From the Inside Flap
Where is the leadership we need to solve our most pressing community problems? It's all around us. Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up will inspire readers to see new leadership possibilities within themselves and their communities. It also offers a set of practices that will help leaders be more effective at bringing diverse people and groups together to solve problems. While many leadership books today focus on how to lead organizations, this book is about how to lead communities.
Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies, shares unique experiences and lessons his organization has learned from two decades of identifying and developing thousands of diverse young leaders across the country. The book is organized around a new definition of leadership: (1) It is an action everyone can take, not a position few hold; (2) it is about taking personal and social responsibility to work with others on common goals; and (3) it is the practice of values that engage diverse individuals and groups to work together effectively. Not everyone can lead in every context, but everyone does have the capacity to step up, take responsibility, and work with others to make progress on the issues they care about.
With inspiring stories and practical examples, the author shares what it means to lead today. He tells the story about how the Public Allies model emerged (including Michelle Obama's important role) and demonstrates the organization's approach through illustrative stories of its graduates and of his own unusual leadership journey. The author surveys America's democratic and civil rights history, current trends, and leadership theory to demonstrate how collaboration among citizens has always been core to social change. The book also delves into five leadership values essential today: recognizing and mobilizing assets, diversity and inclusion, teamwork and collaboration, continuous learning, and integrity.
Everyone Leads offers a hopeful path for citizens, policymakers, and nonprofit organizations wanting to build and engage the diverse leadership our communities and our democracy badly need.
About the Author
Paul Schmitz is the CEO of Public Allies, which advances leadership to strengthen communities, nonprofits, and civic participation across the country. He is recognized as one of America's most influential nonprofit leaders; writes and speaks frequently on social innovation, civic participation, diversity, and community building; and has served on President Obama's transition team and the White House Council on Community Solutions.