Organizing and Education

Organizing is essentially educating. In organizing, there is a person that fills the “leadership position”, however, these leaders, act more like organizers. Instead of focusing solely on themselves, they are responsible for the individual leadership of all their students/ members. The organizer’s job is to come up with a project/organization that surrounds an issue they are passionate about. This organization invites other people who are equally passionate to make a difference and then start their own projects within the realm of the organization. The threads of leadership power still intrude the autonomy of the member through the mission of the organization but it also allows the initial organizer’s goal to be perpetuated through this member becoming an organizer in their own right. Because of this, in giving responsibility to the members of the organization, the leader is able to have a stronger organization with a more powerful and sustainable impact. In addition, organizers must choose to reject egoism in order to inspire independence in their organizations. Individual power silences voices and makes an organization remain stagnant – in mission and leadership. In allowing all members power,  there can be “inter-group mobility” – the process in which organization members can become leaders. 

In order for an organization to properly function, the leader must reject that power and instead act as a teacher and thus be constantly putting members before themselves. There is a common misconception that raising up one voice will literally quiet others. Instead it is more than that as it can leads to a greater divide between the organizer and the organization, it makes the organizer appear to have more power due to outside validation. The harm of this power is not often recognized because it does not stem from a self-interested motivation. In order for this to be addressed, the organizer must become a teacher through a developmental process that allows members to understand how to form an organization. Essentially, the two build off one another. The organizer must be able to acknowledge and teach members the risks in order to be aware if they are crossing into unwanted roles or agendas. One cannot lead without caution, they need to be aware of all the possible implications of their leadership style and it is the organizer’s job to inform their future leaders of these implications so they can create students who are aware enough to change the system in a way that works for them. One must be willing to educate someone to become confident enough in their own desires. This allows students to question their organizers and thus create change in a meaningful way. In putting themselves into the educator role versus the traditional organizing role, current leaders are giving their students the tools necessary to be organizers themselves. They are allowing their students to take responsibility for their own passions and become leaders themselves.