These ideas represent a synthesis of theory and experience. Working at community development in small towns throughout the United States has provided a source of examples and anecdotes that offer real life applications of the theories about leadership and motivation. None of these ideas is original: all of the examples are based on the actions of community leaders dealing with the very real problem of recruiting new and emerging leaders to join in the improvement of a community. Nor is the list by any means exhaustive, since ideas for recruiting new leaders are really only limited by personal creativity and circumstances. However, these are proven approaches to the recruitment problem and can be considered with confidence. I will be placing one of the ideas on the blog periodically, so be sure to check back often for additional ideas.
Idea 1: Ask the Question: “Who’s Not Here?”
In order to answer this question, members of a community group have to understand the composition of their community. What groups or individuals should be involved in order to have a truly representative community organization? Which groups are missing from the organization (or the meeting or the project)?
Understanding the make-up of the community helps in analyzing the leadership pool so that certain segments of the community can be targeted for special recruiting efforts.
This can also be considered as an “insurance policy” for a community action project since making sure that the group is inclusive is the best way to build in cooperation from the beginning.
Answering this question assumes, of course, that efforts will be made to involve those not present, as a way of making sure that all parts of the community are well represented.