If you aspire to make a difference in your community, For the Common Good: Redefining Civic Leadership urges you to step forward.
If you doubt your authority or capability, Ed O’Malley and David Chrislip will boost your confidence. Their premise that “leadership is an activity, not position or authority” frames their conviction that each of us has the opportunity to exercise leadership. Hence, leadership is a choice: a possibility and a decision awaiting any and all of us, any place, any day, in any circumstance, at any moment.
The authors’ most attentive audience will be those who care deeply about the health – social, physical, political or spiritual – of their families, their organizations and their communities, whether local or state or national.
If our rancorous, divisive times discourage you from risking civic leadership, this book from the nation’s heartland – coincidentally authored as the film Lincoln captures our attention — reminds you that the State of Kansas was borne in the volatile crucible of a daunting question: would Kansas be a slave or free state?
O’Malley, a former Republican state legislator, serves as the president and CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) and Chrislip, a Democrat with a national reputation in hands-on leadership development, is KLC’s Senior Fellow. From their different backgrounds and biases, they model what their book intends to teach: how to foster social capital that “bridges” political factions, religious tensions and institutional silos.
The heart of the book explains, teaches and illustrates four core competencies of effective civic leadership: managing oneself, diagnosing complex situations, intervening skillfully and energizing others. The credibility of these writers is grounded in the very real work of KLC’s five-year experience of training some 4,000 Kansans in custom-designed courses. Interwoven through each competency are stories of five individuals – state legislator, pastor, executive director, mayor and doctor — who have trained in KLC’s laboratory and tested it real-time, real-life.
Terry Woodbury is the founder of Public Square Communities, Inc., which identifies, connects and develops community leaders who transform towns, cities, counties and regions into thriving communities which nourish youth, engage citizens and foster partnerships. He presently serves as a project advisor for Public Square, which engages all four sectors of the community: business, education, government and human services.