LEADS 2023: It is not too early to start planning who will be your club’s LEADS nominee for next year. One person will be selected from the nominees. This person will go to the GFWC International Convention 2023 and attend a one-day seminar prior to the start of convention. There is funding from the state and international organizations, but candidates may be asked to be responsible for a small portion of expenses. It is a great experience. You don’t have to become president or any other officer after attending this. Everyone is a leader and this would benefit anyone!
Meanwhile, below is some information from the Club Manual that may be helpful. Building Leadership within GFWC at all levels is the focus of this administration.
EMPOWER YOURSELF AS A LEADER
What can you do to help yourself, your club and your community??? Empower yourself as a leader!!! What are some traits needed to become such a leader???
- Resourcefulness/Problem Solving – You need to be open to possibilities. Resourceful leaders maintain an open culture, where solutions are worked through and solutions are found as a team
- Strategic Thinking – You need an awareness of what has not yet taken shape, having foresight
- Empathy – You need to cultivate a greater presence in your leadership role
- Multi-tasking – You need the ability to manage multiple responsibilities at once by focusing on one task while keeping track of others
- Relationship Building – You need a combination of soft skills that a person applies to connect with others and form positive relationships
- Positive Energy – You need to cultivate an empowering environment through communication, accountability, emotional intelligence, and motivation
- Commitment to Personal Care – You need to take of YOU in order to EMPOWER yourself and others to become leaders
7 Acts of Everyday Leadership
- COMMIT – Be dedicated – Be Passionate
- LISTEN – Be present – Be Interested – Be Open-minded – Be Considerate
- COMMUNICATE – Be straightforward with your ideas
- HUMBLE – Be unpretentious, making life easier for all
- INNOVATE – Be productive through different approaches for projects
- LEARN – Be sure to adapt to changes from what you have learned
- SMILE – Benefits all around you!!!!!!
What Can You Do To Build Leadership
It is important for leaders to be aware of the challenges involved in identifying and developing prospective leaders and to create an action plan to ensure strong, competent leadership for the future. Most often, people will be more likely to accept leadership positions with a clearer understanding if they have a good idea of what is expected and know that you, as the leader, will nurture and support them along the journey. The leader—whether it is the president, director, or chairman—may consider the following strategies for growing new leaders:
- Consider officers and their responsibilities and prepare a detailed handout for each. Hold a team planning meeting for the new officers, share the responsibilities for each office, discuss the status of activities, and develop a preliminary plan for future projects. By engaging these leaders in understanding their duties and in developing plans, you will help build their understanding and skills.
- Pull members together from time to time, to reflect on progress and needs, and to consider next steps or necessary changes to accomplish the goal.
- Conduct mini-leadership presentations to help members gain a better understanding and develop new skills.
- Step back and allow new leaders to work and grow. While mistakes may be made, if you nurture your new leaders as they find their way, they will grow in skill and confidence. Praise new leaders for the job they are doing.
- Encourage new members to contribute to various activities where their fresh ideas will be helpful.
- Incorporate reports on GFWC activities at club meetings to connect members with the Federation and other GFWC clubs.
- Take advantage of member diversity. Each individual member brings unique skills to the club.
- Mentor new leaders. Support them with suggestions. Encourage participation in all GFWC activities. Travel with them and help with expenses when possible. Provide them with GFWC resource materials. This is an investment that will pay off!
- Share the work. It is easier if members help plan meetings, participate in projects, and write reports.
- Be generous with your appreciation.
- Nurture and prepare successors for their work. Leaders should be supportive.
Delegating & Shaping New Leaders
Sharing responsibilities keeps members interested and enthusiastic about your club. You might be reluctant to delegate because you want to make sure the job is done “right.” However, your way is generally only one of a variety of ways that a job can be done well. If club members are not asked to take on responsibility, they may feel unimportant and become apathetic.
REASONS TO DELEGATE
When leaders delegate responsibilities, members:
- Become more enthusiastic, involved, and dedicated.
- Share tasks, allowing the club to undertake more projects and activities.
- Complete club projects in a time-efficient manner.
- Develop skills and gain experiences that allow them to step into club leadership roles.
- Grow a club that runs smoothly and effectively.
WAYS TO DELEGATE
After thoroughly explaining the requirements and deadlines:
- Ask for volunteers by a show of hands or sign-up sheet.
- Appoint or suggest someone for the task. This shows confidence in ability and potential.
- Assign the task to a committee to take the pressure off the individual or new leader.
GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE DELEGATION
- Support members by sharing resources, information, knowledge, and plans with them. Delegate meaningful segments or portions of tasks.
- Discuss the assigned task and set mutual goals and objectives. Clearly define the responsibilities, expectations, and bounds of authority for each delegated task. Emphasize the end goal, rather than the steps, to encourage creativity and innovation, while retaining focus.
- Give accurate, honest, and tactful feedback to encourage growth.
- Delegate! As a leader, it can be hard to let go because you like being the “doer,” but let your appointees have ownership of their assigned jobs.
Where to Find Potential Leaders
She is not an officer but will accept responsibility and take initiative. She motivates others by her enthusiasm and may recognize that her interests lie in planning and implementing projects. She may have been a member for a while, but she is creative and energetic doing her job.
FORMER CLUB OFFICER
She has served the club in several positions and may presently serve on your District or State Board of Directors. She is the voice of experience who knows members and their skills. Seek her input, as she can offer valuable suggestions. She should be given opportunities to continue her service.
CURRENT CLUB OFFICER
She has accepted responsibilities that require attendance at additional meetings and good organizational skills. The club members have voiced their confidence by electing her. She should learn her job to do it well. She will ask questions when she is unsure and will seek the advice of respected mentors.
She has only been a member for a short time, but she is eager to become involved. She may not volunteer, but she may accept responsibility when asked by a club leader. She is not limited by preconceived ideas of how things are usually done, and she may require assistance along the way. She may be a much-needed breath of fresh air!
As the leader it is essential you equip your officers and committee chairmen to function effectively. Together you will help your club make a real difference in your community. To do that, regular training will be extremely helpful to ensure they handle their duties and are growing in their leadership capacity. Reviewing and discussing the guidelines for the various officers, and brainstorming ways your leadership team can grow beyond expectations, will help to build strong leadership.
The GFWC Leadership Toolkit
Did you know that GFWC has a LEADERSHIP TOOLKIT on their website? Did you know that being a member of GFWC allows you to use this wonderful resource???
This well-received resource is a digital library of topics available in the Member Portal and is updated frequently.
Here are the steps to access the Toolkit:
- First you need to have account associated with your club
- Information is available on the GFWC.org website to create a new account
- When your account is established go to the webpage and click on Member Login at the top right corner of the page
- Login with your username and password
- Click on the small circle in the top right corner and click My Digital Library
- Click on the Resources link
- Locate the “items per page” at the bottom, change to 50 to allow for more documents to be revealed
Click on L and then click on Leadership Toolkit. You may want to click on GFWC Leadership Toolkit Overview and print this list to help you find the resources in the different sections of the toolkit. Topics were recommended by GFWC leaders and will include the following resources, some of which are also available in this plan:
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IS PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Develop powerful presentation skills
Learn effective time management
Set achievable goals and casting a compelling vision
Personal development resource list (recommended books, podcasts, videos)
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT OF MEMBERS
Establish steps to build leadership
Identify potential club leaders
Delegate responsibilities and shape new leaders
Creating a plan of succession and a checklist for leadership transition
Build effective teams, set a cooperative tone, and instill healthy club culture
Provide and receive constructive feedback
Implement effective communication tools
CLUB, DISTRICT, AND STATE OFFICER RESOURCES
Identify all GFWC Deadlines/Awards/Contests
Highlight Community Service Programs/Advancement Plans
Utilize LEADS agendas for districts and states
Review officer duties & responsibilities
Understand the Treasurer’s report, information on club budget
Conduct business utilizing an agenda
Encourage conflict resolution
Explore benefits of being Federated
Know GFWC’s organizational structure
Learn how to start a new club
Value history and highlights of GFWC
Adhere to principles of protocol
Follow parliamentary procedure
Start with sample bylaws
Understand club legal concerns: insurance, liability, waivers, etc.
Use social media/public relations in your community
Plan state meetings, coordinating with hotels
Embrace legislative involvement
Create a strategic plan for your club/District/State Federation
How does your club “feel?” Is it full of energy or is it just creeping along? Is it growing or has it become stagnant? How your organization feels is just as important as all the manuals, policies, job descriptions and rewards combined. Members don’t stay in your organization because of the great operational manuals but because they feel productive, satisfied and committed to the goals.
Norms, unwritten rules of any group, create the four dimensions of climate that determine the “feel” of your organization: energy, distribution of energy, pleasure or satisfaction and growth. By examining each of these dimensions, leaders can determine what the climate of their club is:
ENERGY– Energy is defined as the force used in your club. This can either be low or high. LOW energy translates into the same routine year after year after year. Members feel uninvolved and that they are not an important part of the group. HIGH energy translates into competitiveness, excitement, working together toward a common goal. Members feel they are valuable and important.
DISTRIBUTION OF ENERGY – Distribution of Energy is defined as the choices people make as to where they will use their energies. Ask these questions: Are you just surviving or are you risk taking? Do you follow old procedures or are you inventing new and better ways of doing things? Is it short-term productivity or is it long-term development?
PLEASURE OR SATISFACTION –Pleasure is defined as the good feeling you get when accomplishing something. Do members find it pleasurable to attend meetings or is it a real grind? Are meetings enjoyable or are they there because they were coerced into attending? Do the members feel comfortable wanting to return again and again?
GROWTH – Growth is defined as the personal development of the members. Are members’ skills and abilities recognized? Is there room and opportunity to develop new programs or projects or hone old ones? Can new projects be discussed and developed? Is change encouraged or fought?
To keep your club ENERGIZED, why not try some of the following Energizing Tips:
Have a “Bright Idea” segment at each Club meeting or an article in the club newsletter. Topics can include Public Speaking, Time Management, Goal Setting, Facilitating and Listening, and/or Coaching or Mentoring. If you do this at a club meeting limit the time to 5 minutes and rotate facilitating among the club members.
Award a “Leader of the Month” certificate to recognize an exceptional amount of time and energy given for the good of the club.
Have established club leaders share “What I Never Knew About Myself” until I became a leader.
Make sure all members have a POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE. Fine anyone who expresses a negative thought $.25 and put the money towards one of your projects.
Start a club leadership lending library to include books, articles, newsletters and other resources on leadership.
Recognize and reward individual contributions at every opportunity. Balloons, trophies, flowers, certificates, thank you notes or fuzzy grams are some examples.
Create ways to recognize ideas from your general membership. Try a “Great Idea of the Month” award.
Donate a book on Leadership to your local library in honor of your club president.
Hold a “You Deserve a Break” meeting where the Vice President presides and the President sits out with the membership.
Give recognition to members for their accomplishments outside the club as well as within the club. Implement annual awards for years of service, perfect attendance, volunteering in the community, etc.
Reevaluate some of your standard projects and programs. If they are not still effective get rid of them by holding a “Funeral” for those projects that need burned and disposed of.
Try at least ONE new project a year.
Remember there should be a genuine interest, energy and enthusiasm for the goals of the club with the Leader communicating that interest, energy and enthusiasm.
Have you thought about taking on a Leadership position at the state level? Are you not sure if you are qualified? Have you thought about applying for the GFWC LEADS (Leadership Education and Development) Seminar? Here is the listing of the GFWC Pennsylvania LEADS candidate criteria:
Demonstrates leadership capabilities at the club level as an active club president, club officer, or club project or committee chairman.
Exhibits a commitment to the Federation.
Exhibits an understanding of the GFWC mission of community service, illustrated by programs and projects in which she is or has been involved.
Demonstrates leadership skills, including, but not limited to, organization, responsibility, trustworthiness, enthusiasm, and flexibility.
Exhibits an interest in and willingness to pursue higher leadership positions in GFWC.
Agrees to share information gained from participation in LEADS with others in the state federation.
Understands and accepts potential expenses involved in participation.
Has not held elected positions at or beyond the state level (this criterion is recommended in order to encourage potential leaders at the club level to apply).
Has not attended a previous LEADS programs. Members are eligible to attend only once.
If you answered “YES” to the above, you are eligible to apply as the GFWC Pennsylvania 2023 candidate.
Send the LEADS application form, along with two letters of support from active GFWC club members postmarked by: February 1, 2023
Send completed application and letters to the Chairman.
“Your creativity lies only a few minutes away from you thinking, so stop thinking.”
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