I Don’t Have Time for This!
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I Don’t Have Time for This!  Balancing Your Professional and Leadership Roles 
If you’re like most of the leadership in our state and local associations, you’re beginning to gear up for a new academic/program year.  You may be teaching on the college level, preparing your school/program for a new school year or finishing up a summer program that will soon transform into a program that serves many children during the day with an added group that comes in after school. 

During the summer “lull”, you probably had some type of summer meeting that served as a strategic planning event and retreat. Everyone left the meeting feeling positive and “ready to go” and then, as the summer waned, the reality of your professional lives set in!  Who has time to deal with gearing up for another year with your professional association?

Good planning can make the difference between losing the momentum you developed and starting the year behind.  It can also ensure that everyone who is involved can find that balance between professional and volunteer obligations. 
In our July issue of Making it Happen at the Local Level, we identified what results you should expect from that summer planning meeting.  If you didn’t get it all done in June or July, don’t despair!  Here are some strategies and resources that may be helpful to you as you “catch up” and devise a plan that will work for everyone. 
  • If you’re in a leadership position (maybe president) with your association, you’re part of a team and everyone should share in the work. If you think you have to do it all, it will never get done!
  • If you have an Executive Committee, use them to identify what planning is still required.
  • Once you and the Executive Committee have identified the areas to address, determine if you have board committees that are tasked by policy with these areas. Assign them with the task of developing the plans to implement the “what and how”. For example, if you have a publications/newsletter committee, ask them to develop next year’s publishing timeline and process for generating articles and materials.
  • If you have identified areas that still need review and direction, ask your board members what they would like to do. You may have someone in a position that’s already responsible for this but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have more willing volunteers to help spread the work around.
  • Offer opportunities to members to participate…nothing builds member loyalty like engagement in something that meets a personal or professional goal.  You may just find that “emerging leader” this way. 
Remember, you’ll lose those eager and enthusiastic young leaders if they find board service to be boring and unproductive.  By sharing the load, you can ensure that both old and new are engaged and involved in making your association the best that it can be. 

Want to Know More?  Other Resources from SECA

The Leadership Letter/January 2016
Strategic Planning:  Not Again! 
The Leadership Letter/May 2015
Team Leadership:   The Answer for Today? 

The Leadership Letter/May 2014
The Top 10 Communication Skills
E-Tips on a Shoestring Budget
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