You're a Leader - You Just Don't Know it

City of Bloomington, Council of Neighborhood Associations and United Way host "You're a Leader - You Just Don't Know it!" featuring Paul Schmitz.


The City of Bloomington invites community members to learn about leadership with Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies and author of "Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up."

The talk, titled "You're a Leader - You Just Don't Know It," will start at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 at City Hall, 401 N. Morton St. Schmitz will share his unique approach to developing leaders, inspiring change and strengthening community assets. A book signing at 7:30 p.m. will follow the presentation. Neighborhood association leaders, organization leaders, emerging youth leaders and anyone interested in learning more about leadership skills are encouraged to attend. The event is free and open to the public.

"Paul's approach shows us that leadership isn't just about holding a position, it's about taking action," said Vickie Provine, who manages programming for the City's Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND). "Leadership is about having the courage and spirit to make a difference, and learning along the way from overcoming obstacles and mistakes. Good leadership is a universal and a learnable process."

United Way Executive Director Barry Lessow says opportunities to learn from speakers like Schmitz "strengthen the capacity of our community."

"Organizations and our community benefit when people turn their talents and energy toward the responsibilities of leadership," he said.

Georgia Schaich with the Council of Neighborhood Associations emphasized the importance of neighborhood participation in the event.

"It is very important that people come who care about the neighborhood they live in," she said. "It's through the development of strong neighborhood associations that we can have opportunities to express our needs to the City and look out for the neighborhood as a whole. People can make a difference by stepping up and just doing something positive."

Schmitz is a Northwestern University faculty member and sits on the boards of Independent Sector and Voices for National Service. He has served with President Obama's civic engagement policy group and the White House Council on Community Solutions. Schmitz has been recognized as a Next Generation Leadership Fellow by the Rockefeller Foundation. Public Allies, a nonprofit organization launched with the assistance of Michelle Obama, mobilizes current and future leaders to bring about changes in their communities.

This event is made possible with support from HAND, the Council of Neighborhood Associations and the United Way of Monroe County.