2017-08-10 / Opinions

Guest VIEWpoint

Looking for leaders
By Laura Janks
Program Coordinator Community Connections

The definition of a leader is someone who is in charge of others, someone who oversees, manages, and organizes people, places or events.

The act of leadership comes in all different shapes and sizes. It can be a big role, such as being the president of the United States, or much smaller in scale such as a mom setting good examples for her children. We all have experienced the leadership role at one point or another. If we have all had the chance to be a leader, what makes some of us better leaders than others?

According to an article in Entrepreneur Magazine, there are common traits that all good leaders have including focus, confidence, integrity, patience, open-mindedness, empowerment, positivity and accountability.

Notice in the traits above that economic class is not mentioned. That’s because leaders come from all economic classes. As a society, we tend to think that the rich make the best leaders because they have the most power and influence. In reality, though, our society depends on leaders from all economic classes. We would not be able to maintain the status quo if it weren’t for the leaders we have in varying industries. We depend on the crew leader at the fast food restaurant to manage staff, keep inventory and balance out the cash register. We depend on the accountant to lead staff in job duties, schedule staff, balance accounts and track company profit. We depend on the politician to lead voters toward policy changes and represent government parties and beliefs. For a community to do well and live well, it is important that poverty, middle class and wealth are all represented at the decision making table. It is important to note that each economic class offers valuable thoughts and opinions that others may not think of. This happens because there are “hidden rules” and social norms that differ from class to class. A well-rounded organization or committee has representatives from all of the economic classes that will be impacted by the decisions made at the meeting.

One way for all the classes to be involved on a local level is for individuals to join Community Connections’ Leadership Team. This team meets every other month and helps to decide the ways in which it can help individuals who are financially struggling toward a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. The team is made up of service organizations, business owners and community members - all striving to end poverty.

In order to address poverty holistically, we need individuals from every economic class at the table.

If you’re interested in making a difference in our community, contact Community Connections at 989-479- 0346 for details on our September meeting.

If Community Connections is not located in your local neighborhood, get involved in your local council meeting, school board meetings or service organizations to make your voice heard.

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