Community leaderscome in a variety of personalities and styles.
Some leaders are more outspoken, while others lead quietly but effectively.
However, successful leaders share a few characteristics.
Organizing a group to build community support for a neighborhood clean-up or a school improvement campaign, for example, can be a difficult task.
Leaders must frequently persuade others to collaborate with them and deal with a variety of viewpoints and personalities.
Organizational structures are changing.
Administrators are streamlining traditionally rigid bureaucracies as they realize that such systems often serve the bureaucracies themselves rather than their constituents.
In this new environment, effective community leaders are critical to success.
Community leaders are accountable for their communities' well-being and improvement.
Are you a leader in your community?
Are you thinking about becoming one?
Try answering the questions in this leadershipquiz. Are you someone who:
- Wants to improve your community?
- Has something to contribute?
- Doesn't wait around for someone else to get the job done?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, you are most likely already or on your way to becoming a community leader.
To be a leader, you don't have to run for office or be given a title.
All you have to do is decide to take charge of a small (or larger) portion of your community.
Self-appointed community leaders are common.
Even candidates for office must first decide that they want to be a leader.
You can probably assume as much or as little responsibility for your community as you want.
Many community leaders gain experience through trial and error.
That's not a bad strategy; most people learn from their mistakes.
However, flying by the seat of your pants can be a bumpy ride. So why not get some help along the way?
Why should you take on the role of community leader? Leadership can be beneficial to your health.
Many people enjoy being in charge. You are under no obligation to lead. Instead of leading in ways that drain you, you can choose to lead and participate in ways that energize you and help you grow.
You have the option of working on issues that are important to you. You can take on fun, rewarding, or interesting challenges. It's entirely up to you.
Let's look at the benefits of being a leader in more detail:
Do you ever imagine yourself as the hero who saves the day?
Maybe you're the bystander who jumps into the water to save a drowning child.
Perhaps you are the one who persuades the terrorist to put down the gun in the nick of time.
The desire to make a significant difference in the world is natural.
You certainly can.
The everyday acts of community leadership are rarely as dramatic as those described above, and they rarely elicit a chorus of applause.
Even so, as a community leader, you can make a significant difference.
Creating a day care center, expanding job opportunities in your community, removing a toxic waste dump, and empowering others to lead are all examples of activities that are heroic in their own way.
People often take on leadership roles because it allows them to develop and expand their lives.
There's almost nothing more difficult than leading a group of people.
As a leader, you may be required to communicate with large groups of people, negotiate, and deal with potentially dangerous situations.
If you take action to lead others around you, you will gain confidence in yourself and your world.
Many successful leaders began with little confidence and knowledge.
Some of today's leaders once struggled to speak up in front of a small group.
Take heart, if you're a shy person.
You're not by yourself.
You can figure out how toget your message across.
It only takes a little practice.
Leadership abilities are developed gradually.
Whatever your current abilities are, you can become a better leader if you work at it. You may find yourself doing things you never imagined you would!
A good community leader is best defined by their ability to lead.
You must be comfortable working with large groups of people who are mostly volunteers as a community leader.
You must also possess the charisma necessary to rally people behind your cause.
A good community leader also finds ways to bring out the best in everyone.
Your mission in this position is to bring together a talented group of volunteers to work as a cohesive team to better the community.
By practicing stewardship, you must be dedicated to improving the lives of those around you.
A bachelor's degree in management, administration, or a related field is required for a careeras a community leader.
The hiring requirements vary depending on the employer and the community's needs, but it's usually necessary to gain relevant experience by volunteering or working with community fundraisers and similar outreach events.
A community leader, as the job title suggests, must develop leadership skills and be comfortable directing large groups of people.
A community leader has the ability to listen to the needs of the people in addition to being a great communicator.
You can always take the lead. As previously stated, you can "lead" whether or not you are the designated leader.
You can think and act like a leader at any time.
For example, you can consider what will help the group move forward while sitting in a committee meeting.
Is the designated leader in need of some motivation?
Do people require prompting to follow through?
Do you have to take a controversial stance on an issue?
People are starving for assistance.
You will almost always delight, relieve, and surprise people if you take initiative to improve a situation.
To make things go well, you don't have to take over someone's leadership role.
In fact, one method of assisting a group's better functioning is to supporting the official leader. You can do this by organizing others to help with the work, by listening to the leader, and by encouraging the leader when she or he feels discouraged.
Local church leaders, community activists, school officials, and local businessleaders are examples of trusted community leaders.
Community leaders play an important role in developing initial project ideas and sharing them with community membersin order to mobilize support and foster a sense of belonging (McMillan and Chavis, 1986).
A positive and contentsociety is the result of good leadership.
A leader with a high level of self-confidence can keep his or her followers motivated and aspired, and work for the betterment of society rather than for personal gain.
It's possible that community leadership was designed specifically for you.
Remember, you are the only one who can decide what level of responsibility you want to take to ensure that things go smoothly in your little corner of the world.
Dare to pursue your dreams and work on projects that are meaningful to you.
You have the power to significantly impact the lives of those with whom you work, live, and play.
Don't dismiss your unique contribution to the universe.