The traditional leader is seen as a charismatic hero, a lone figure, towering above the rest. These are seen more in the military or business worlds – Gen. George Patton, auto executive Lee Iaccoco, computer guru Steve Jobs. But in reality, the success of a leader depends on the context, or environment, in which they work – the deck they’ve been dealt. Even the heroes.
Citizen engagement has traditionally been viewed as citizens participating in community activities such as testifying on policy proposals, budgets, and strategic plans. But government does more than policy and budget. And citizens want to do more than testify or volunteer at the local food bank.
Leadership “experts” list dozens of characteristics that they say are important for successful leaders. Many lists overlap, but I think they really come from the experiences and observations of the writers.