Leadership support (e.g. promotion, education, allocation of resources), is foundational for developing community capacity and implementing community initiatives.1 Strong community leadership is essential to generate the human and monetary resources required for successful community building.
Community leadership may be as simple as one or two persons who work with others to develop and sustain the health of the community. You don't have to run for office or hold a title to be a leader. All you need is to decide to take responsibility for some little corner (or perhaps a bigger chunk) of your community. You may already be a leader. A ‘yes’ answer to any of the short questions below means – yep, you’re one!
- Do you want to improve your community?
- Do you have something to contribute?
- You don’t wait around for someone else to get the job done?2
Some characteristics of leaders. Is this you?
- Credibility is the foundation of leadership - leadership starts with belief in yourself
- Inspirational – share energy and excitement and motivate others
- Capable – attract trust by getting things done and inspiring confidence in others3.
Vibrant and healthy communities don’t spontaneously emerge: they are the result of dedicated groups of people investing their time and energy for the benefit of all. Of course, any group that wants to work effectively towards a common goal needs strong leadership, someone to help chart the course and then encourage and inspire others to join in. While some people might be considered ‘born leaders’, most need a bit of guidance in turning their ideas and enthusiasm into action4.
Check out a few proven strategies
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Community Tool Box – Building Leadership
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Discussion paper on Community Leadership Development
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Alberta Culture and Tourism: Building Community Capacity
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1. Stewart M, Visker JD, Cox CC. Community Health Policy Assessment of a Rural Northeast Missouri County using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s CHANGE Tool. 2013;3:1-10.
3. Community Leadership: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LddxRqX3vh0 James M. Kouzes and
4. Zummach, N. “Building Stronger Communities through Better Leadership” (Charity Village, 2002)
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