"[Successful communities are] 'leaderful' with everyone expected to provide some measure of initiative…Leaders function not as gatekeepers, but as door openers, bent on widening participation." – David Mathews, 2002



  1. Clinton, J., Conway, C., & Hoke, L. (2003). Reinventing the wheel: New models for southern leadership [2003 Report on the Future of the South]. Research Triangle Park, NC: Southern Growth Policies Board.

    Publisher Description: "Reinventing the Wheel presents a new model of leadership to strengthen the South's capacity to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities — from globalization and new economic forces to large-scale demographic changes. The report's foundation is the emerging research and awareness that civic infrastructure directly impacts both quality of life and economic opportunity. Regional focus groups and surveys yielded recommendations from citizens that call for more, diverse and better-prepared leaders in the South. The report includes research on social capital and civic engagement and practical examples of citizens that are addressing community challenges with inclusive, connected and collaborative strategies. Potential actions for communities are also presented in the report for strengthening leadership in the region by engaging youth and immigrants and for recruiting more diverse citizens to assume leadership roles." 72 pages.

  2. Hille, P. (n.d.). Leadership. Brushy Fork Institute at Berea College.

    Excerpt: "When we think of leadership, we often think first of famous individuals. When we look at leadership in communities, we see leaders all around us…Leadership may be seen as a collection of skills and actions that encourage broadbased participation, facilitate consensus building, distribute shared responsibility and enable groups to work effectively to achieve their shared goals." 2 pages.

  3. Hille, P. (n.d.). Toward the Tipping Point: Leadership and community transformation. Brushy Fork Institute at Berea College.

    Hille relates Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller, The Tipping Point, to community leadership. 4 pages.

  4. King, B.F., & Hustedde, R. (2001, May). Strengthening civic engagement in community decision-making. The Rural South: Preparing for the Challenges of the 21st Century (Issue No. 19). Mississippi State, MS: Southern Rural Development Center.

    Excerpt: "People become engaged in public life when an issue they care about is at stake. Studies indicate that people aren’t apathetic about their communities, but they often feel left out of the decision-making process by elected officials or other community leaders. They do not want to merely follow somebody or something, but instead want to be involved in determining the future." 10 pages.

  5. Mathews, D. (2002). For communities to work. Dayton, OH: Kettering Foundation Press.

    Publisher Description: "For Communities to Work presents a broad framework intended as background for civic organizations that want to look at the state of the public in their communities. It explains how private individuals become public citizens and how publics form. The process of reinvigorating citizens in communities requires generating the political will for “public work,” or the work of citizens with each other." 59 pages.

Last Updated: May 21, 2014