I was listening to a presentation the other day by someone who suggested that 1 in 22 people in a rural community needs to be a "leader" to enable progress on community priorities and projects. That was thought-provoking, and reminded me of a 2016 report by Kettering Foundation president David Mathews which suggested the need to rethink conventional notions of leadership and made the case for “leaderfulness” as a characteristic of communities that have the ability to change and adapt when faced with new challenges. "Leaderfulness" equates leadership with initiative. The report discusses the necessity for communities themselves to change (and become more "leaderful") when faced with problems that can’t be solved unless initiatives come from every sector.
More than anything, this report is an invitation to participate in rethinking leadership for change, particularly in the communities where we live, work, and raise our families. The central ideas are that community-wide change requires a great many initiative takers and that a critical job for them is to make their communities “leaderful.”