Updated on 05.31.11

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Leadership Edition

Trent Hamm

One area I’ve been reading about quite a bit lately is leadership. How does a person who is a bit on the introverted side and is scared of leading a social group actually leap across that chasm and lead a community organization?

I’ve been reading a pile of books by John Maxwell and other such authors and I’ve mostly come to three conclusions. First, candor is almost always the best route and always the way you should go when in doubt. Second, never do anything that you wouldn’t want the people you’re leading to do. Third, never make a decision that you can’t explain (although there are situations where there is private information involved, you still should be able to completely explain why you’re making a decision).

Why leadership? It’s a personal frontier I feel like I still have difficulty crossing at times. I feel as though I’m a weak leader in group situations and I’d like to amend that.

Future Financial Literacy Is In The Hands Of Parents Exactly. Financial literacy is in my hands, because the schools don’t really teach it and, also, my children use me as their biggest source for learning life skills. If you’re a parent, it’s up to you to teach your kids how to manage their money. (@ canadian finance blog)

Is It Better to Learn About Money the Hard Way? I tend to think that people who are good with their money fall into two camps. Either it was taught to them all throughout their childhood or they learned it after some sort of financial “bottoming out.” (@ totally money)

The hard part (one of them) “I did the reading.” In other words, success is really all about the hard work. (@ seth godin)

Why I Hate “New, Unique” Money Tips I don’t like them, either. Whenever a reporter asks me for one, I usually just respond with “save money on HOT_NEW_ITEM by buying VERY_SIMILAR_BUT_LESS_EXPENSIVE_ITEM,” inserting any two appropriate items that you might think of. (@ get rich slowly)

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  1. valleycat1 says:

    Another factor in successfully leading a community organization is to be sure you strongly believe the organization’s cause and its means of addressing that cause. I know several people who have started their own effective community groups after identifying a need, connecting with a small group of like-minded people, and growing it from there. Otherwise, becoming a leader usually is a function of becoming active in a group and gaining the confidence of the other members so that you organically grow into the job.

  2. Justin says:

    Thanks Trent. I’d never heard of the Canadian Finance Blog, but I liked their post on financial literacy falling on the parents.

    I think thats something that most parents don’t do! For example my dad would tell me to save money, but he didnt provide any type of incentive or proof as to why its so good.

    He, like many other Americans who do the same, are practicing “do as I say, not as I do”. THey don’t save, but expect their children to!

  3. Riki says:

    Leadership is a skill that needs to be practiced. Reading books can provide interesting insights and strategies, but ultimately you need to actually get out there and DO it.

  4. Holly says:

    Kids generally learn as much if not even more by example vs. outright teaching. I see it in my 2 and their approaches to spending, saving and planning. They have totally different approaches and neither matches mine but bits & peices are there as matches their own time constraints & lifestyle (DD1 has 3 kids, DD2 only 1 & both work FT).

  5. Holly says:

    Forgot to add:
    We did teach them directly about checking accounts, savings account and credit/debit cards.

    We taught by example about shoe, clothes, personal care items and grocery shopping.

    Neither daughter graduated from college w/ANY debt. Only DD1 ended up w/student loans for grad school as she did it in 13 months. DD2 did grad school on the pay as you go plan over 6-7 years.

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