Local Leaders Emerge
“Why don’t we help some of the local leaders to emerge?”, said one of our regional leaders. “At that time (2008), most of our leaders worked as staff of various organizations led by people outside the area. Some of them did good work, but it was all controlled from the outside, which hindered their growth. I wanted to give some local leaders the opportunity to grow and be entrusted with some of the work.” (Bhojpuri Breakthrough: A Movement that Keeps Multiplying)
As I said last time, people need to be empowered for movements to happen. More importantly, it’s local people who need to be empowered. Local leaders need to be given responsibility and authority to do the work. Those from outside the area would need more time to assess and make decisions. But locals already know the area and its people. They can move the work along more quickly because they know how things work, and who the key players are in the area. They have existing relationships, and they are already part of the culture.
When local leaders begin to see results, their confidence grows and their abilities are enhanced as they continue to receive leadership training and mentoring. The work succeeds because they are entrusted early with real responsibilities.
Outsiders still have a role to play, most commonly in specialized roles that empower the local leaders to lead their own. This movement continues to grow because we work hard at finding, developing and prioritizing local leadership while at the same time using outside specialists in ways that prioritize empowerment over control.