Leads Are for Leaders: Becoming a Leader in the Community
Becoming a Community Leader
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
Maybe you see a need or have a special skill that others don’t have. It may have been part of your upbringing. Perhaps you want to raise your profile and broaden your customer base. Or it could be that it just feels good.
Whatever your reason, if you want to become a leader in your community, there are a lot of ways to accomplish that goal.
The first step is to identify which community you want to serve. Most of us belong to several—it could be your geographical area or neighborhood; one based on an interest or hobby; or you might feel part of a community related to your heritage, creed, school, age or sexual orientation.
Once you decide which community matters most to you, you can think about the best way to engage. There are numerous ways to approach this:
Use Your Profession
Is there some way your background in insurance can help others? Maybe you can put together informational packets or offer consultations for parents of new teen drivers at your child’s high school. Or offer to conduct free insurance audits at a senior center to ensure that vulnerable older adults have the right coverage in place. Get creative.
Use Your Knowledge
What about your other abilities? Are you a good salesperson? Ask your local municipality’s job center if you can teach a four-week course on sales skills for jobseekers. Or interviewing skills. Or computer skills. Or budgeting skills. If you’re good at something, somebody somewhere could benefit from your knowledge. You just need to figure out who and where.
Use Your Money
Sometimes it’s best to find an expert and support the work they’ve already started. Most metropolitan areas have at least one community foundation, a nonprofit organization that take donations and has philanthropic specialists on staff who know the needs of the community and are ready to talk to donors about how they can help. A quick Google search of “CITY NAME community foundation” should turn something up.
Follow Your Passion
If you love classical music, volunteer as a docent at the local symphony. If you love basketball, volunteer as a coach at a middle school. If you love watching the symphony or basketball games, become a sponsor.
Follow Your Schedule
You may not have time in your schedule for an ongoing volunteer gig, but you could probably carve out a day here and there. Look for a one-day project like Habitat for Humanity or an event like a community clean-up. Search online for “CITY NAME volunteer” and see what comes up. Put together a group of friends and family to come with you.
Join with Others
You can often accomplish more when working with other like-minded people who care about the same issue. Before you reinvent the wheel, though, be sure to research what opportunities already exist in your area. Chances are if you see a need, someone else already has, too. Joining their efforts may be more effective than starting your own.
Effective leaders develop over time and by creating relationships with others. Be prepared to put in effort. And to feel good about yourself when you do.
At Hometown Quotes, we believe that leads are for leaders. This is the first of three blog posts about developing leadership skills.