My leadership being civic leadership is as an ability of one to have control over others and gaining leadership competence through the challenges he/she faces. The focus on this leadership has been stirred up by the fact that there are several leaders in the American society who through their leadership, they have brought changes to the society yet they are given little public recognition.
This leadership is characterized by the ability to transform the perspectives through which we see ourselves and the obligation we are demanded by community. The aim of civic leadership is to challenge the community to consider its beliefs and conduct. It not an inborn trait but it is made or acquired.
My community is a group of people who are living in a common locality and they usually interact. It has several households organized around common aspects and factors playing major roles of being the source of social cohesiveness. The community requires good leaders for itself to meet its target of development in all aspects including social, political and religious stabilities.
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All these can be achieved only if a community gets a trusted committed civic leader, a trait rarely found in the dominating usual leaders. Among several public requirement of my community is its development. It has for a long period of time been addressed by non-governmental organizations (N.G.O,s) and volunteered learning institutions such Universities and the government agencies with intentions to improve social well-being, of both local or regional and even national communities. For all these to be addressed, the community requires a public speaker for itself who will be communicating the needs by the community to higher levels of leadership.
Such individuals as mentioned above are rarely found though some informal community organizing bodies has joined the efforts to empower individuals and groups of community members by providing them with skills they need to effect changes in the community. They work hand in hand to ensure that such skills are used to assist in building political powers through individual or forming large social groups.
(It is after a forum that youth leader approaches a group of civic leaders)
Youth leader: Hello. Good afternoon? (He shakes the hand)
Leader 1and Leader 2: (with smile), good afternoon to you
Leader 1: How can we assist you?
Youth Leader 1: I am representing my fellow youths and they have sent me to inquire about the visit by the NGO you mentioned in the meeting
Leader 2: Ok. As from Friday next week, the organization will come with funds to finance completion of the tree nursery; also leadership patron from the same organization has made an appointment with us to come and share some leadership issues with. I think that is all. Thank you.
Leader 1: Yes it so but to clarify, youths must prepare questions on that day. Thank you.
Youth leader: (as he leaves). Thank you also.
The community functions by protecting right of each and every member and offering assurance of all services one may need including security. As mentioned above, community building and organization is the key requirement for a smoothly interacting community. Civic leaders are therefore responsible for all these. In building a community, the process follows a deliberate design which takes into account the known norms and rules applicable, this is called conscious community building.
According to community sociologist, Scott Peck, (Peck, 1993), community can be built and organized by civic leaders through a four-stage process. It begin at establishing a pseudo-community where the members live in harmony with each other and presenting what according to them is they are favorable sides of personalities.
The stage follows with chaos when the members exceed the freedom provided by pseudo-community. This stage requires that the facilitator intervene to provide advanced organization. The third stage is called emptiness, at this stage, facilitator goes beyond attempts to solve chaos, heal and fix them. This is after the community members have acknowledges their messes.
The last stage is called True community; and is characterized by mutual respect amongst the members who at this stage has learned the importance of listening to each one’s needs. After Peck had finished his procedure on how to build a community he went further to postulate that “building a sense of community can be an easy task, but maintaining it in the modern society is a hard task”. This puzzle of maintenance can be solved only if the community acquires civic leaders.
For a community to deliver to its members, it requires a source of services called community service. This is usually performed by the members in combination of non-profit organizations. The services can also be provided by the government, any organization or even can be provided by volunteered individuals. Another but not common source of services is from court processes where individual are sentenced to provide community services. Community utilizes these services to provide security to the members, clean the environment, administer civic education and self-awareness projects.
The recent problems faced by the community is financial constrains attributed to levels of its needs which exceed the resources it has. This can be solved by expert civic leaders by introducing and developing own currency. This will encourage economic growth and bring cohesiveness in the community.
Leadership can be thought by many people to be an interesting adventure in life, but the truth hidden behind whoever is in leadership can be a sufficient reason as to why some leaders step-down, or remain in their seats under much pressure from the community. One of the common challenges is inspiring your fellow members to share your community’s vision and mission.
This is simply because as a leader your role as a leader is to make people share your views but are not the actual implementer but a facilitator to explain to the fellow members how it goes. Another challenge which has proved to be common is facilitating open, without critiques and communication among the members
Creation and maintenance of a team with members from diversified background with different thinking and preference is also becoming a nearly impossible phenomenon in the leadership. Most leaders have tried to advice the members to lay their difference aside but the process has been picking at a very slow pace.
However the above challenges are encounter many leaders, good leadership can help overcome this. Leadership has desire of serving that is leaders genuinely want to serve other through leadership. People empowerment is also another characteristic of leadership to bring difference rather being interested on power, money or prestige of leading.
Leadership is not that an easy task and but it requires a lot of consent and therefore leadership should be guided by heart, passion together with compassion. No perfect leadership and therefore leader should therefore be able recognize its shortcomings using their natural abilities and recognizing the shortcomings and put in place measures to overcome them. A leader should also engage in self-development since leadership inmost cases is a lifetime occupation whereby it made also to be a place where one establishes oneself as role model to the community.
Theoretical underpinnings of leadership are the ideas forming the basis or justification of leadership. Leadership comes into place when a group of people sharing the same ideas decide to have one voice through one person who is, elected, nominated, or appointed. “Leaders are not born but they are made”. This what leadership trainers stick to at all.
Most people get motivated to by the skills they acquire trough training and they want to test their ability. There so many benefits including prestige that a leader enjoys while in these position thus making members of the community to admire the position thereby doing all means to reach there. Leaders who are already on the positions get motivated to retain their seats for a very long time p. Such motivations can be prestige, money, and ability to enjoy what power provides.
To bring the issue of community leadership home, community leader is an individual who happens to be a member of the community, who through his/her depicted characteristics, is elected, nominated or appointed to be the forefront of the community by representing and defending it. Such a leader will be responsible for community’s meeting the demand of it s needs such as financial, service. This will be used by the community to measure the delivery of such an individual.
Sometimes leadership can fail to deliver and needs to be changed. Community therefore has to establish a criterion for assessing leadership performance. This is done by assessing the outputs of the leadership not the output and the community has to agree upon what is being measured. Community can judge the goals against the time and conclude id the leadership is delivering or not.
Peck, S. (1993). The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace. New York: Simon & Schuster
Tobe. and. Associates. (1947).Civic leadership: the Tobé award for distinguished contribution to American retailing 1947. New York. Suns publishers
Maser, C.(1999).Vision and leadership in sustainable development. Boca Raton: CRC Press
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