Being a Community Leader
“If your words or actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
what makes someone a leader?
Anyone who puts their time, energy and heart into making a positive change is already a community leader. As someone who has taken the first step to“stand up” to be part of a campaign - that includes you. If people don’t already look to you as a spokesperson for your cause, and feel inspired by what you are doing, probably, they soon will. It’s people like you who can change things for good.
There's lots of ideas for how you can lead well, here's some ideas from community leaders that we have gathered:
Keep meeting and including people. Listen to people in your community and the other people who have power in it, understand who they are and what their hopes and fears are.
Be Believable. People need to trust you. It doesn’t matter if your words aren’t always great, or if you aren’t a natural “performer”, what matters is that you say things based on facts. People need to know that they can trust you, and that your actions and words are in sync. Treat everyone with respect. If community leaders show respect to some and not others they aren’t believable. Only make promises you will keep.
Be Clear. Know what your intentions are. Your energy and time is precious, so know how you want to spend it! You understanding what’s important to you, and practicing talking about it, will help you to inspire others, and help you to avoid wasting time on unimportant or unproductive things.
Be Human. Good community leaders are just people trying to make a change. You don’t have to be anything other than yourself, you don’t have to pretend to be anyone else.
Show you care. Try to understand other people in your community and all the people you encounter, whether you agree with them on certain things or not. Showing understanding builds bridges, and helps you find a way to get that person to help you
Learn and Adapt. No-one is perfect, and even the best leaders make mistakes. A leader learns from mistakes, has the ability to say sorry if needed, and then, keeps trying to make that change.
Ask for Help. No leader in history did it alone. You don’t have to know everything, feel strong all the time, or have all the answers. You can ask others for help, advice and support - it is a sign of strength
Get a Mentor. Maybe you know someone who has already made a difference in your community. Maybe they could support you to do good too.
Help Others to Lead. Look for leadership in the people you meet (remember anyone can be a leader). Telling someone they have the potential might just help them to get started in becoming a community leader too.
Look after yourself: Being a community leader can take over your head heart and mind. It’s important you look after yourself, take breaks, look after the other important things in your life. Sometimes the battle for change is long - we have to look after ourselves to stay strong for the long haul