Small Community Leadership Development Institute

Small Community

Small Community Leadership Development Institute (SCLDI) relies on individual development enhancing small community capacity. SCLDI equips people with tools and understanding of small community decision-making and allows their views to be expressed and incorporated into development and planning. New skills enhance effectiveness in addressing issues affecting small communities, strengthening community capacity to identify opportunities and approach issues in innovative ways.

The Institute is a 24-hour, face-to-face course in groups up to 25 people, that takes an honest look at ourselves and communities. Using the book, "The Be WUCA! Way, the ART of getting along," authored and led by Frank and Kimberlee Spillers, the timeframe of the 24 hours is flexible to the group.

Read on for curriculum elements, intended participants, what you'll learn, and why you should take this course.

Bring Small Community Leadership DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE home

The Small Community Leadership Development Institute is ideally suited if you are a/an:

Young leader. A person who wants to get involved. Government employee. Business owner.  Manager. New resident. Student. Positional leader, like a school superintendent, physician. Non-profit board member. Chamber of commerce member. Economic development board member. Elected official. Anyone who is:

  • intent on living both a successful and meaningful life.
  • committed to lifelong learning and personal growth.
  • hungry to make a significant positive impact in your community and the world.
  • anxious to discover and further develop your natural leadership strengths.
  • ready to take responsibility for the impact you have on others as a leader.
  • willing to share your leadership journey with your community.

Benefits. By the end of this Institute, you will:

  • recognize your personal leadership strengths and how to use them most effectively.
  • perceive and build on strengths in others to create powerful alliances and achieve mutual goals. 
  • identify and break through self-perceived limits. 
  • understand and appreciate your unique personal abilities to lead.
  • learn to draw on your abilities to influence, inspire and develop collaborative relationships.
  • learn to respond effectively to dynamically changing conditions in the world and how your community fits into that dynamic.
  • become aware of your impact on others, create your desired impact, and take responsibility for that impact in all aspects of your life.
  • possess an enhanced view of yourself as a leader, ready to assume new responsibilities and leadership roles.

Participants will learn to:

  • recognize and utilize deliberation as a tool to bring positive discussion to community issues.
  • motivate individuals to become enthusiastic volunteers who participate in community organizations.
  • develop a vision for the future.
  • understand relationships and what they mean to growing communities, organizations, and businesses.
  • be an effective board member.
  • identify community, organizational, and business assets in people.
  • identify resources for entrepreneurs.
  • develop an understanding of leadership fundamentals.
  • create opportunity for peer networking.
  • develop knowledge of local, formal leadership structure.
  • create opportunity for participants’ short- and long-term involvement in community.

Global Horizons will:

  • have class members identify community leaders. 
  • utilize an appropriate curriculum to guide discussions regarding leadership.
  • recruit a variety of leaders to present on their leadership style.
  • encourage interaction to meet new people through a meal each gathering.
  • schedule social events within and between communities to build trust and foster business.
  • have each class member share their background and current involvement in the community. 
  • help participants list various groups and leaders of the community, looking for potential new.
  • invite community members as speakers to share their story and respond to questions about their experiences.
  • have class members interview one person not participating in the class and make those interviews available to the whole class to learn tips and gain knowledge and understanding.
  • have the class identify a community project to complete.
  • make a list of class members available to local groups and organizations who may benefit from a pool of new trainees.
  • have class members make a one-year commitment to a group/organization.

Curriculum elements in lecture, reflection/implementation worksheets, presentation formats

  • Understand your personality
  • Develop a positive leadership style
  • Develop a personal, positive image
  • Work with others in a positive manner
  • Trustful relationship-building
  • Develop a positive team in your community
  • Create positive change and address issues your community faces
  • Motivate volunteers
  • Civilly address public issues in safe public space
  • Involve the public in decision-making
  • Be an effective board member
  • Develop and include your youth
  • Encourage entrepreneurs/help existing businesses succeed/business succession
  • Create positive visions and develop strategic steps to attain your vision
  • Develop a tool chest of resources
  • Learn how to fail
  • Identify a community project

Keep in mind

Vision, collaborative planning, and collaborative partnerships are the essence of effective community leadership. Though it can be learned, community leadership is not a science, and no one set of practices ensures effective leadership. Community leadership needs to be flexible to suit different situations. Leaders need sound knowledge of people and resources to act as creative problem-solvers.

Leadership involves commitment, not just interest.  Commitment is most effective combined with purpose, passion, shared vision and goals to get you where you want to be. Shared vision works best  when community-centered, not self-serving.

Trust is a major indicator of effective leadership, with a number of sources. It may come from the personal integrity of a leader, from his/her hard work or from previous engagement with the community. An important outcome of such engagement should be the willingness and ability to listen and recognize that no one has a monopoly of truth. Trust may develop when leaders, through their attitudes, approaches and actions, indicate they recognize that responsibility is owed to people as well as the bottom line of the project.

Ready to start? This is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to apply new learning in your personal, workplace, community life to provide clarity. Unity. Collaboration. New energy that generates wealth. 

The future of small communities is determined by the development of great leaders! 

Contact Kim, 712-250-0275 or

Let's go!