Imagine what it will be like if four members of your Chapter want to be Chapter President! Each will present why she'd be a good leader and share her dreams and goals for the Chapter. You'll have big discussions of what you want in a leader and new directions your Chapter wants to go in. Then together the Chapter will determine the best leadership positions for each of the four. Of course, you'll do a lot of talking because since four members want to be Chapter President, four others will want to be Secretary and four others will want to lead the Community and World Connections Team, and four others will want to be. . .Imagine.
It's kind of obvious that in order to inspire a host of members to clamor for leadership positions, we must learn how to grow leaders. My second State goal--We're growing leaders; we're growing AS leaders--invites us to do two things--be active in growing ourselves while taking an active role in developing the leadership skills of others.
Growing leaders requires more than just telling someone what to do. It involves mindful, intentional efforts to discover our own skills as we laud and embrace the skills of those around us. Here are some of the ways I'm learning to lead and inviting others to learn with me.
In planning a meeting, we often ask: What are we going to do? How will we do it? But as I'm learning to lead, I've found that I must step back and first determine: What is the purpose of this meeting?
I learned a bit about this from our centerpieces for the Fall Board Meeting. My purpose was to get rid of some old baskets, have something pretty on the tables, and have every table look alike.
Leila's purpose taught me much that centerpieces could be much more! First, she invited her chapter members to create them with her. That's including and inspiring others. Second, she got members to give her tips on methods for spraying the wreaths. That's using the expertise of others. Third, she went to an older member and found what skill she could do. That's caring for older members, including, and using expertise of others. Fourth, she made 66 bags of individual items to take home with instructions on how to make your own. Thus, she reminded me that the purpose of centerpieces can be more than decorating the tables uniformly or showing off a talent, but rather it can be teaching others how to create as well.
From Lelia's modeling, I have grown as a leader. Here's a simple list of what she taught me.
1. Include other members in the creation. This means giving up your control. This takes time.
2. Use the expertise of others. This means being willing to ask questions when you don't know.
3. Inspire others as you do the project together. This means praising, thanking, and leading hope.
3. Be sure to care for older members and use their skills. This takes time and effort to include them.
4. Use every opportunity to teach others how to do what you're doing. This means you have to determine the process, write out the process and things you learned along the way, and find a way to disseminate the info to everyone.
I invite you to do two things. First, plan, lead, and attend your next meeting mindfully. Ask yourself what the purpose of your meeting is and then lead the meeting with that purpose in mind. Of course, the Chapter President can do this, but each members can too by asking why she's attending the meeting. If you're willing, tell us how it was different from a meeting where you just DO things.
Second, examine your leadership style. What do you do well? Then I invite you to think of other leaders. What do they do well? Pick a couple of skills somebody else has and try them out in your next meeting at your Chapter. If you want to grow with us, let us know what you've observed and how it goes with you trying out those skills.
Leila has taught me to reconsider the purpose of the centerpieces. In the evaluations, many people said they would take home Leila's instructions and use with their Chapter immediately. From Leila's modeling, I am going to draft instructions and provide materials to create the next centerpieces, leaving leeway to create like I did this last time. I've already got volunteers excited to make them!
If you want to make one or two, let me know!
Happy learning in your leadership style!