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Leaders built by communities

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Today’s strong community leaders build their effectiveness in large part by empowering individuals within the communities they serve, a new study by the Ford Foundation says.

The report, “Quantum Leadership: The Power of Community in Motion,” says good leaders create change by involving members of their communities, including those most marginalized.

Achieving community change requires communities themselves to drive the change, the report says, and effective leaders find opportunities for new leaders to arise.

At the same time, they help communities uncover their strengths and shared histories in an effort to help them realize the influence they can have.

“Quantum leaders,” as the report dubs them, build alliances in the community and are persistent and willing to change when they meet with resistance.

They also pursue “purposeful learning,” in which they reflect on and evaluate their experiences and then aim to learn from them.

Research for the study was conducted by the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and interviews were conducted with recipients of the Leadership for a Changing World Award.

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