On the way from St. Petersburg to Moscow, in June 2012, the Leadership Study Tour group spent one day in Novogorod, Russia, located alongside the Volkhov River, where we visited the local Kremlin and learned a bit about the city's history.
View of Novogorod local kremlin
In the tenth century, the city developed a local government system—known as the Novogorod Republic—that allowed the population to vote on civil affairs. This was a very unusual example of shared leadership in a region dominated by dictators. In fact, in 1570, Ivan the Terrible, the first Czar and emperor of Russia—known for his tyranny and disdain for shared leadership and the republican system—destroyed the city, killing most of its population. The city was rebuilt later on, and today it is a beautiful town with a population of around 200,000.
After centuries of various forms of dictatorship, Russia has now implemented democracy across its large territory. Although democracy is not always a guarantee of shared leadership, the history of Novogorod stands as a monument of the superiority of shared leadership over dictatorship.