Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Community Engagement Senior Sage Leadership: Interview of Keith Porter

Senior Sage Leadership: Interview of Keith Porter

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6. There are five key roles that civic leaders often play in their community:

  • Mentor: teaching and engaging the young  
  • Mediator: helping to resolve community conflict  
  • Monitor: serving as a public watchdog  
  • Mobilizer: working to bring about social change  
  • Motivator: urging people toward public good and away from self-interest

As you think about your own civic involvement in our community, which of these roles have you played and which do you consider to be your strongest?

My strongest is as a motivator, which is most consistently where I work. I think I am also a mobilizer, although in my current activities I express less of this because my focus right now is in the arts. I play the role of mediator with the organization I currently head, but not so much in the community as a whole. I would like to do more mentoring but don’t have the time right now. I have done this in the past (not only for young people) and want to do more in the future— especially in helping people understand how organizations work and in finding ways to engage them in causes and projects.

7. This project has to do with the involvement of sage leaders like yourself in civic organizations that seek to improve the quality of life and well-being of Grass Valley and Nevada City. This includes nine types of civic organizations.

  • Fraternal and service clubs  
  • Social services organizations  
  • Educational organizations  
  • Governmental and political organizations  
  • Arts organizations  
  • Media organizations  
  • Faith-based organizations  
  • Environmental organizations  
  • Other nonprofit organizations

In which of the nine types of civic organizations on the list are you currently involved? Overall, how many total hours a month do you give to these organizations?

I am involved heavily in two arts organizations: InConcert Sierra and the Arts Collaborative of Nevada County. I also volunteer with the Red Cross (a social services organization) in disaster preparedness and do some work with the Center for Nonprofit Leadership (education). I support environmental organizations but I’m not active in volunteering with them at this point. I also have participated with the suicide prevention task force (also social services).As a volunteer I am close to full time, about 150 hrs a month, the bulk of it with InConcert Sierra.

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