Sharpen Your Activist Skills
What do dynamic leaders have? Are they born with the ability to walk into a room, greet multitudes by name, stride confidently to the podium, make stirring speeches, analyze problems, and propose innovative solutions? Seasoned activists know almost instinctively how to develop strategy; veteran fundraisers deliver the big bucks with aplomb, effective organizers open a spigot and produce a crowd.
Accomplished leaders, organizers, fundraisers, and activists are not born that way: Over time each has developed a repertoire of skills that she employs to accomplish her goals. Few leaders or activists are good at everything, yet they all have gained one or more of the key skills described in this chapter.
You, too, can enhance your volunteer or paid career and win victories on issues by developing new skills. The ability to raise money, speak out in public, organize an effective meeting or campaign, lobby public officials, research the implications of public proposals, work with the media, put together an effective meeting or convention, and develop or analyze strategy can be learned on the job, by working inside an organization or campaign, or at widely available training sessions.