EDITOR’S NOTE: Leadership is like a relay race. Every generation of leaders, like every runner, must be prepared to pass the baton on to the next generation. What follows is a brief suggested outline, from Lloyd Daniel, concerning some key characteristics of a community-based leadership development process. It highlights ways by which people may go about assisting in the on-the-job preparation of the next wave of “conscious” leadership, in all jobs, fields, and professions.

The process should be, among other things:

authentic diverse
healing adaptive
future-oriented flexible
experiential hands-on
functional problem-solving
relevant action-oriented
participatory personalized
entrepreneurial voluntary
democratic liberating
decentralized nurturing
pluralistic spiritually rooted


Those involved in the process should, among other things, assume that:


Everyone is a legitimate learner regardless of age, race, sex, class, or lifestyle.

Leaders should work with people and not just for them.

Leaders should talk with and not just to them.

Most people resent being dependent and want to achieve dignity by doing things for themselves.

People want to learn relevant things, which can help them deal with the real world, but generally they only lack the means.

The answers to many problems can be found within a group of people sharing those common problems.

A problem-posing engagement encourages critical, creative and reflective thinking within people.

Leadership education, and training should be conducted, particularly among the young, to allow the development of problem-solvers.

Once people have mastered the problem-solving process, they are much more capable of independently analyzing their environment.

There should be an active unity of theory and practice. What is preached should be practiced.

The community engagement process is an essential tool to help people make sense out of the world and prepare to take action in it.

The process of community engagement should stimulate citizen participation, leadership and control.

Leaders should recognize the demonstrated power of mass media to shape information and opinion.

The process of community engagement should rely on self-directed individuals and groups concerned with community needs.

Most people function, first, on the acquisition of basic goods and services, and on ideologies and theologies, second.

The real purpose of education is to change the world.


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