Contributed By: Kristen Barker

The Leadership Compass draws from the Native American Indian tradition of the Medicine Wheel or the Four-Fold Way. In the Four-Fold Way, the four directions are described as warrior (north), healer (south), teacher (west), and visionary (east). All directions have profound strengths and potential weaknesses, and every person is seen as capable of growing in each direction. Each person can learn the gifts associated with each direction -- through practice and self-awareness.

Just as a compass requires all four directions, a strong team requires members from all four directions. You will relate to aspects of all directions, but choose the one that is most resonant for you. Notice how your leadership style relates to other directions. There are tensions that arise between the different directions, and these tensions should be acknowledged. 

About Kristen Barker:

Kristen Barker is a social entrepreneur and the President and Co-Founder of the Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative (CUCI). She leads participatory education with co-op workers, helps determine feasibility of potential co-ops, helps co-ops access capital, and helps existing business owners interested in succession determine if selling their business to their employees is feasible. She hosts delegations from around the country and helps adopt the Mondragon model to the U.S. cultural context. She is currently a BALLE fellow (Business Alliance for Local and Living Economies.) Prior to working full-time for the union co-op movement with Mondragon North America/MAPA, she spent 12 years at the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center fostering faith, labor & community partnerships. She is the mother of a resilient daughter with special needs. She is a lifelong Cincinnati resident (except 2 years in El Salvador) and a Xavier graduate.