Community Leadership Checklist

Getting ready to pack up and head to work can be stressful at times. I have forgotten my medicine, my laptop, important documents, a pen, MY COFFEE (big no-no) and several other things. If it wasn’t for my checklist I would probably forget my pants…

Because of this, I decided to create a checklist for everything. It helps me stay organized and successful! However, If I didn’t have my sticky notes, my phone notes, or my mother to call from time to time, I am guaranteed to leave something behind. 

While going through my checklist, it got me thinking. I wonder if there is a checklist for community leaders out there? How amazing would it be to have a list we can keep on our phones? A sticky note on our desks? An image on the back of our computer screens?  So I decided to make one myself. To make this an even better list, I reached out to a few of my friends and our community as a whole (you are probably one of them!) asking what they would love to see on a community checklist. After compiling their ideas along with mine, this is what we came up with:

After collecting this list from our community and recognizing that they are all AMAZING, I would love to highlight a few items that stood out to me. 

Empathy

While Brene Brown said it best in her video, I would love to highlight what she says:

“Empathy fuels connection with perspective taking, staying out of judgment, and recognizing emotion in other people and then communicating that. Empathy is feeling WITH people.”

Some of the best word choices we could use to share with others when being empathetic according to Brene Brown are, “I know what it’s like down here, and you are not alone,” or if they tell you something that you can not understand you could respond with, “I don’t even know what to say. I’m just so glad you told me.” This is a video that I stand by 100%. It has helped me teach others how to be empathetic and understanding when n all honesty, those two things can be very difficult in all honesty. When you have a community member who needs someone there for them, remember to be empathetic. 

Willingness To Learn

At times it can be difficult to step out of your normal routine and make changes. Willingness to learn is exactly that. We get stuck from time to time in our positions and are comfortable. We believe we know what the best answer is and that there is no other way. If you are able to take this layer off, and listen to others – you may learn something new. Opening yourself up to see what others can offer you is always a good thing. It is amazing what we can learn from our co-workers, students, family, community and so on by keeping an open mind and listening to them. 

Allowing Others To Speak Up And Share Ideas

This is something that a great leader possesses. Leaders in communities should be able to listen to their community members and see what they have to offer. They should be able to walk side by side with their community and not in front. As a leader, it is always important to let your group share their ideas. Make them feel valued and heard. A great community is built off of great leaders who allow their community to be a part of it and speak up. 

Flexibility

We ALL know this one. “Flexibility is the name of the game”. I can not tell you how many times a week I hear this quote. But it’s true. Flexibility is the name of the game and those who can not be flexible are going to have a very difficult time. In order to work in a community and get things done properly, we all need to be flexible. It’s extremely difficult to work around other’s schedules. At times, we may need to be the ones to flex ours to make it work for everyone else. Emergencies happen, things come up in people’s lives. 

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