There has been so much discussion around the country about “leadership” through these disasters, from people calling out the Prime Minister, politicians being on holidays when their own portfolios are going up in smoke, and ‘too late’ questions on who is responsible for fires and when to call in the armed services.
The fact is that real people in each community are stepping forward in the vacuum and just ‘leading’ and leading well – because they hear and understand the local issues.
We are seeing hundreds – if not thousands – of ordinary Australians taking the needs of their communities into their own hands – making decisions, people providing meals, creating ‘GoFundMe’ pages, organising donations, volunteering to cook, mending fences, carting fodder, etc.
This level of community engagement is very thought-provoking!
Becky Hirst, The Community Engagement specialist, says: “the silent majority is now in action”.
Are our residents of our retirement villages members the ‘silent majority’? Can we draw a retirement village comparison?
Becky provides an alternative model of decision making “flipping from the government always being the decision maker, even deciding to what level the community will be “allowed” to influence decisions, to a time where the community may become “the decision makers”?
Perhaps an example from the bushfires would be: does the local community know better deciding when to reduce local forest fuel loads compared to committees and bureaucrats in Canberra who fix one rule for the whole state or country?
Can the same be said for retirement villages and decisions being made at head office?
Using Becky’s chart on community leadership, let’s look at the first three points and our role as Village Managers:
We will identify what is important for our community and take action to implement change where necessary.
We will look to work together with Government as providers of advice, support and resources where necessary.
We will work with Government to ensure that its concerns and issues are directly reflected in any alternative solutions developed.
Replacing ‘government’ with operators/head office.
Is this the future or is this today?
We, as strong, flexible, agile “leaders”, will be delivering a model like this to empower our communities to be more engaged with decisions that are likely to impact village communities and residents.
This is leadership from the centre. It is not always easy, and it requires skills. But it generates great results for your village ‘silent majority’, as we have seen with the fires, and great satisfaction for us as a leader.
Love to know your thoughts?