Lack of local leadership role models Untapped leadership potential Paucity of leadership skills Undefined village leadership Insufficient neighbourhood leaders Inexperienced local leaders Ineffective leadership recruitment Unfocused resident unity Unclear community responsibility Fragmentation of resident relationships Unfocused style of community operations
Even as some communities in the developed world are becoming more skilled in administrative skills because of their increasingly complex relations and tasks, other communities are losing control of their organization. A community's elected officials may be volunteers whose training for administration and time for research is limited and vaguely defined. Members of the community may be unclear on the lines of responsibility. Many villages rely heavily on the heads of families for their community leadership. Other individuals hesitate to take the lead as they feel unqualified, or do not fit their own stereo-typed image of appropriate leadership.
Despite a trend towards local initiation of community development, many rural communities have no way to develop and practise the community's leadership skills. The adult leadership force has been considerably weakened in recent years due to the failure of traditional local industries, since the men of the village have to leave and seek employment elsewhere. This also results in the young people of the community being deprived of models for vocation and responsibility. The remaining adult community members may be unable to participate constructively in guiding the community in the solution of its common problems. There is a tendency to rely on the handful of people who are willing to assume responsibility rather than trying to utilize the unique gifts of every individual; each person assumes that 'someone else' will take the lead, leaving the community without adequate leadership. In particular, residents feel they need training before they are able to participate in organizing and planning local educational and commercial ventures. Until structures are created to motivate and train the corporate leadership potential, communities will find themselves ineffective in creating ongoing social change.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
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