Peter Levine is the director of CIRCLE, the nation’s foremost research organization committed to youth civic engagement. He’s a great person, and I’ve enjoyed the limited conversations we have had in the past. Studying this stuff all the time affords Peter some insights that I think we can all learn from, and the other day hopping on a plane he tapped out these Rules for Organizers:
10. Never provoke conflict to prove one’s strength or importance or to guard one’s turf.
9. Hold no grudges.
8. Never resent or complain about not being invited to a meeting, but try to attend meetings to which one is invited.
7. Minimize one’s use of air time in conversations and meetings.
6. Conserve scare resources, such as grants, that others could use if you didn’t have them. Minimize all forms of overhead.
5. Evaluate the effectiveness of organizations but commit to people even if they are not always effective.
4. Don’t gossip; celebrate other people’s work.
3. Charitably interpret other people’s positions and treat differences of opinion as assets.
2. Use every opportunity to help other people develop skills and reputation.
1. Care about whole people, not just about their opinions or their work.