Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tip of the Day: Train New Leadership

This point will be short and simple. Whether your organization has already transitioned leadership (positions being a calendar year), or is about to transition leadership (positions being an academic year), if you run a student group, you need to be thinking about training new leadership. This is a long and in-depth process that should always be on your mind as a campus leader, actually. Whenever you hold events, you should be evaluating whether someone has the potential to take over the organization and what you can do to bring out their leadership skills. But supposing you only have a few months to impart all of the knowledge you have acquired in 4 years to the person who will take over for you, here are some suggestions for what to do:
  1. Create an Executive Board Handbook (more on this in a later blog post).
  2. Hold a leadership retreat for one full day on campus.
  3. 'cc the new leadership on important emails so they can learn how you email people in addition to what's going on.
  4. Hold weekly meetings with the new leadership. If you're still the leader, have them attend executive board meetings. If they're the new leaders, attend their meetings and give feedback when appropriate (but be sure not to dominate the meetings).
  5. Have one on one discussions with the new leadership about their vision of the organization, your vision of the future, and make sure they are thinking about the organization's best interests.
You cannot simply tell someone "you're in control now, enjoy" and expect them to effectively lead an organization. You need to prepare them by parting information on them and correcting serious mistakes so they learn. Guide the new leadership so that you are comfortable that the organization will be sustained for the long-term.

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