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DOUBLE TAB TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET Increased Engagement and Investment When leadership is shared and cultivated, people are more engaged, energized, and invested in the goals. This happens because people have a sense of ownership of the goals: they helped create them, so they are much more invested in seeing them come to life. Sustainability Sustainability is often elusive without collective leadership. If everything is dependent on one person and that person leaves, what happens? Work grinds to a halt, or the person’s absence results in missing knowl- edge and information that are difficult to recover. In contrast, where there is collective leadership, knowledge, responsibility, and information are shared across a group. Another aspect of sustainability is to sustain a change or improve- ment. Take the example of quality-improvement initiatives (or quality rating and improvement systems), in which the quality of early child- hood programs is the focus of change. If the change is directed by someone other than the teacher or staff, it is less likely to be continued. In contrast, when the change is driven by a partnership between the teacher and whoever is leading or supporting/directing the change, the change is much more likely to be sustained. In this dynamic of “power with” versus “power over,” the teacher is actively involved in a collabo- rative partnership and is part of leading the change process. According to Senge, Hamilton, and Kania (2015, 29), “Ineffective leaders try to make change happen. System leaders focus on creating the conditions that can produce change and that can eventually cause change to be self-sustaining.” Misperceptions about Collective Leadership It’s important to keep in mind a few common misperceptions about col- lective leadership. First, some believe that collective leadership means that there are no leaders and that the group, effort, or organization is “leaderless.” This is not the case. Instead, collective leadership is “leader- ful,” meaning that the leadership capacity of the members of the group is realized (Raelin 2003). In leaderful organizations, efforts, and groups, everyone has a chance to exhibit leadership, leadership occurs at every level, and individuals are willing to set aside their individual agendas to pursue the group’s goals and interests. The leadership capacity of the group as a whole (or the entire system) is also present in leaderful What Is Collective Leadership? 13 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL