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.
To start a community change process, focus on the need. Once people are convinced the need is important, urgent, and solvable, create a guiding coalition to find the solution.
This is the heart of modern civic leadership: Being the one who creates consensus among independent interests for solutions that benefit all. It starts with thinking systemically.
Governments are moving from being providers to partners. But this requires a set of skills by government leaders and, even more daunting, it requires restraint.
There are many skills needed to move communities forward, but they can be linked to five core leadership skills. Here they are.