Shared leadership

Christian Leadership

by Dr Colleen Beebe Purisaca.

Peace and Hope International developed from a Peruvian initiative and works with organisations from around the world. So it is important that our leadership reflects our roots in Latin America and our goal of working across cultures.

We are guided by non-hierarchical principles, for example servant leadership, equity, inclusion, mutual respect, encouragement of co-workers and making the most of the skills and talents of the people we work with. To demonstrate this, we have two directors from diverse backgrounds whose skills and talents complement and support each other. We are able to address a broader scope of issues more effectively as a team. We bring together female and male perspectives and Latin American and North American perspectives. Each director has equal input into the organisation's work.

There are challenges. We are trying something which is new for us and quite unusual in general. So, in many ways we need to pave the way without having the benefit of learning from other successful examples.

We make decisions:

  • in consultation with each other
  • considering the purpose of the organisation and its best interests
  • considering the best interests and opinions of co-workers, beneficiaries, and others with an interest in the organisation's work.

Shared leadership helps an organisation to be held accountable. We act as a check and balance for each other. So far we have not experienced difficulties as a result of not being able to agree, because we respect each other's decisions and opinions.

Dr Alfonso Wieland and Dr Colleen Beebe Purisaca founded Peace and Hope International in 2002 and have been co-directors since April 2010. Peace and Hope International exists to support the family of Paz y Esperanza organisations that were initially founded in Peru.