Master the arts of logic, rhetoric, and dialectic in the context of philosophical exploration and applied leadership training. Please email for more information, or to request one of the five membership slots available for this 12-session spring cycle of Conversations in Leadership and Philosophy. (CLAP)
Overview and Benefits
Leadership, Philosophy, Mentorship, Accountability, and Service
Leadership – core focus of the organization and bi-weekly group meetings is to develop leaders of character who will change the world through the individuals they meet. Also includes bi-monthly case study, speaker, expansion, or service opportunities.
Philosophy – the field of discussion and area of interest around which leadership skills are developed.
Mentorship – Connection to a local business professional for career advice, life skills, and lessons from personal experience
Accountability (Editability) – Weekly meetings of 3-5 peers to review life events, struggles, and goals. Focus on leadership and consistency. Develop an environment of trust and love.
Service – Find a local need to meet with the intention of connecting with individuals. This includes workshops at other colleges with the intention of expanding the group. Could connect with and mentor other students.
Leadership – gathering every second month for 2 hours minimum. First, presentation from local professional. Second (or before the meeting) present a case study on a key topic using issues the speaker has personally dealt with. Secondary focus of this meeting is on networking: collecting updated resumes and connecting interested capable people with new ideas. The leadership function is also responsible for maintain and developing high levels of leadership through cooperation with the mentorship and philosophy functions.
Philosophy – meetings every second week for discussing various philosophical ideas and dilemmas chosen by the mentorship and accountability group. For the meetings, groups may invite guest speakers or leaders who can speak to a key topic of the discussion. The goal of this function is to maintain a high level of discussion and to focus the group toward greater agility in logic, rhetoric, and perhaps writing.
Mentorship – Candidates for org membership are submitted for connection between org members and qualified mentors. Mentor relationships include monthly conversation on key topics and accountability. Leadership gatherings may be a good place to make introductions between org members and community/business/church leaders
Accountability – Focused on personal development of individuals through mentorship, philosophy, leadership, and goal setting. Leadership of this area rotates every 2-3 meetings. Focus on personal development and asking hard questions. This is essential to the success of individuals in the group and must be agreed to before receiving membership in the org. Cooperates with the leadership and philosophy functions to provide feedback on individual performance in these areas.
Service – The function of service is to create opportunities to give back to the community. May partner with other local groups, orgs or charitable projects. Service may cooperate with the leadership function to host open seminars for the community.
Each one of the functions is limited only by the creativity and passion of its associate office-holders.
Vice President of Leadership – arranges speakers, seminars, and leadership curriculum for small and large group gatherings. Provides training materials and feedback to meeting facilitators for personal leadership development.
Vice President of Philosophy and Service. – responsible for maintaining depth of conversation and discussion. Provides feedback and training to discussion facilitators on how to improve the quality of debate. Also responsible for coordinating community service projects and for making group members aware of current events that impact their lives and discussion.
Vice President of Mentorship – Coordinates with other local groups of community and business professionals to establish mentoring relationships between them and individual org members. Provides training and resources on how to maximize these relationships.
Vice President of Accountability – Leads small group agenda. Arranges level 1 meetings. Provides training, resources, and feedback to the delegated individuals asking accountability questions. Responsible to insure that individuals stay on track toward their personal and professional development.
Executive Vice President – links between the VP’s, support, and active personnel. Responsible to insure that every vice-president maximizes their function for the benefit of the group. This position is automatically held by the initiator of the first group in the local area and can only be transferred by a group vote.
No leadership and Philosophy org shall be allowed to exist without at least three VP roles filled: Leadership, Mentorship, and Accountability. These three positions are to be held by one individual only throughout the duration of the term (usually 12 small group sessions). The Vice President of Coordination may assume one of these three roles while in that position, but only one additional role is permitted. The Scholarship and Service Role is optional and may be assumed by a person holding any one of the VP positions. Once there are five members of a group, all functions must be distributed one per person.
Treasurer – for collecting optional dues, for managing all org money, and for running the financial aspects of community events.
Chaplain – responsible for the spiritual well-being of every group member. This position if taken requires communication outside of structured events. May arrange extra events for prayer, bible study, or training related specifically to church functions.
Event Planner – may be delegated responsibility for the flow of meetings. Will work with various VPs to find locations, dates, times, etc.. that work for everyone.
Other roles may be held by any group member at any time if they have an interest and/or strength in this area.
Meeting Structure is initiated on the 3rd or 4th night by the Executive Vice President depending on how soon the positions and topics are chosen.
5 minutes – Meeting Leader opens the meeting and presents the agenda for the evening. Guests or Presenters receive introduction.
5 minutes – Announcements of mentorship, service, or leadership training opportunities.
10 minutes – Vice President of Leadership or Philosophy alternate training on leadership, critical thinking etc…
10 minutes – VP of Accountability checks with group members on progression toward goals or oversees delegation of this responsibility. Suggestions and support offered by group members.
15 minutes – presentation of the topic by the individual who asked to discuss it. Also provides a review of the resources used for discussion.
45 minutes – Discussion leader maintains the flow of debate through questions, keeping time, and making sure everyone gets to talk.
5 minutes – Each group member gets 1 minute of closing argument or commentary on the discussion.
15 minutes – Vice Presidents of Leadership and/or philosophy provide feedback on the quality of discussion to group participants and administer feedback surveys and personal remarks for Discussion Leader, and Meeting Leader
5 minutes – Meeting Leader makes closing remarks.
5 minutes – Meeting Leader for next week makes introductory remarks and presents topic/resource.
Meeting Officially Ends
Total Time 2:00 hours
Meeting time may change based on group preference, but should include all the aspects presented here.
- Introductory meeting (led entirely by the Executive VP) [topic: sociology]
- Overview of the program (describe roles that are available, and how topics will be chosen)
- Hand out copies of the governing documents for them to take home.
- Introductory remarks by individuals
- Get to know you games or questions (Quelf is recommended if there is time)
- Present the 5 dysfunctions of a team and lead a discussion
- Write down expectations that group members have for the coming weeks
- Agree to a group charter based on the outline and structure provided here that incorporates member expectations (may be delayed until week two)
- Close by asking members to fill out the surveys and offer feedback on the evening.
- Remind members to be thinking about what roles they would enjoy filling, give them the access to the personality tests for next week, and remind them to think of topics for discussion.
- Second Meeting (also led entirely by Executive VP) [topic: psychology]
- Open with questions about the individuals (e.g. when did you first become interested in philosophy or leadership? What would we never know about you if we didn’t ask? Etc.)
- Ask for feedback on the personality tests.
- Provide some training on analyzing the test results
- Trade personality test results with one other person.
- Talk with each other about the scores
- Present the person that you looked at with their help. (15 minutes per person)
- Discuss how these personalities will effect the group interaction.
- Finalize group charter
- Remind members that next week, you will be choosing topics, and leadership roles. Also to be thinking about strengths and weaknesses and goals based on personality quizzes.
- Third Meeting (last one led by Executive VP) [Topic: goal setting]
- Open with a review of the personality quizzes from last week.
- Give a presentation on goal setting
- Talk about dreams, fears and goals for each individual.
- Present the various leadership roles and make sure they are well described.
- Offer suggestions for the roles based on what you have seen the group members do during discussion.
- E.g. mentorship will be the one who wants to connect with business leaders for discussions. Philosophy will be the one who corrects people’s logic already. People will naturally assume their roles.
- Have each person bid for the various roles they desire by presenting why they would be good. Popular vote chooses the winner.
- Present the various ideas for discussion.
- Each person gets to choose 1 topic that will be added to the roster.
- Remaining topics will be voted on depending on how many weeks the group will be meeting.
- (e.g. a group of 5 people will have 10 topics, but only 7 weeks remaining for discussion if the term of the group lasts 5 months and they are meeting once every two weeks.
- From the fourth meeting on, meetings are led based on delegated positions and individuals who chose the topics. Follow the meeting structure outline.
- The last meeting will be a party with the families and friends of the group members.
- Overview of the program (describe roles that are available, and how topics will be chosen)
There are three categories of subgroups.
Personal Development (PD): Limited to the 5-8 members that meet regularly for Leadership and Philosophy conversations. Every member of the main group is expected to join or create a Personal Development subgroup online or in his local area. Individuals may be members of no more than 2 Personal Development subgroups at one time.
Common Interest (CI): Unlimited number of members interested in extended conversation around a niche subject. E.g. Christianity: members of this group would share a common faith assumption and move beyond arguments over its validity to issues facing the church. E.g. graduates of Cedarville University: members of this group share a common background and interest in subjects that most members of the main group cannot fully appreciate.
Location (L): This subgroup is limited to members of a specific zip code, city, state or country and is used for networking, announcing events, meeting with other groups for service or leadership training, finding speakers, and/or discussing topics unique to a specific area.
To maintain the quality of discussion and personal development, membership in this organization is by invitation only. Current members may invite up to 2 individuals to the organization per term (Spring, Summer, Fall) unless more are required to form a new Personal Development subgroup. New members are encouraged to find a local Personal Development subgroup or create their own.
Personal Development Sub-Groups are allowed between 3 and 8 members. New members must be accepted by all existing members and may be expected to form their own leadership and philosophy group once the current session is over. Members of one PD subgroup may be members of only one other PD subgroup.
Meetings may exceed 8 individuals if the additional numbers are from authorized guests, visiting speakers, mentors, or persons of interest. No guest is allowed to visit more than twice without producing an application for membership. Members are only allowed to invite two guests per term unless the exceptional circumstance is permitted by the group.
If at any point the group reaches 8 members, it may divide. One of the original 5 members, while remaining in his original group (in his original function until the end of the term), may assume the role of Executive VP. The three new members will assume the three required VP roles and a new PD subgroup of Leadership and Philosophy is launched. The Executive VP is required to lead the first three sessions and to train all new VPs in their respective functions. He or she may call upon VPs from the original group for help in this purpose. He or she may not leave this new group until the end of the term or unless the departure is agreed upon by all members of the group and a new VP of Coordination is appointed.
PD subgroups have the right to select whether they will be all male, all female, or mixed company.
Members are encouraged to stick with the same PD subgroup unless they leave to form their own PD subgroup.
If necessary, PD subgroups may exist online only. However, members are encouraged to form their PD group locally for reasons that should be apparent (networking, personal interaction, service projects, etc.)
Group Name Starts
Key Words; (Listen Love Lead) ___________ Conversations; Leadership and Philosophy is a good group descriptor or subtitle.
- Conversations that Matter
- Rich Conversations
- Essential, Fundamental
- Cognitive and Practical
The target market is thinkers and doers.
- The Conversation (colloquia)
- Virtus (man)
- The Conversation Depot
- Society, Club,
- Salon (hair place) Guild (world of warcraft)
- Classical Conversations
- Auto-didact (self taught)
- The Philosopher’s Group
- August Collegium (legium) Colloquia
- Principal Primus
Salons were set up around specific topics.
- Inklings (CS Lewis, Tolkein),
- Clapham (Wilberforce),
- Mastermind (Ben Franklin),
- Axe Club (evolutionary group),
- Breakfast Club,
- Lunar Society (James Watt),
- Tennis Cabinet (Teddy Roosevelt),
For people who are thinkers and doers. Shared identity, interests and values. How you live and think in community.
Forms for Feedback or Interest