We often hear of a team or group leader, or a community leader.
So, who is this community leader? This is a person who motivates, supports, and encourages others to notice the opportunities in their communities and start from therein.
This is a person that appreciatively looks into oneself, firstly, and into others, and into the work team and even communities, secondly, so they can build on the best they have.
A community leader could be one of those carrying banners, support many community issues, and call upon individuals within these communities to help lift these banners and advocate for many community issues.
The Leadership in Community Development (LICD) considers creative leadership the essence of its continuous success as a program, and we as active citizens and in our societies and as community leaders are capable of delivering a great impact; we can change, support, and motivate people in our circles. Once we succeed in empowering them to become community leaders seeking positive change, we become creative leaders ourselves.
The way we behave in our communities has an impact on others. Creative leadership sometimes means changing our attitude is our responsibility in certain situations and times so that it is reflected upon as being positive, inspirational, and leaning on the passion of others so they always give the best they have.
Creative Leadership is a group and inclusive leadership that does not exclude anyone despite the presence of differences in perspective, culture, milieu, and identity.
We often behold the big picture while considering each different individual a source of enrichment for our work and communities.
One of the finest examples of creative leadership succeeding to push the community towards the best is what happened after the explosion in Beirut’s Seaport in August of 2020. The ruin that befell the hospitals, buildings, streets, and cars; and even damage on the psychological level for many people did not stop creative community leaders of amassing people’s capacities according to each individual’s field of expertise, and creating voluntary teams who started the removal of the wreckage, such as glass. Moreover, these leaders with creative communication were able to establish small teams who worked on connecting lost persons with their beloved through social media platforms. In addition, some leaders exhibited resourcefulness in regards to aid and community organization on a broader aspect, for they connected relief movements pouring from other cities and other ones from I/NGOs to deliver them to people with the most urgent needs. All of these represent inspired solutions to meet the needs of a community in a crisis with an adequate and correct response.
A creative community leader is someone capable of responding to anything happening in inventive ways and utilize them to be positively effective.
Community values are grand and various. LICD program enlists a group of which that are good to keep while implementing community interventions, and while pondering and exploring systems, and even whilst undergoing self-development. It is, also, beneficial, to have these values as creative community leaders to help others become as we are, and even more.
All of these values which LICD speaks of are abbreviated within #FREDA, an easy to remember word when considering, planning, and implementing an intervention, understanding and exploring other systems, and even while advocating for community issues.
As creative community leaders, freedom means providing enough space for the team and people we deal with in our communities, and freedom for ourselves, for the expression of opinion, and to have enough space to build bridges of trust amongst communities, teams, and persons that we work with, and to have more confidence in ourselves.
To show respect, and to inspire others to respect diversity in culture, customs, and traditions in our communities and systems of intervention; and to include the respect of privacy and personal space of people we deal with within these communities whilst planning, implementing and evaluating activities.
Being a creative community leader means uncovering mechanisms and means that help deal equality and even more so, equity, more than before.
A very close value to respect, is when guaranteeing meeting people’s need of respect; thus, ensuring keeping their dignity and that of the communities where work is implemented.
Appreciating people, communities, and systems, and moments of pride that they have undergone upon which they will build their plans for the future. To appreciate the diverse passions that exist in our interactions with others in our communities.
Herein lie the questions:
What shape will our community take upon the fulfillment of these 5 values of FREDA?
How can we as creative community leaders encourage others to find ways and mechanisms to enhance these values?
What are the principals to hold on to while implementing community interventions to enhance these values?
These questions are a space of pondering and meditation for each person concerned with positive change and the sustainability of communities pursuing their best.
After being introduced to FREDA, the concept and characteristics of creative leadership, what characteristics do you have that as creative leaders you like to hold on to in community interventions? And what are the ones that require improvement and working on so that we become stronger together as community leaders?