Oh yeah. You know what we're talking about. If you've been in formal education in the past 30 years (or more), you know the mixed feelings about group projects. They can be the best of times, they can be the worst of times. At best, they give you a chance to accomplish something greater than you could individually; something that you find proud of, and something that is meaningful. At worst, they force you to get along with and work alongside people you don't like and don't "get", which pushes all kinds of buttons.
And those are both really good reasons why Leadership Victoria incorporates team-based Community Action Projects into our Community Leadership Development Program.
Community leadership is all about bringing people together to make things happen. Nobody gets to be a lone wolf or individual hero when it comes to making our community stronger. So you're always going to find yourself working with people who - shall we be kind - challenge you.
In our program, we give you practical tools and supports to open the can of worms on these challenges in a safe space, so you can learn first-hand how to work through difficult group or interpersonal dynamics. Each team has a coach who is there to support the circle, to motivate and inspire you and your team to find the ways of working that work.
And then there's the ecstatic feeling you get to look upon something that you contributed to which has made a lasting, positive impact, and to know that you were a part of something bigger than yourself. We all need a sense of belonging. That's why community is so important.
In the Community Leadership Development Program, you belong to a team that builds on shared values, creating a vision for change. That team will start out as five or six strangers and develop connections, share your excitement for what is possible, and then rely on each other to pull together a Community Action Project. And this isn't just something you do for a mark... we don't give out marks. Your Community Action Project will be something you can look back on with pride, because it's made a difference to Greater Victoria.
We use group projects because that is how you learn to lead. When you leave the program, you'll have confidence that you can be a leader who has the skills to bring people together like that, outside of the program. You are exactly the sort of person that our community needs to shape and grow the solutions to the challenges facing us.
We have room for you in the 2016-17 program that starts this month. Will you step up?