Earlier this month the PNLV staff attended a presentation entitled “Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up” by Paul Schmitz. It was hosted by Moravian College, and sponsored by United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.
He is a Senior Advisor to the Collective Impact Forum and the author of “Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up” (Jossey Bass, 2011), and the former CEO of Public Allies where he spent 21 years helping more than 5,600 diverse young leaders turn their passions to make a difference into careers working for community and social change.
He used the Montgomery Bus Strike as an example of social change not being a linear event with one leader, but a complex process with diverse networks of leaders stepping up. He stressed that everyone has a ‘leadership muscle’ that needs to be exercised
He highlighted the fact that many future leaders are often overlooked due to circumstance, and discussed the importance of building trust and offered an example of how we can share our stories to disarm power differentials
He also reviewed the five key elements of collective impact:
o Common Agenda
o Shared metrics
o Mutually reinforcing activities
o Continuous communication
o Backbone organization
Paul highlighted various successful collective impact initiatives, including one in Milwaukee which decreased teen pregnancies by 57% in 7 years. He encouraged us to remember to plug our desire to recruit various residents to the Allentown Collective Impact Committee.