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Leadership Definitions

Leadership Definitions

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Community Member: One is identified as a member of a community based on location and boundaries defined by that community, either formal or informal, and either by living in a location or participating in the activities of a particular group of people.

For example, you are a community member where you live, work, or participate in an activity of personal self-interest.

Stakeholder (Individual or Group): A stakeholder is an individual (or group of people) who has a realized or unrealized stake in, or a particular self-interest in the outcome of a project or activity and will personally benefit or be impacted by the outcomes of community actions.

Q: Can I be a stakeholder in a community where I do not have my personal residence?

A: Absolutely. Many people have a stake or shared interest in communities, activities and organizations located outside of the physical community where they are a resident.

Community Stakeholder (Individual or Group): A community stakeholder is a person (or group) who is both a community member and a stakeholder in a community and acts with the shared values of the community in mind.

Community Leader: A community leader, by common definition, is a designation given, by secondary sources, to a person who is perceived, by reputation, to represent common values, behavior, and beliefs of a particular community.

Q: What is the difference between a leader, for example in business, or an elected official and community leader?

A: Business leaders and elected officials are designated by a secondary authority, whether by a board/investors or the public electorate to perform duties for which they are appointed as defined by a pre-existing, specific body of governing laws or rules of operation, including resource allocation. Community leaders, while they can be business or elected officials as well, lead in their community role, on the basis of values and vision that they believe to be representative of the community.

Stakeholder Leader: A stakeholder leader is an individual responsible for a group of stakeholders, and is accountable for results that serve the group's common self-interests.

Community Stakeholder Leader: A community stakeholder leader is a leader within a community that acts in accordance with other individuals, organizations and community leaders around a commonly shared set of values and vision important to, and clearly defined by the community. Success requires the ability to develop long-term relationships and create forums for interactions among significant numbers of people in the community in order to facilitate development and adoption of shared values, vision, and measures of success. As such, community stakeholder leaders do not dictate or legislate. Instead, they guide, affirm, model, validate, and drive change through the power of dialogue and feedback in the community.

Background: Many people see traditional leadership principally as a position of authority, where the leader is responsible for providing direction and resources and making certain everyone is doing their job based on expectations. It normally involves an exchange and/or agreement to perform such duties because the leader controls salaries and payment for services. The focus of the relationship is the power and authority relationship with subordinates.

Today: Community stakeholder leaders have the same set of responsibilities about vision and future state as the traditional leader, but execution tends to be a much harder action because this leader cannot rely on the power of dollars and cents to drive compliance and actions, rather this leader must rely on enabling people to see that the vision of the whole group is the right one and it will be of great value to them to be engaged and involved because it is the right thing to go do. The focus of the relationship is on peer to peer relationships.

Values: Values are the understandings and expectations of a person, organization or community that describe how he or it behaves and upon which all community relationships should be based. Values guide behaviors in an organization or community and give shape and form to the vision. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based on.

Vision: A vision is a statement of ideals that describes how the community aspires to be in a future state.

Measures of Success: Measures of success are a clear set of metrics that numerically represent the results of actions taken, so that each organization can monitor whether the actions and changes are meeting goals and expectations as defined by the vision.