New program designed to create community leaders

Lacombe has been chosen to deliver a new program that aims to build community leaders.

  • Sep. 26, 2013 6:00 p.m.

Lacombe has been chosen to deliver a new program that aims to build community leaders.

Becoming a Community Builder is a program designed by social entrepreneur Ian Hill. It was beta-tested in Wood Buffalo last year and will now be made available to 20 other communities in Alberta this year, Lacombe being one of them.

Kim Berube, executive director for the Lacombe Chamber of Commerce, started working to bring the program to Lacombe after hearing Hill speak. She said she thought it would be valuable because she has seen firsthand the need for leaders within Lacombe and Alberta.

“I have seen what the struggles are,” said Berube. “People moving away, people coming back, the service organizations’ memberships literally dying out.”

One of Hill’s points that really stuck with Berube was that the “traditional” method of building leaders through work experience, volunteer commitments and education takes too long, she said.

Not only that, but the old way of growing leaders is not very popular with many people today.

According to Hill, it takes seven to 10 years to form a leader using conventional methods, said Berube.

However, Alberta is in need of leaders now and can’t wait for up to a decade to get them.

Berube went on to say that there is a stereotype that today’s young people are lazy and don’t want to get involved in the community, something that is often blamed for the dwindling numbers in many service clubs today.

However, Berube said she doesn’t agree with this view. Instead, she agrees with Hill, who says that it isn’t that young people are lazy, it’s that they want to find new ways of getting engaged in the community.

To solve the problem of building community leaders and finding new ways to get people engaged in the community, Hill came up with the Becoming a Community Builder Program.

Delivered to an unlimited number of residents in Lacombe and Lacombe County, the 15-week program launches on Oct. 10.

Berube said Hill will come out to Lacombe personally about a week before the kick-off date of the program to meet participants, see the community and get a feel for who is participating.

Then, the program is delivered online in weekly releases.

Berube said that the beauty of the program being released online means that participants can work through it at their own pace, going online every week as the information is released or logging on once a month and catching up then.

She added that the information will continue to be available to participants in Lacombe and Lacombe County in its entirety even after the 15 weeks’ time frame has elapsed.

“Anyone can access it, for free, forever,” said Berube.

Becoming a Community Builder works to develop skill-sets that are valuable to any kind of leaders, said Berube. Things like communication and delegating are covered in the program in a way that is applicable for both professional and informal leaders.

Becoming a Community Builder is available to an unlimited number of participants in Lacombe and Lacombe County.

To register, visit or contact Kim Berube at 403-782-4300 for more information.