Cooperative Leadership Model

This effective cooperative leadership model has been borne from Ophelia’s experience and knowledge of working in business, federal social service programs and not-for-profit community organizations.




A Mini Guide to Creating Cooperative Leadership

A working templet addressing the process, challenges, pitfalls and solutions for successful and fulfilling outcomes.

What is Cooperative Leadership?

It comes from the relationships established of equality and respect of all participants in a project, vision, group or business.

Through the cooperative leadership process of discovery everyone involved or interested in being involve finds their place, strengths and gifts, challenges and reason for ownership in the vision, project or business as a whole. 

Why is is Important Now?

The time of the “only the boss is in charge” model has given way to more open and inclusive ways of addressing, administrating and encouraging stronger relationships and foundations for projects. The expanded and diverse ways of gathering information and linking distances and ideas shows that not one person has all the solutions to standard and unique problems.

Initiating a Project

Building a strong, secure and logical foundation in the beginning of any project, job or creative endeavor always nets results that follow suit.

We have all seen people initiating projects from what seems to be a backwards approach. Wanting to make the vision manifest too soon or to have a particular look or outcome, based on what they “think” it should be or is best!

This approach can be like a mine field for those involved as it often results in misunderstandings, power struggles and hurt feelings.

Why a Round Table Concept

It is an old concept for the more ethical and beneficial approaches to initiating a project. As in the days of King Arthur, the king and his knights sat in positions where each one was equal yet unique in abilities and purpose.

Our new conscious paradigm is one of all participants being viewed and respected as equal and having a voice to share ideas, thoughts and concerns, no matter whether in a corporation or business, community and social programs, not-for-profit or creative project.

The time of one boss calling the shots and everyone else following blind orders is over. Now granted, there needs to be someone who is in charge per se, to guide. And an effective guide will be one who is able to see the vision, the potential and possibilities, who is able to encourage and empower others to use the talents, gifts, ideas and resources in effective, practical ways.

An effective guide or manager is also someone who is not into playing power games and can defuse the same behaviors when they arise as will invariably happen within groups of differing personalities and backgrounds.

Differences in Life Views, Experiences and Power

Every person on earth has their own unique set of views, experiences, loves and fears. Being able to express them and be heard is a significant step in cooperation, participation and leadership styles.


“To be in control is to let go of control!”

“Necessity is the mother of invention and innovation

Where to Begin:

Defining the Vision to Manifest.

Knowing the stress quotient to be involved.

 Who will be in Charge?

Correctly matching jobs, needs and gifts of those involved.

The Steps to Follow and Why

Step 1

What do you “think” you WANT from the project?

Step 2

What do you “think” you NEED from the project?

 Step 3

What do you “think” you DESIRE from the project?

Step 4

What are you “willing” to GIVE UP for the project?

Step 5

What are you “willing” to DO for the project?

Step 6

What is your “style” of leadership?

  • Discovery is better earlier rather than later.
  • Not everyone will want to play
  • Discover Participants Gifts and Challenges.
  • Not everyone sees the same.
  • How to Empower Others.
  • By whose authority!
  • Views of Authority run deep.
  • Handling the bully and disrupter.
  • Be willing to be silent.
  • If buttons are pushed, watch for fallout.
  • Challenges and dissention are gifts.
  • Personal growth is key and a gift.
  • Does this really work?
  • Everyone can justify anything if it suits them.
  • Personality styles and beliefs.
  • There are no Absolutes – neither right or wrong – they are points of view.