A Vision for the Future
You won’t get very far as a community leader if you don’t have a destination in mind. In order to get your friends and neighbors to rally around you, they need to have a sense of what your goals are for the community. Take the time to think about what it is that you want for your neighborhood, and find out whether others share your vision. This way, you can all begin to work together towards a common goal.
One of the marks of a great leader is the ability to recognize when you don’t know something. Admitting that you need outside help or advice is not a sign of weakness but rather a show of wisdom. Just because you ask for help doesn’t make you any less of a leader. Of course, you don’t want to discount your own knowledge, as you have a unique perspective to offer your community. The key is to recognize when others are more qualified to handle certain tasks. True leaders know when to do the work themselves and when to delegate.
Some people seem to have a quality about them that just draws people to them, even if you can’t pinpoint what it is exactly. You’ll need charisma to succeed as a community leader because you need to be able to persuade people to listen to what you have to say. Take every opportunity you can get to refine your public speaking and networking skills. As you continue to rise through the ranks of your community, you’ll need to draw on these skills more and more frequently.
Bringing Out the Best in Others
A true leader knows how to maximize other people’s strengths by encouraging and supporting them. Rather than clawing your way to the top by tearing down those around you, it is far better to build yourself up by building a strong team. With everyone working together, the entire team gains greater recognition, and as the leader, you’ll get the most recognition of all. You’ll get greater loyalty from your team as well, as they’ll be more inclined to support you when they feel valued and that their skills are being put to good use.
You won’t become a community leader overnight, so you’ll need to have the patience necessary to gradually build your audience over time. If you take the time to get involved in your community and listen to what your peers are saying, you’ll establish yourself as an active member of society. Over time, your neighbors will start to get to know you and value your opinion. As you continue to grow and expand your influence, you’ll be well on your way to establishing yourself as a community leader.
There is no time like the present to start grooming yourself to become a pillar of your community. Focus on self-development and improving the community around you, and the rest will eventually fall into place. Here at the Acadia Parish Chamber, we have a leadership program for our members called Leadership EXCEL. This program is designed to give each participant training in leadership skills and increase their knowledge of the community and state, while encouraging participation in study groups to transfer the skills learned to actual community application. If you’re interested in learning more information about our program, check out the program’s page here on our website! You can also call and ask questions at 337-788-0177.
This post is part of our Community Leadership blog series. If you are interested in reading more in the blog series, click the category Community Leadership near the top of the page, or look for the same featured image on a post.