Members of Natural Leaders Initiative Cohort #1 in 2008

Members of Natural Leaders Initiative Cohort #1 in 2008

NLI Leadership Tools

Resources for Building Leader-ful Organizations and Communities

Our communities have many "everyday leaders" -- people without formal leadership titles who act in creative ways to improve community life. There are many more people who have good ideas and could step into leadership with a little support. This diverse group of natural leaders is a huge, untapped resource for the community as a whole. 

But to recognize the leadership potential that exists all around us, we need to expand who we think of as "leaders." We need to support the growth and success of these "everyday leaders." And we need to build everyone's capacities to include, support, and retain that leadership. 

The reasons to embrace widespread leadership development and engagement are both practical and ethical. Democratic principles tell us that all people have the right to be engaged in the decisions that affect their lives. More pragmatically, addressing the complex challenges facing our communities and organizations requires the diverse talents, knowledge, perspectives and experiences of people from many different backgrounds. Extensive research and practical experience shows that engaging diverse groups leads to more effective problem-solving and decision-making

Expand Your Perspective on Leadership

  • NLI's Leadership Path
  • 3 Windows on Leadership
  • Paddling Upstream: From "Good Intentions" to "Intentional Impact"
  • Engaging Minds and Fostering Initiative

NLI Tools for Building Leadership Through Your Own Work

  •  Leadership Listening Pairs
  •  Assessing Your Own "Developmental Leadership" Skills
  • 10 Tips for Building Natural Leadership (PDF, 14K) through the work you do every day
  • From Scarcity to Abundance: Using Your Resources to Build Diverse Relationships


Margo Hittleman
Natural Leaders Initiative Coordinator
(607) 272-2292 ext.167

Last updated October 24, 2017