Recently, someone asked me my thoughts about what characteristics a community leader should possess. My immediate response was humility.
In order for a person to be a really effective leader, they have to be willing to know their faults, limitations, and weaknesses. Now, I bet that some people think would have gone in the other direction and said things like "strength", "confidence", and "daring". While I definitely agree that a leader should have all of those things, I would place the ability to be humble above the others.
Understanding the traits that you don't have allows you to identify and work with those that help compliment your weaker points. It makes its easier to delegate tasks and empower others to take ownership of what you will need them to do. It places people into positions of shared powers and allows them to speak more openly and honestly about topics and issues they observe and may have.
Having this type of equal dynamic is necessary when working as part of a community partnership. Participants must feel that the role they play is vital to the success and failure of the group and its goal. Every group is only as important as it members; and the members are every bit as important as its leaders.
Until next time,