Book of the Month:
How Citizens and Civic Leaders Can Make a Difference
By David Chrislip and Carl Larson
For communities to prosper and grow, government and its citizens must work together. Collaborative Leadership: How Citizens and Civic Leaders Can Make a Difference provides readers with an opportunity to view collaborative leadership at work in the public sector. The book is divided into three major sections:
Part 1, “The Case for Collaboration”; Part 2, “Leadership Strategies for Effective Collaboration”; and Part 3, ”New Vision of Leadership and Civic Action”. The appendix contains a measurement instrument to assess collaboration.
The first part of this book talks about the need of a collaborative culture to emerge in an effort to ensure the lasting success of America’s communities. It also describes some practices that make collaboration work. Also examined are the ideas that leadership can be difficult in certain areas and that traditional paths for resolving problems cannot always be taken.
The middle sections of the book focus on how citizens and civic leaders can set up collaborative initiatives and get results by working together. The tools and concepts of successful collaboration are listed here, noting that each community and situation is different. These differences must be recognized in order to achieve a community’s goal. Collaborative leaders must also build trust among the citizens involved with the project, by working together and using the tools provided in the reading.
The final section of the book alludes to the necessity of a new vision of civic action; one that doesn’t rely on governments. The responsibility is put into the hands of citizens and civic leaders alike to solve public problems. Through collaboration it is the hope of the authors to create a civic will that can initiate and sustain the needed changes in our communities.
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