What Makes a Good Leader?

This question was one of the first posed to recent participants in the California Alliance for Retired American’s (CARA) Leadership Academy, co-sponsored by St. Barnabas Senior Services in Los Angeles.

“Good listener”, “concern for others”, “vision” were among the qualities identified.   When asked for examples of leaders they admired, their answers  were as rich and diverse as the group, many highlighting famous leaders in local and worldwide efforts to protect and to expand human rights.

The two-day training, funded in part, by the SCAN Foundation, is an on-going effort by CARA and its partners, like the Community Living Campaign,  to expand the number of active leaders and advocates in local communities.   Over the two days, individuals learned how to develop an organizing campaign, the nuts and bolts of direct action, ways to  add social media as new tools for advocacy, and tips for how to strengthen their public speaking skills.    My part of the training (besides taking pictures) was basic social media.  It started where everyone feels comfortable – with the telephone – and moved on to highlight a sampling of free social media tools.  Folks mostly enjoyed seeing how some of the morning’s organizing activities had already been made part of the AGEnts of Change Facebook page and other sites by the afternoon social media session.   We have 3 more trainings on tap – in Santa Clara County, Alameda County and up north in Humboldt County.    You can see additional pictures of the folks whose active role-play turned them into the advocates for a safer Seniortown, including their lively meeting with the local traffic engineer and police captain (played by fellow trainers Al Chin and Janet Canterbury.)  Just go to the CARA, AGEnts of Change or Community Living Campaign Facebook pages.

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