September 20, 2023

In week eight of this series, let’s explore the last of the 7 C’s—“citizenship.”

Citizenship is the only community/society value included in the social change model, and it suggests that the individual and the collaborative group both become connected to their local community and broader society through the leadership development activity they are working on.

What is your role as a citizen? Citizenship is action on the part of the individual and the group in an effort to serve their community. It is also a social and civic responsibility—a set of values and beliefs that connects an individual to others in the community. Citizenship includes the duties and responsibilities of serving your community as well as the benefits of living in your community. Individuals need to pool their knowledge, talents and resources for society to run effectively.

To be a good citizen means working toward positive change for others and the community as a whole. Good citizens realize that everyone’s lives in the community are intertwined and interdependent—they are all affected by community projects in some way. Because of this, when determining the common purpose of the group, you must think about the rights and well-being of all those who might be affected by the group’s efforts. Good citizenship involves both the rights of individual citizens as well as the responsibility those citizens hold towards their community.

There is a fine line to balance here. Though local leadership efforts should be directed toward change that benefits others in the community, instead of being self-serving, you also need to make sure those who are affected most by a potential project are consulted or are included as part of the group working towards change.

Tip of the Week

How can you be a better citizen of your community? Think about ways you can get involved to serve others in your town—volunteer when asked, lead a committee, get appointed to a city board, or run for office.