(ref: Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky, pg 72-80)
- Curiosity. The organizer is driven by a compulsive curiosity that knows no limits. “Curiosity killed a cat” has no meaning to the organizer.
- Irreverence. Nothing is sacred. The organizer detests dogma, finite definitions of morality, rebels against any repression of a free, open search for ideas.
- Imagination. It ignites and feeds the force that drives the organizer to organize for change.
- A sense of humor. Laughter is not just a way to maintain sanity but also a key to understanding life.
- A bit of a blurred vision of a better world. While working on his/her own small bit, an organizer can keep going with a blurred vision of a great mural where multitudes of others are also painting their bits.
- An organized personality. An organized organizer is able to be comfortable in a disorganized situation, rational in a sea of irrationality.
- A well-integrated political schizoid. An organizer can polarize an issue 100 to nothing and help lead his/her forces into the conflict while remembering there will come a time for negotiation and that in reality there is only a 10% difference between the two sides.
- Ego. There is an unreserved confidence in one’s ability to do what must be done.
- A free and open mind, and political relativity. An organizer becomes a flexible personality, not a rigid structure that breaks when something unexpected happens. In the political world, all values are relative. An organizer avoids disillusionment by not succumbing to illusion.
- Creating the new out of the old. New ideas come out of challenge to the sacred ideas of the past and the present and inevitably a conflict has raged.
The basic difference between the leader and an organizer:
- The leader goes on to build power to fulfill desires, to hold and wield power for purposes both social and personal. The leader wants the power.
- An organizer finds a goal in creation of power for others to use.
Also check out 8 Stages of Successful Social Movements.