experiments, instruments & measurement book

Second-Tier Leadership

Second-Tier Leadership


By Anna Marx

This post is 3rd in a series on Accomplishments and Lessons Learned, a cumulative report demonstrating 5 years of evaluation and research about the Coalition of Innovating Congregations. The report is available online and for download at innovatingcongregations.org/all.

Moses’ father-in-law said to him,

The thing you are doing is not right; you will surely wear yourself out, and these people as well. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.

Exodus 18:17

We often think of change coming about with one charismatic leader. But the truth is, one person cannot do it alone; the task is too heavy. In the last five years, Coalition congregations have changed the way leadership works. They have added second tiers of leadership. They have empowered teacher-leaders to bring innovative learning to our families and brought collaborative teams of professional and lay leaders to create bold visions.

By collecting what we call “tracking data,” we have been able to learn that congregations have expanded their leadership teams over time (read the full report innovatingcongregations.org/resources/second-tier-leadership/). On average, these teams have doubled in size. Our educators know that the task is too heavy. They are not doing it alone anymore.



Are you Person A or Person B?

Posted by Ben Alpert in Ellen Rank, I*MOVE, Peer Consultancy


By Ellen Rank

Person A: “I’m so busy! I’d love to meet with colleagues, but I can’t find the time. I need to be at my office and get my work done.”


Person B: “I’m so busy! I need to speak with my colleagues. I know that they can help me get through these challenges, and then I’ll be able to work more effectively and efficiently.
I know that I do my best work when working and consulting with colleagues. At the same time, I recognize that making time to meet with colleagues isn’t always easy.” Thinking about our new I*MOVE Peer Consultancy, I decided to look online to learn about other peer consultancies and their effectiveness.

My favorite find is a youtube by the Coltrain Group entitled Managing Workplace Stress with Peer Consultancy Groups. This video outlines how peer consultancy groups (PCGs) can alleviate some of the great causes of stress: (1) feeling a lack of control,(2) being subjected to unpredictable conditions and (3) feeling a lack of social support. In a Peer Consultancy, participants bring to the group work that they will have some control over, participants decide which things they want to spend time and energy on, and participants leave with next steps and can-do attitude. A Peer Consultancy Group is a place of predictability where using a protocol leads to an actionable outcome. PCGs support participants in pursuit of best practices as colleagues give thoughtful, creative help to one another. Participants in a PCG build collegial bonds as they give and get help from one another.

Instead of working on your own and feeling overwhelmed by questions and uncertainties, you can be part of a PCG. The Coltrain Group describes how members of PCG leave a meeting feeling empowered and excited, feeling like the group is a gift to the participants.

So, if you are in the metropolitan NY area, and would like to reduce your stress, a Jewish Education Project’s Peer Consultancy Group might be just what you need! If you have not yet signed up to be part of a Peer Consultancy for 2014-2015, look on our resources page  and scroll to I*MOVE Applications for 2014-2015 and scroll to the Peer Consultancy Application. A gift is waiting for you.

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