Nugget# 3: Leaders Teach Members How to Lead
In my last Nugget article, I talked about student leaders taking the time to know their members. When the leaders take the time to learn the skills, interests, and abilities of their members, they are better positioned to help them engage and find value serving the organization. Along these same lines, the leader(s) has responsibility for helping each member understand and successfully execute their role within the organization.
After the leader(s) of the club has helped a member find the role most conducive to their individualized needs, they must work as a team to execute the responsibilities of the role well. This does not mean that the leader is to do the work assigned to the member. It means that the leader (i.e., the entire E-Board) work as a team to ensure that each member is properly trained on their role, given assistance to execute their role, and given the resources needed to be successful. For example, if a member becomes the programming sub-committee chair they should not be left to figure out the position on their own. There needs to be a operation or logistical standard that is communicated to each committee chair. The standard should include clear instructions on what is expected of them as chair-leaders. Those expectations may include submitting a 1-page plan of action after each program denoting the pros/cons or strengths/weaknesses of the program, subcommittee minutes, or an end-of-year summary report.
Next, the members of the E-Board should work together to provide training to committee chairs. That training can include how to develop a shared vision with your team, how and when to reserve rooms, when to order food, procedures and forms for bringing and paying guests to campus. Armed with this information, the subcommittee chair will become responsible for leading and engaging their team members in the execution of the committee work. If there are not enough committee members, the club leader and committee chair(s) can work together to develop a strategy to recruit and train new members.
It is important to note here that it should not matter if an active committee member is not able to attend a regular club meeting. As long as they are working, they should be considered an active member of the club. Many of my former student leaders believed that if a member did not attend the general club meeting then they were not active; but this is not always possible with students who are non-traditional, commuting, or who have busy academic schedules. If student leaders want to increase student engagement and involvement, then they must be strategic and considerate in creating opportunities for those students. That is what leaders do! However, if the leader is focused on doing all the detailed and day to day work themselves, then they miss this opportunity to serve the members and club more broadly.
How are you leading? Are you doing the detailed work or are you providing bigger picture opportunities for your members? Are you taking all the shine, when you could be sharing it?