make every effort to seek input before making a decision.
- Ensure time-sensitive decisions are reviewed at the following Circle meeting