“Leaderful” Communities: The McPherson, Kansas, Tri-County Asset-Building Initiative

  • Michael J. Nakkula
  • Karen C. Foster
  • Marc Mannes
  • Shenita Bolstrom
Part of the The Search Institute Series on Developmentally Attentive Community and Society book series (SISS, volume 7)


The asset-building efforts of McPherson, Kansas, and its partnership with the three counties of McPherson, Reno, and Harvey has been shaped by a statewide emphasis on supporting the development of local community leadership. (Consistent with local references to the McPherson Tri-County Asset-Building Initiative, we use the terms “McPherson,” “McPherson initiative,” and “McPherson tri-county initiative” interchangeably to represent the larger partnership.) Some Healthy Communities • Healthy Youth (HC • HY) initiatives, such as Portland’s Take the Time, emphasize a grassroots approach to mobilization on behalf of Developmental Assets. Others, such as Traverse Bay, Michigan’s GivEm40, prioritize the engagement of established community leaders. Asset building in McPherson presents an interesting juxtaposition to these orientations through its emphasis on leadership training for both new and experienced leaders. McPherson’s asset-building initiative emerged from a belief that a community’s residents require specific skills in assuming effective leadership roles, and cannot simply rely upon life and career experience to successfully mobilize and produce social change.


Juvenile Justice Youth Development Focus Group Participant Positive Youth Development Servant Leadership 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Nakkula
    • 1
  • Karen C. Foster
    • 2
  • Marc Mannes
    • 3
  • Shenita Bolstrom
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Applied Psychology-Human DevelopmentGraduate School of Education, University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.AndoverUSA
  3. 3.Search InstituteMinneapolisUSA
  4. 4.Medtronic, Inc.MinneapolisUSA

Personalised recommendations