Filling the Leadership Pool
What's a community to do when it faces an aging leadership base? A shortage of volunteers? Facing such a predicament, the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce in British Columbia, Canada, is developing a pilot project—"Building Community Leadership"—that seeks to identify, train and connect community leaders to community boards and organizations.
In an article in the Mission City Record, Chamber Manager Michelle Favero explained that 10 percent of chamber members are community organizations facing a leadership deficit. The article cited the Mission and District Lions Club as one example. The Club had been part of the community for 60 years until last summer, when it was forced to fold due to a lack of volunteers. Favero identified an aging leadership base, lack of volunteers with skills, and no local affordable leadership education as barriers to finding new recruits.
As part of the project, the chamber, in partnership with the University of the Fraser Valley, seeks to host a series of workshops, featuring several high-profile speakers who will share their leadership experiences. According to the article, "they hope to make each session an affordable $20, but that price could drop with corporate sponsorship support."
Sounds like it could be a winner with buy-in from the city council, which passed a motion to consider a way of recognizing those who attend all the workshops with an official leadership designation.