"A leader," says folk singer-organizer Si Kahn, "is someone who creates a sense of the possible. Leaders appeal to the common feelings and hopes that bind a group together. They give the group back a sense of itself."
A good leader, says Kahn, in his "Organizing" guide:
1. Listens. Finds out what people want and care about. Inexperienced leaders sometimes get so excited about what they're doing that they assume everyone feels the same as they do.
2. Speaks well. Doesn't have to be a great orator, but must be able to express ideas in plain enough language so that most people can understand them.
3. Can be trusted.
4. Can let others take credit.
5. Likes people.
6. Is flexible. When people and events change quickly, must be able to abandon a plan and come up with a new one.
7. Sets limits. So that people learn to do things for themselves.
8. Has courage. Must be able to keep going when it's hard, tell people things they don't want to hear and take risks that can result in criticism.
9. Has maturity. So that personal problems are not worked out at the expense of other people.
10. Has a sense of humor.