Building Power: Developing Leadership, Organizing People, and Mobilizing Collective Action To Win Campaigns: Digital Manual



A guide with templates about developing leadership, organizing, public narrative, the story of self us and now and more.


The goal of this manual is to introduce you to an organizer’s perspective on leadership. Organizing can be learned as a leadership practice based on accepting responsibility for enabling others to achieve purpose under conditions of uncertainty: identifying, recruiting and developing leadership, building a constituency around that leadership, and transforming the resources of that constituency into the power they need to achieve their purposes.

This manual features links to multimedia resources. It was originally designed as a printed participant manual to be used during and after in-person organizing workshops. Since many of the resources used for workshops and related materials are now available digitally, we hope this manual will be useful for civic engagement practitioners who may or may not have attended workshops in person. Of course reading this manual will not be enough to produce any deep learning. This manual is meant to accompany practice and reflection, both individually and in leadership teams. We hope you will put it to good use in your campaigns!

There are five basic organizing leadership practices covered in this guide:
1. How to translate values into the motivation for action by learning to tell a story of why you are called to lead, a story of your constituency, and a story of an urgent challenge that requires action: self, us, and now.
2. How to build intentional relationships as the foundation of purposeful collective action.
3. How to structure a collaborative leadership team with shared purpose, ground rules and clear roles.
4. How to strategize turning the resources of one’s constituency into the power needed to achieve clear goals.
5. How to secure commitments required to generate measurable, motivational, and effective collective action.

Originally adapted from the works of Marshall Ganz of Harvard University.


Introduction……….. p. 4
People, Power, Change: What are the core leadership practices for organizing? …. p. 7
Leadership Practice: Public Narrative 1 – Story of Self……… p. 20
Leadership Practice: Relationship Building……………….. p. 34
Leadership Practice: Building Leadership Teams……. p. 44
Leadership Practice: Public Narrative 2 – Story of Us……… p. 55
Leadership Practice: Devising Shared Strategy………. p. 66
Leadership Practice: Mobilizing Shared Commitment – Action…….. p. 85
Leadership Practice: Public Narrative 3 – Story of Now and Linking Self+Us+Now p. 97
Appendix: Coaching as a leadership practice……….. p. 109

Access Resource

Building Power: Developing Leadership, Organizing People, and Mobilizing Collective Action To Win Campaigns: Digital Manual