Learn to Lead: Becoming the Best Grassroots Leader You Can Be
All you people must learn before you can reach for the stars
Some say leaders are born. Others say leaders are taught. While it may be true that some are born with inherent strengths that may help them be good leaders, it is all the more true that great leaders learn to lead. And while the only true way to learn to be a great leader is to experience it, following the example of others can help ease the way.
Yes, Captain Kirk is a fictional character, but one who has survived for generations of Star Trek fans, maybe because his character exudes the pinnacle of leadership success that so many strive to emulate. And as any Trekkie, young or old will tell you, he learned his best lessons while on the job, following the examples of others who inspired him, who taught him.
There are a host of leaders in the political world whose names will never be in the headlines, whose accomplishments won’t be noted by historians, but whose leadership becomes as much the fabric of our country’s history as the Founding Fathers – only you never hear of them, for they do their work, apply their leadership skills behind the scenes and mostly away from the lights of cameras and the press.
Despite their relative anonymity, the end product of their work, however, is magnified in front of television cameras and in the press on an almost daily basis in most campaigns. For the grassroots leaders provide the energy, the people and the backdrop at most every campaign event. Yes, the cameras focus on the candidate or the elected official, but right there alongside, behind, or in front of that person stands the grassroots leader(s).
Grassroots political leaders are the unsung heroes of campaigns, the volunteers who register voters, and the surrogate speakers who take the barbs from hostile crowds when the candidate cannot make it to an event. They organize conference calls, raise money, write letters to the editor or serve as “props” at a candidate’s press conference.
Existing and thriving in this sometimes murky, undefined world of politics, can be most difficult. Many people don’t even know where to start. Most have no idea how it all works. Some are simply overwhelmed by the immensity of it all while others simply never try.
I wrote Learn to Lead so that anyone who wants to become a successful volunteer leader can do so with just a little study, practice and commitment. We discuss everything from how to get started, how to write handbooks, how to prepare for speeches, and how to run conference calls. Most importantly we discuss how to interface with political staff so you can become an asset to them, and they to you.
Our book will be coming out in June and available to the public at that time. I hope Learn to Lead is that much needed training manual for anyone who wants to become a grassroots leader be it in a Presidential campaign or the local City Commissioner. The magnitude of one may seem more important than the other, but make no mistake; each and every election has consequences for our way of life in the United States.
And there is no excuse for anyone to sit on the sidelines and complain about poor leaders when each and every one of us has it within ourselves to learn to lead. Jump in, learn to lead, and perhaps you can reach for the stars!
Good reading, good learning.