Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eight Challenges Facing Community Leaders

Acknowledging and effectively addressing each is critical for better outcomes for all

Part of the iron sculptures of Martin Luther King, Jr.
and Robert F. Kennedy in Kennedy-King Park in
Indianapolis. It's the site where Kennedy consoled a
grieving crowd on the night MLK was assassinated.
I came across this pithy list in a little essay by Milan Wall (link below). I think he's put a finger on core issues for leaders and managers in both the nonprofit and public sectors. Acknowledging and effectively addressing each is critical for better outcomes for all. I'm just going to list the eight points and direct you to his fuller online article.

Doing more with less.

Mandates from above.

Rapidity of change.

Complexity of issues.

Economic realities.

Social and cultural issues.

Loss of confidence in institutions.

Fear of "assassination."

These challenges have faced me at different points and places in my nonprofit leadership journey. Sometimes, I have acknowledged and grappled with them well, leading organizations through the particular gauntlet to better organizational life and outcomes. Sometimes, I've taken the challenge and had breakthroughs in my own ways of leading. But sometimes, one or more of these have taken me for a ride. Sometimes, I've pretended a challenge wasn't as menacing as it really was. Bad response. In subsequent posts--and in the nonprofit leadership and management course I teach at the university--I may share some stories and strategies for facing and breaking through with these challenges.

Here's the link to Milan Wall's article. Wherever you are, Milan, thanks!

John Franklin Hay
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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