#ChampionsConnect: Leveraging Personal and Collective Power in Community Organizing

The Nigeria Youth SDGs Network organized its second Champions Connect on 30th July 2022. The Champions’ Connect virtual session is a roundtable engagement with the coordinator and champions members of the youth coalition network across Nigeria. 

The session theme highlights the role of power, participation and Performance (3 P’s) in building a solid foundation and leading social change. During the session, Joshua Alade, the Executive Director, spoke about personal power, collective power and leveraging both in organizing, mobilizing and advocacy.” In as much as you are utilizing your personal power, don’t underestimate the power of collective effort,” he says. He alluded to the power of networks, clear vision, and building strategy for growth and impacts by sharing his personal story on translating ideas to action.

Five leadership Methods

1. Motivate the People

Craft a shared story to express core values and motivate people to work together for the greater goals of your campaign or group. Use Public Narrative to communicate why you should work together and clarify the need to act now.

2. Build Mutual Commitment

Encourage the growth of healthy and strong relationships among the people in your campaign or group. As those relationships are solidified, your constituents will become more willing to set aside their personal preferences and focus on common interests.

3. Give People a Purpose

Create a shared structure of an empowered local leadership team. Identify leaders and ensure they are enabled to keep moving towards your goal and keep your constituency confident that they are acting purposefully.

4. Create Shared Strategy

Have a transparent strategy aimed at achieving distinct and unambiguous strategic objectives. Strategies could differ depending on the area, size and scope of your campaign or group.

5. Measure Your Actions

Take time to evaluate your successes and failures. Evaluating your actions provides space for mutual accountability and adapting a strategy rather than remaining stagnant.

The Q&A session moderated by Imo Uchenna, Monitoring and Evaluating Officer for the Network, revolves around how to build sustainable connections and networks. “Personal power is not enough; it’s only collective action that can make things happen,” says Mr Joshua. He further explained how to build networks through finding common ground, cultivating interest in people and building capacity. The saying “If you ask for money, you get advice, if you ask for advice, you get money” has been one of his personal mantras that he strongly lives by when utilizing the power of networks.

The champions also shared their projects through the skill mapping session anchored by Taofeekat Adigun, Engagement Officer for the Network highlighting their achievement, challenges and how the Network could further support their goals in creating tremendous impact across impacts. Emphasis was made on champions teaming up and building synergy with other fellows with similar interests and projects. In Mr Joshua’s words: “We all should shine, one candle can light up the room, and many more can make the room brighter.”

Overall, the Network celebrated the enthusiasm, service and work done by the champions across states and pledged to support their growth in scaling and creating impacts entirely.