Leadership is a puzzlement. In our society, we tend to identify the loudest person as the leader. However, leadership can come in many forms based on one’s personality, culture, background, and self-esteem. In our leadership programs we recognize that there are plenty of leaders among us and everyone has leadership qualities.
The 9 modules of the LeadershipPlenty® Program
The LeadershipPlenty® training program consists of nine modules (below) that identify skills vital for people to develop in order solve community problems. Among the skills addressed in the modules are: group development and dynamics, techniques for managing meetings, dealing with conflict, developing partnerships and project implementation skills. The intention of the program is for the participants to use their training to deepen their understanding of community challenges and engage in effective group work. The sessions may be offered individually, grouped or as a complete series.
MODULE ONE: FINDING LEADERS WITHIN
This module introduces the theme of LeadershipPlenty® that the plenty in community leadership comes from recognizing the wealth of capacities that people in the community possess. Reinvigorating civic leadership with new energy and diverse experience strengthens communities. The purpose of Module One is to help participants begin the exploration of leadership development by uncovering their own unique skills and reflecting on their experiences of community. It explores the questions: What experiences have we had with community involvement? How can we creatively use our individual skills to build community leadership? What techniques help us balance personal reflection and community action? Where do we go from here?
MODULE TWO: IDENTIFYING COMMUNITY ASSETS
The concept of LeadershipPlenty® highlights the diversity of people in every community who are its potential leaders. The purpose of Module Two is to develop in participants an understanding and appreciation of the assets model for community change pioneered by John Kretzmann and John McKnight. The activities in this second module give participants an opportunity to train their eyes on the leadership assets in their community and brainstorm about how these assets can be mobilized for change. The session explores the questions: What difference will it make to look at our community through its assets rather than its deficits? How can we go about discovering undervalued assets in our community? How can we be more inclusive in identifying our community’s leadership potential? What happens when we bring the leadership assets of our community together?
MODULE THREE: MANAGING GROUPS FOR RESULTS
What happens when people come together to solve community problems? The ability of a group to take action and accomplish results can be thwarted by the fact that it is difficult to work together effectively as a team. These tensions are a natural part of group work. All groups that endure the test of time experience fairly predictable stages of development. The purpose of Module Three is to increase participants’ understanding of group dynamics and familiarize them with issues and tensions that most groups experience. The session explores the questions: How do our different backgrounds and experiences affect our participation in groups? Are the dynamics and tensions in our LeadershipPlenty® group normal? How can team members communicate more effectively with each other?
MODULE FOUR: MAKING MEETINGS WORK BETTER
Effective meeting-management skills are essential for leaders as they negotiate the complex interests of the community. Well-managed meetings actually help motivate people to stay involved in community-change efforts and reserve group energy for substantive issues. The purpose of Module Four is to provide participants with the organizational strategies and tools for achieving group purposes in community meetings. It explores the questions: For what purposes do we hold group meetings? How do conflict and tension play an integral role in group work? What are some techniques for facilitating productive meetings that accomplish specific goals?
MODULE FIVE: MANAGING CONFLICT
Communities are groups of people who may not know each other and have had different life experiences, but who live in proximity to each other and have interests in common. Our vision of the world and how it operates is influenced by our culture, our parents, our age, our personality, and a whole range of other factors. Module Five addresses the inevitable fact of life: Individuals do not always agree. The challenge and opportunity for a community leader is to learn how to manage conflict and to channel its energy in a positive way. The purpose of Module Five is to explore the necessity of conflict in group work and its role in the consensus-building process. It explores the questions: How can we better understand conflict and its role in community work? Can we make conflict work for us instead of against us? What strategies will help us work through conflict? What if we can’t reach consensus?
MODULE SIX: BUILDING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS
Building partnerships between diverse organizations and individuals marshals the community’s resources, talents, and assets for change. By identifying their own self-interests and understanding and acknowledging the interests of others, organizations are able to build and sustain strategic partnerships. The purpose of Module Six is to help community leaders understand partnerships better and engage in them more effectively as they strive to solve complex community problems. It explores the questions: Why work with partners to solve complex community problems? Who do we need to help us find solutions to community problems? How can we minimize the risks that come with partnerships? How can we organize an effective partnership?
MODULE SEVEN: MOVING FROM TALK TO ACTION
Ambitious visions are not realized in a day. Module Seven examines the strategies that help leaders chart the journey from community vision to concrete action. This module takes a bird’s-eye view of the tough terrain to travel from talk to results. The purpose of Module Seven is to enable a group to get started, to make measurable progress, to celebrate accomplishments, and to revise plans if necessary. It explores the questions: How do leaders go about planning and actually getting started on a community change project? How can we achieve measurable outcomes along the way? How do we know if our action plan is working and how can we change our plan?
MODULE EIGHT: VALUING EVALUATION
Many of us think the word “evaluation” means being tested—that someone is going to tell us everything we’re doing wrong. LeadershipPlenty® introduces evaluation as an opportunity for groups to reflect on the results of their work. Developing project goals and strategies to reach these goals, as well as anticipating a project’s outcomes are primary steps in planning or conducting a program evaluation. The purpose of Module Eight is to help participants understand and value program evaluation and learn the main steps for determining the effectiveness of a program. It explores the questions: What is evaluation and why should we evaluate? What has to be in place before we’re ready to evaluate? How do we go about evaluating our projects or programs?
MODULE NINE: COMMUNICATING FOR CHANGE
Community change doesn’t occur in a vacuum or among an isolated group of citizens. For substantive change to occur, many people in a community need to know about it and be involved. This doesn’t just happen. It takes deliberate effort and specific skills to sustain a conversation in the larger community about the issue(s) you are addressing. Module Nine introduces strategic communication as an important tool for achieving results by developing and sharing a powerful message with targeted audiences. It explores the questions: Why does our group need to communicate about its work to the larger community? How do we inform others about the importance of this work? How do we communicate our message to different audiences?
BONUS! MODULE TWO & SIX: IDENTIFYING COMMUNITY ASSETS TO BUILD STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS
The concept of LeadershipPlenty® highlights the diversity of people in every community who are its potential leaders. The purpose of this session is to develop in participants an understanding and appreciation of the assets model for community change pioneered by John Kretzmann and John McKnight as well as to help community leaders understand and engage in partnerships more effectively as they strive to solve complex community problems. The activities give participants an opportunity to train their eyes on the leadership assets in their community and brainstorm about how these assets can be mobilized for change. Building partnerships between diverse organizations and individuals marshals the community’s resources, talents, and assets for change. By identifying their own self-interests and understanding and acknowledging the interests of others, organizations are able to build and sustain strategic partnerships.
At the conclusion of this interactive session, participants will be able to identify:
– What difference will it make to look at our community through its assets rather than its deficits?
– How can we go about discovering undervalued assets in our community?
– How can we be more inclusive in identifying our community’s leadership potential?
– What happens when we bring the leadership assets of our community together?
– Why work with partners to solve complex community problems?
– Who do we need to help us find solutions to community problems?
– How can we minimize the risks that come with partnerships?
– How can we organize an effective partnership?
Next Step – Contact us to discuss which module(s) is best for your unique situation. Modules may be offered individually to a group or as part of a series. All modules are not recommended for all groups and modules may be offered out of order. For instance, the City of Pasadena offered several modules as part of a three day staff retreat while the Texas Library Association offered one module, as a preconference session, over the course of nine conferences.
For the maximum impact, because of the interactive nature of the sessions, we suggest each 3 hour session should be offered to a minimum of 15 participants.
Mary Beth is a dynamic speaker who really engages her audience and gets them thinking. She is a wealth of knowledge where non-profits are concerned. Her ability to pair a non-profit with the resources they need to run a well-functioning organization are invaluable. I highly recommend if you are in need of guidance to visit with Mary Beth. You won’t be disappointed!!!
Teresa Hillman, Executive Director Junior Achievement of the High Plains
Ms. Harrington has facilitated or presented several workshops for my organization or for organizations in my area. She has a great talent for helping participants think “outside the box”. She seems to intuitively understand what you need to come out of each training session. MBH is organized and very reliable. I recommend her to anyone who wants a creative, productive, and recommend her to anyone who wants a creative, productive, and talented leader.
Pat Tuohy, Executive Director at Central Texas Library System
We are able to customize and create programs to fit your specific needs. Contact us for more details. MBHarrington64@hotmail.com 972-839-9960
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