Today's post is part of my blog series of sharing chapter four of my book, A Day of Hope: Leading Volunteers to Make a Difference in Your Community. I hope you find reading the book over the next couple weeks to be enjoyable and beneficial to you as a leader.
Today's section is part two of how to Put Togethe a Leadership Team. Enjoy!
PUT TOGETHER A LEADERSHIP TEAM
Now that you’re getting a feel for why you need a leadership team, it’s important to ask, “Who should be on my team and how do I find them?” My suggestion is to always ask the people who are closest to you and those whom you interact with on a daily basis. Start with family, friends, and co-workers.
One of the great ways that you can recruit new people to join your cause is to make presentations to community groups, classes, clubs and businesses. In 2006, I gave 39 presentations to classes, committees, community groups, and business is only 45 days. Yes, I know public speaking might send a chill up your spine, but it is a great way to get in front of people to tell them about your vision to help people in the community. And you never know who you’re going to reach when you speak to a group.
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR GOOD TALENT
When working to put together a leadership team you also need to keep an eye out for good talent. You want great people who can help make things happen and lighten your load. Yes, you will accept almost anyone to volunteer. I’m famous for finding a job and responsibility for almost anyone.
But when you’re actively recruiting co-leaders, you need to watch for people who have skills and strengths that compliment you in the areas you are weak. For instance, I know that I’m a little bit challenged when it comes to doing the administrative work of keeping track of money and spreadsheets. I also have a little trouble with designing flyers and marketing materials. I struggle in those areas so I work hard to make sure I have someone around me who can compliment me in those weaknesses.
HOW DO YOU KEEP PEOPLE ONCE THEY JOIN?
Once you’ve shared your big vision in a passionate way, asked someone to join your effort, and he has joined, you’ve got to keep the person. This is accomplished by giving them meaningful work where they feel that they’re contributing to the cause and making a difference. You also have to keep them growing and learning. Give them work that will help them learn new skills and gain new knowledge.
Most people enjoy knowing they’ve grown and developed through the process of helping others. At least they enjoy it once they end up on the end side of the growth. They might not enjoy it while going through the growth and having struggles, but once they get to the end of it they will feel good.
Your leadership team also needs to feel important to the success of the project. They need to know and feel that they are part of the team, part of something special. I was recently reading a book entitled Called to Serve by Max Du Pree where he says, “One of the most unfair things in the world is to invite really good people to do simplistic work for a good cause.”
People who volunteer with you need to feel that the project would have trouble continuing on if they weren’t at the table in the meeting, making flyers for fundraising events, or in the food room sorting donated food. They need to feel that a part of the project would be missing if they weren’t there to help.
It’s important to remember that you’re doing a great thing by getting people involved in A Day of Hope. When someone joins your team you’re not just helping more people in need, you are helping that volunteer also. You’re getting that person involved in some constructive work that will make a difference in the lives of people in the community.
By giving people a job and responsibilities as a volunteer they realize the value of serving and helping people. This will surely change their life! It will change how they look at hardship and tough times. They’ll become more grateful for the things they already have in their own life and probably change how they use their money. So don’t be scared to ask for a helping hand.
This entire section has been about how to put together an all-star leadership team to assist you in your mission to make a difference in your community. After all this I encourage you to start working on A Day of Hope now individually while gathering your team at the same time. Yes, a leadership team is extremely important to have, but you need to get started as soon as possible. And if that means you start without having your team in place as you begin, that’s ok. Just make sure you dedicate time on a continual basis to building a leadership team. One of my favorite quotes from Mother Teresa is, “Don’t wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”
In my words, don’t wait for that all-star team to gather around you. Yes, start working to round them up, but start doing the good work to help people in your community now.
Question: How do you put together a leadership team?