Leading Communities: A Place-based Leadership Program

Leading Communities is a research based leadership program developed by ISU Extension and Outreach. It is designed to promote community engagement and increase capacity among community members for addressing common issues and problems. It is based on four core competencies and skills related to community leadership: understanding your community, identifying issues and opportunities, building social capital and mobilizing resources for community action.

Lynn Adams


Target Audience

Leading Communities is designed for any community member who wants to be more active in their community. In fact, the more diverse the participants, the more successful the program. There are no prerequisites for participating.

Delivery Method

Leading Communities will be delivered in your community by ISU Extension and Outreach community and economic development specialists. Training will be based on a combination of interactive discussion and group learning activities. Training typically takes place over a six-month period, with one two-to-three-hour training session a month.


$6,000 for six three-hour sessions.  The fee includes travel, time, and materials for all participants.


Clients must be willing to participate in the local organization of the program. Although the program follows a specific curriculum, the clients are responsible for organizing a steering committee, identifying participants and local logistics (e.g., meeting dates and times, locations). ISU Extension and Outreach can guide clients in the local organization process.

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