Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to

Thursday, January 11, 2007

#10 Reason Rural Community Development is Hard to Do

Leadership Capacity

-- editors note, this is the ninth in a top ten list of reasons why rural community development is hard to do by Michael Holton that ran as the feature article in the December 2006 Center for Rural Affairs newsletter... john

Of all of the factors and indicators of small town demise, I see the lack of leadership as the biggest of all. We are changing, and leadership is needed to address these conditions. The very definition of change is the ability to bring people and ideas together without coercion or force.

I heard a leader in one of the rural communities I work with say to me, “Why should I take leadership training, I am already a leader!” What this said to the community was that he was unwilling to lead the town in a positive direction. There is untapped leadership in every community, and one of our goals should be looking for those resources.

Agree? Disagree? Post a comment here or contact John Crabtree,

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.


  • At 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In my community, if you want leadership, the last place you go is to the city "fathers" - mayor, council, etc.

  • At 11:43 PM, Blogger Michael L. Holton said…

    Isn't it ironic that the very people who we sometimes elect into office of leadership (mayor, town council) or the town fathers who want the title but can't lead are indeed the ones who call themselves our leaders!


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