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Paul Schmitz
Schmitz is the author of Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up (Jossey-Bass) and CEO of Public Allies, a national nonprofit organization that advances new leadership to strengthen communities, nonprofits and civic participation across the country.

Entries by Paul Schmitz

Educating Reformers and Activists: Dr. Howard Fuller's Powerful Example and Lessons

(1) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 4:24 PM

When I speak to groups on leadership, I close by stating that every leader should be able to articulate the what, why, and how of their leadership. The "what" is their mission for the change they want to make in the world, the "why" is the life experiences and lessons...

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The Culture of Collective Impact

(3) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 1:48 PM

"It took a lot of time to build trust. People had distrust for years. You can't undo that in a few meetings"

"They don't invite people like me to their tables. I went to a meeting and it was all clearly dominated by the same folks who have all the...

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Honoring Dr. King the Man, Not the Icon

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2014 | 7:46 PM

Dr. Martin Luther King was a transformational leader who inspired our nation and bent the arc of history toward justice. When we remember Dr. King only by his greatest victories and quotations, however, we do a disservice to him and ourselves. The iconic King teaches us incomplete lessons about leadership...

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The March Was More Than a Speech

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2013 | 6:40 PM

It has been heartening to see the real history of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom emerge in the run up to the 50th anniversary today. It is important that social change agents heed that history, and understand the difference mobilizing people support a cause and organizing people...

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Richard Murphy: A Powerful Example of Servant Leadership

(2) Comments | Posted April 10, 2013 | 5:11 PM

The ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi said that "A leader is best when people barely know he exists; when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves."

Last month, New York City and our nation lost such a leader, Richard Murphy, whose...

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Reading Through the Presidents

(37) Comments | Posted February 18, 2013 | 11:58 AM

Happy Presidents' Day. While I usually write about bottom-up leadership, I also have long been fascinated by the presidents.

Several years ago, on a conference call, I heard an older colleague talk about how he had been reading all the presidents' authoritative biographies in chronological order. At the time, I...

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MLK's Leadership Lessons for Us All

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2013 | 9:33 AM

This weekend, millions of Americans served their communities and made commitments to volunteer to make a difference in their communities and for the causes they care about over the next year as part of the Inauguration's National Day of Service. Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, his quote,...

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The Rewards of Diversity and Inclusion

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 1:24 PM

In the course of giving more than 100 speeches this year for my book, Everyone Leads, I met countless people who reinforced my belief about the incredible leadership talent often left untapped in our communities. Two who most inspired me were Monte Allen and Bob Littman from Cincinnati,...

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Binders Full of Everyone

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2012 | 5:05 PM

Demographics are indeed destiny, and America is changing. Consider that last year was the first in which a majority of babies born in the U.S. were non-white, and that the year by which people of color become a majority of the population is now projected to be around 2040.


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Teaching Children Philanthropy

(15) Comments | Posted November 21, 2012 | 4:47 PM

I ask for money for a living, so I believe it is important to be a giver, too. My organization, Public Allies, identifies talented young adults who have a passion to make a difference and helps them turn that passion into a career working for community and social change. We...

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The Real Challenge for Collective Impact

(3) Comments | Posted September 27, 2012 | 5:54 PM

Collective Impact has become a hot topic in the nonprofit world. Many communities have begun pursuing Collective Impact strategies, and defining existing efforts as Collective Impact. With the rapid adoption and replication of this model, it is also attracting critics questioning whether this is just a new fad. As one...

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Leave No Young Adult Behind

(2) Comments | Posted June 8, 2012 | 9:40 AM

Recent headlines have drawn attention to the dire state of employment for young people in America today. The Associated Press recently reported that half of those under 25 years of age with a bachelor's degree -- or 1.5 million people -- are jobless or underemployed. But things are...

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LGBT Youth: We Need You

(3) Comments | Posted May 15, 2012 | 1:44 PM

I was very pleased last week when President Obama announced his support of marriage equality for gays and lesbians. The president's words -- though historic -- came after North Carolina (following many other states) passed laws to restrict marriage rights and legislate inequality. The fight for our nation's founding promise...

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I Am Not Travyon Martin

(54) Comments | Posted April 6, 2012 | 1:51 PM

The tragic death of Trayvon Martin is an extreme example of the danger of stereotyping and profiling and how it damages our increasingly diverse society. It also highlights the white privilege many of us have who will never be mistaken for a criminal regardless of our appearance or actions.

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Who Leads Occupy Wall Street, Everyone or No One?

(7) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 11:19 AM

Two weeks ago, I walked among the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy D.C. protesters during trips to each city. I was inspired by the passion and commitment I witnessed, but less sanguine about the long-term change they will achieve.

Throughout our history, it has always been the courageous acts of...

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