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On Leadership Development

Demystify the role of leader

Leaders are regular people and they're passionate about the community you are part of. Sure they have more responsibilities within the community but at the core they are there because they love what they do, what you do!

When you already have a leader, encourage delegation and cross-training of leadership tasks so that the position of "leader" is more accessible and less daunting to other members of the community.

Transparent process

Make your processes for leadership appointment/assignment/election open and clear to all members of your community so that everyone has an opportunity to apply.

Make application for leadership positions as simple and straight-forward as possible.

Giving it all away

If you're the leader or one of the leaders now, you should always be building the next batch of leaders. There's the bus factor and the burnout factor and the added bonus of growing your project along the way. If you are in charge of everything, then the number of things your group can do is limited by the number of things one person can oversee. With two leaders, you can do twice as much, with three people, three times as much and so on.

Start by giving people small bits to oversee and then gradually delegate larger and larger tasks. Have a one on one conversation with them to see what motivates them and listen. Make sure that people are getting what they need out of their participation and thank people constantly.

Always be recruiting

Identify peers who have strong leadership skills (including being fair and friendly, organized, reliable, able to delegate) and encourage them to apply for leadership roles.

Encourage your peers in general and celebrate successes, far too often the shy folks who aren't shouting their accomplishments from the rooftops get ignored and their chances of attaining a leadership position may be less likely since members of the community may not know their work or skills.