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Press Release: Announcing the publication of "Everyone Leads"

Gretchen Koss, Tandem Literary, 212-629-1990 x.1,




Building Leadership from the Community Up

Paul Schmitz

Praise for Everyone Leads:

"This moment in history demands that we stop waiting on others -- especially others living in Washington D.C. -- to solve the problems and right the wrongs of our times. Now, more than ever, we must mine the most underutilized resource available to us: We the People. Everyone Leads shows us how." —Arianna Huffington, President and Executive Editor, Huffington Post Media Group

"Social change has always come from the leadership of the many, not the few. Everyone Leads shows us how we can all step up and contribute to social change." —Tavis Smiley, Author, Broadcaster, Philanthropist

"Schmitz has produced the roadmap we need for this ‘all hands on deck’ movement when we need a new spirit of collaborative leadership and action to face the problems of our day. Reading this book it is no surprise that Michelle Obama learned from Public Allies how to build leaders and build communities."—Harris Wofford, former United States Senator and CEO of The Corporation for National and Community Service under President Bill Clinton.

Where is the leadership we need to solve our most pressing community problems? It is all around us. EVERYONE LEADS: Building Leadership from the Community Up (Jossey-Bass; November 15, 2011) will inspire readers to see new leadership possibilities within themselves and their communities. It also offers a set of practices that will help leaders be more effective at bringing diverse people and groups together to solve problems. Many leadership books today focus on how to lead organizations; this book is about how to lead communities.

Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies, shares the experience and lessons his organization has learned from two decades of finding and developing thousands of young leaders across the country. The book is organized around a new definition of leadership: (1) It is an action everyone can take, not a position few hold; (2) It is about taking personal and social responsibility to work with others on common goals (3) It is about practicing values that engage diverse individuals and groups in collaboration. Not everyone can lead in every context, but everyone has the capacity to step up, take responsibility and work with others on shared goals.

The author uses inspiring stories and practical examples to demonstrate what it means to lead today. He describes the emergence of Public Allies’ leadership model (and the important role played by Michelle Obama, who left a prestigious legal career to found Public Allies Chicago) and demonstrates its impact through the experiences of young leaders it has nurtured – such as the deli owner who now runs a mental-health rights and services organization, the single mom in community college who’s now a White House attorney, and the former gang member who is now an honors student and leads a job training program. Schmitz also candidly shares his own story as a juvenile delinquent who was kicked out of grade school, treated for drug addiction, barely made it out of high school and yet rose to become a major non-profit leader, social entrepreneur, and Presidential advisor.

EVERYONE LEADS surveys America’s democratic and civil rights history, current events, and leadership theory to demonstrate how collaboration among citizens has always been core to social change. It outlines five leadership values that are essential today: diversity and inclusion; teamwork and collaboration; recognizing and mobilizing assets; continuous learning; and integrity. The book offers a hopeful path for citizens, policy makers, and nonprofit organizations who want to build and engage the diverse leadership our communities and our democracy badly need.

About the Author

Paul Schmitz is the CEO of Public Allies, which advances new leadership to strengthen communities, nonprofits and civic participation across the country. He is recognized as one of America’s most influential nonprofit leaders; writes and speaks frequently on social innovation, civic participation, diversity, and community building; served on President Barack Obama’s transition team; and currently serves on The White House Council on Community Solutions.

EVERYONE LEADS: Building Leadership from the Community Up
Paul Schmitz
Jossey-Bass; November 15, 2011; $28; ISBN: 978-470-90603-3
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