Creating a sense of community
Leaders have several different obligations that determine the success of any given group, organization, or community. According to Kouzes & Posner, one of the duties that is key to exemplary leadership is the commitment to make a celebration for the values and success attained by certain group . The process entails making people come together to share their lessons of success while at the same time engaging personally. It is through this process that leaders are able to instill courage in others and motivate them in achieving the set objectives. In the spirit of making this process work, leaders have to create a culture of collaboration within the community. The main practices involved in building a community are:
– Creating a connection among celebration, community and commitment. In any gathering of the stakeholders, the leader should take it as a chance to renew the commitment. Additionally, the leader should utilize the opportunity to ensure that each of the individual has the knowledge of why they are there, and how they are expected to get involved in achieving the set purpose.
– Making a celebration of the accomplishment publicly. The public celebrations provide a chance to present real examples of acting according to what the expressed values. Moreover, it helps to reinforce commitment, since every individual gets to see the actions of their colleagues.
– Integrating celebration with the organizational life. Celebrations of business milestones, accomplishments by individuals, and employee’s service anniversaries should be actually put in the organization’s business calendar.
– Providing social support to the individuals. During the celebration ceremonies, the leaders need to reassure the people that they possess the sturdy support from the group. Social support is a pillar to psychological well-being, and improved productivity.
– Having fun as a group. This helps in sustaining productivity and creating subjective well-being. It can be achieved by creating a playful atmosphere within the office.
The various cultures existing in different parts of the world possess distinctive ways in which, they create a sense of community. For instance, the traditional Yoruba and the Dogon of Mali, hold interesting myths and sacred stories that explain, in detail, the occurrences surrounding the formation of their communities. The sacred stories mainly highlight the contribution of ancestors and mythical beings in the community’s affairs. Additionally, they tell of the importance of the various rituals for human-beings and their particular roles. The culture of the priestly Nri group in Igbo, draw their togetherness from the central myth of existence of the Supreme Being, Chukwu, whom they believe to have provided them with their traditional home community. More importantly, Chukwu made the Nri people a priestly class and separated them from the rest of the traditional group of the Igbo people. They were designated the role of performing rituals.
Similarly, the Baganda (Uganda) culture derives their sense of community by creating a connection with a mythical hero (Kibuka) and the mythical ancestral spirits linked by seas and rivers (Mukasa). These are taken as the powerful national heroes and leaders whose influence is still strongly felt and recognized by almost every community from the lineage of the Baganda. Leaders face varied challenges when it comes to respecting the wide array of cultures in their quest for creating a sense of community. In the context of an organization, culture entails the customs, assumptions, values, beliefs, regulations, practices and skills that describe and act as a guideline for the stakeholders. Given the differences in cultures leaders faced with the challenge of violating some of the dimensions of the cultural diversity thus offending some of the individuals. These individuals most probably retaliate by deliberately losing their orientation that is otherwise expected to be aligned at achieving their designated purpose.
In a nutshell, cultural diversity in a community present challenge as elicited above. In the process of implementation of the research’s result into my Self Direct Learning plan, I would make concerted effort to have the right and substantial information regarding the cultures that I intend to make a community. This would call for me to drop any prejudices and assumptions that I may possess, and in place make decisions using the actual facts. Additionally, appreciating the role of dialogue among the individuals would make a significant contribution in resolving any conflicts that may arise. Use of the five practices of promoting a culture of celebrations, as outlined above, would be a milestone in creating a sense of community within the group.
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