So often we think about engaging "experts" for our community development initiatives. We need to find someone to do a needs assessment, someone to calculate the tax credits, someone to do a market analysis of the properties we want to revitalize...
And that's all well and good. We need experts. Heck, I wouldn't want someone tearing down buildings and bringing in 4x4s in my neighborhood unless they knew what they were doing!
However, while we're engaging experts we also need to think about what we can do to build the capacity of people within the neighborhoods we are tying to revitalize. It's not enough to improve the physical condition of communities when we need to improve the human condition.
Building capacity means taking the time to understand what skills are needed to advance the true goals of community revitalization. If people need jobs we need to give them the skills to get a job and if people need their civic associations to be more active, we need to give them the skills to get people to come to those meetings and and want to be part of getting the work done.
There are people in the community who are stepping up to lead, oftentimes when no one else will and we need to do more than say "congratulations!" We have to give them the support to be successful.
If you know anyone who could benefit from leadership development training, I want you to send them this link: How to lead EFFECTIVE working groups.
I'm not the type to just complain. If I see something that needs to be addressed, I provide a solution.
If you know someone who is leading a team and struggling, help them out and send 'em my way.