If collaboration is such a good thing in localities, why don’t more governments work together? Because most leaders don’t know how to create the conditions for collaboration. Here, then, is the introductory course.
If you want strong local leaders and involved citizens in the future, start today by helping people find one another and get organized for any legitimate purpose. Then be patient. The good news: Cities are good at helping people make connections. With a little effort, they could be great.
Civic work runs on relationships. But because communities are diverse and power so diffuse, it takes connections that are both broad and deep to be effective. This, in turn, requires we approach relationship building differently in civic work than in other activities. Here’s a key to success: Learning to ask people to do things for you.
The five core skills of leadership, I’ve come to learn from studying how change happens in communities, are relationship building, learning, strategy, facilitation, and persuasion. In that sequence.
Quality of life is the glue that keeps people in communities, even when their life circumstances or the city itself changes. That’s why, in the end, every successful community is a sticky one.