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Telepathy helps but it's not necessary: The X-Men and distributed leadership in a diverse community

Session 4
Aaron Gerwer — Science Leadership Academy

Since Giant-Sized X-Men issue #1 in 1975, the X-Men have served as an example of a successful diverse community in service to a unifying philosophy. Their 40 year influence on our culture and expression of shifting American values cannot be underestimated and can serve as an ideal source of metaphorical reflection for a wide range of folks . In this conversation we will push our practice through a discussion of the practices of this diverse (in terms of background, talent, and personality) team and the lessons we can learn from their successes and failures in relation to our own "teams".

Conversational Practice

Different Groups will analyze an issue of the comic where a different member of the team is called on to lead. Groups will ask questions about how the aptitudes and abilities of the leader in question influenced the mission and its success or failure. After unpacking the issue, groups will discuss examples from their own practice that relate to a similar challenge and how they or a member of their team addressed it. Groups will then share aspects of their conversations with the entire session in a broader conversation before individuals are given a hypothetical mission and asked to construct a strategy for success that includes selecting the ideal team and leadership. Solutions will be submitted via google form and shared with the group for further discussion post-conference.

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