Congratulations! You have been asked to lead your organization. Or you volunteered to chair your group’s fundraiser or special event. Whatever it might be, you find yourself in a leadership position, perhaps for the first time. You want everything to go great. After all, you ARE in charge!
True but in order to have a great year at the head of an organization or a successful event, you must rely on other people, particularly volunteers. And this is where many first time (or even long time) leaders run into trouble! Not a problem! Jean Ann is here to help you avoid a few of the pitfalls that have sabotaged many a leader! And the easiest way to do this is by showing you 6 things you should NEVER, EVER do! I’m breaking this down into 6 parts so you can comment or ask questions specific to each No No! Ready? Let’s Begin!
NEVER Do It Yourself
This does not mean you shouldn’t do any of the work yourself. However, it has been my experience that new leaders often have problems recruiting help so they end up doing much of the work themselves. This is a very, very bad idea!
I recently attended a planning meeting for a large fundraiser being held at my church. One of the chairwomen from the women’s ministry was chairing the meeting. As the discussion went on, I realized she wasn’t chairing the meeting as the head of the women’s group. She was chairing it as the person in charge of the event. I finally asked her outright who was chairing the event. “I am,” she told me. Seems no one else would volunteer to do it.
This is a problem. The chair of an organization must be able to focus on multiple elements of the organization. If she must also chair one of the major activities of the group, it diverts her focus from the whole. The best way I can put it is this: when the first chair in the brass section of the orchestra calls in sick, the conductor never takes their place. The conductor’s job is to oversee the whole. Taking an active role in a part of that whole weakens their ability to smoothly orchestrate the group. The same is true when you are chairing an event. You must be able to focus on the whole by not getting caught up in a part.
One word of warning: One of the greatest pitfalls of doing it yourself is finding volunteers to do other tasks. Once members see you are willing to take over anything left undone, you may find yourself doing it ALL! This is a quick & painful path to failure. In order for an organization to succeed or an event to flourish, everyone must do their part. As the leader, your part is to encourage & equip those overseeing all the other aspects of your organization or event.
I know it can be tough. When no one wants to take over a task, it’s easy to step in. STOP! Rather than taking over the task, you must learn how to recruit volunteers. And for that, you must wait for Part 2!