Gifted and influential leaders are key to strategic community discussions. Whenever they’re absent, their absence is tragic. People frequently view such leaders as the only people who actually care about their well-being. When they are absent, they send a message that they’re only truly interested in their own initiatives and projects.
Too often we see leaders prominently only when they or their organizations sponsor charitable events like back-to-school drives. How often do they follow up to quantify the outcomes of their generosity and their impact on student performance? Certainly we need their financial contributions, but far more must be done if we will keep students in classrooms and off the streets.
So, what is the solution? It is multifaceted. Successful community partnerships are based on relationship building, which means everyone being willing to take a genuine and active interest in understanding each other’s work. Additionally, organizations need to develop programming that recognizes significant achievements in people’s lives.
Our organizations are not in crisis. Organizations do not have a pulse. Our students, our homeless neighbors and our communities are in crisis. They are the ones who need our help as leaders. We must let our communities know that we care about their well-being and their futures. We must let them know that everyone has a purpose and a destiny and that we intend to walk with them to help them achieve their dreams.
Romal J. Tune
Communicator, Community Strategist,
and Education Consultant