Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Thou Shalt Follow 10 Commandments for Effective Local Leadership

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Thou Shalt Follow 10 Commandments for Effective Local Leadership

Article excerpt

Imprinted with humorous cartoons instead of engraved in stone, the "Ten Commandments of Community Leadership" is set to give divine principles for building strong communities and confidence in local government.

In this quick-read book, intended for local leaders who already have enough paperwork to read on their desks, authors Maury Forman, director of education and training for the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development, and Michelle Harvey, communications coordinator for the Association of Washington Cities, have created a leadership doctrine for which to create successful communities.

"The commandments and their bulleted points give leaders a framework for making decisions and taking actions based on what is right for their communities," Harvey explained. "The book is about being a role model and developing leaders for the next generation."

With the help of two-time Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist David Horsey's whimsical cartoons to bring the commandments to life, the flexible and adaptable suggestions act as a tool kit for leaders, inspiring them with "shalts" to "focus on what can be done, not what can't be done."

For example, under the first commandment, "Thou shalt create a vision for the future," the book suggests leaders:

* Incorporate community values and beliefs;

* Break out of routine thinking;

* Listen to different community voices;

* Encourage youth to participate in their future;

* Focus on what could be, not what is;

* Build on community assets;

* Cultivate ownership of ideas;

* Preserve historic and artistic culture;

* Imagine an economy without borders; and

* Dream of whole communities

It also reminds readers that a community's future is especially shaped by the attitudes of its young people. …

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