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How can an anarchist lead?
It's a good question. One of the things I've reluctantly learned about organizing is that a lot of people want to be told what to do. So I've learned to lead and assign jobs. It's a skill good organizers need to exercise. Even if it goes against the grain.
Being a leader doesn't mean shouting orders, it means being a good listener, resourceful and aware of an organization's needs, and an effective allocator of resources. Leadership is asking and understanding how people want to plug in, and fitting them with assignments that match their needs, and serve the organization's interests.
It isn't about control. It's about facilitation.
The best leaders develop leadership skills in those around them, and are not afraid of the local talent. They want the best teams possible, and give of themselves to make everyone stronger. They lead by inspiration and example, and create a shopping list of tasks for each person to participate and contribute to the common goals. Real leaders exercise good judgement, delegate well and trust others. People like good leaders. They are always available for consultation, ready with suggestions when asked, but do not need to oversee every step, or question every decision. Good leaders allow themselves to be overruled, even when they are right, because they understand that good process is as important as production.
People look to their leaders for more than work assignments. They also want vision, inspiration, strength, wisdom, personality, friendship, help and a whole lot more. Don't be scared. You can do it. Give it what you've got!
Every organization and movement has its leaders; including anarchists. So don't get hung up about it. It's more valuable to work together collegially, than to be ideologically pure and organizationally ineffective.
The Activist Tool Kit is a project inspired by YAEC:
Youth Action Effecting Change
PO Box 34097 Station D Vancouver BC V6J 4M1 CANADA
The Activist Tool Kit was written and built by Al Rycroft of SunshineCommunications.ca.
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