Success Bulletin 3: Growing Leadership

This month we asked Margie Miller, Women’s League trainer extraordinaire, about how sisterhoods can grow their leadership.

Question

Our sisterhood can’t seem to find a new president or fill other key positions. What can we do?

Answer

In my experience, I have found that every sisterhood is different. To help your sisterhood find the leadership it needs, you might consider one of these options:

  • Use the one president per month system.
  • Find two to three past leaders and ask them to step back up for a year or so.
  • Don’t be so worried about filling a job such as vice president or chair. Think about creating committees to do the work without chiefs. There is more value in having five women creating interesting programs than worrying about who is the chair. Someone will rise to the top or they will take turns reporting to the board. Imagine membership, Torah Fund, fundraising, programming each having 3 to 5 women on a team. The work would get done, no one would be overwhelmed and probably sooner than later someone will step up.
  • Partner each executive position with someone new to the role and a seasoned veteran. There is always a flow of women, with someone learning the job. The burden is shared and leadership is developed through time and experience.
  • Introduce a co-president succession. Each is elected for two years with staggered election years; therefore, each senior co‐president has a junior co‐president working who will succeed her in the second year.

Excuse Busters

EXCUSE I don’t have time/ I work/ I have other responsibilities.
EXCUSE BUSTER Validate her situation. Identify the positives. Brainstorm how she could fit this opportunity into her life: conference calls instead of meetings, sending emails after hours.

EXCUSE I don’t have enough experience.
EXCUSE BUSTERS Mentors, advisors and/or partners will guide you. Training is available through the region and Women’s League’s Leadership Institutes (the next one is January 26-28, 2014 in Maitland, Florida, near Orlando) and Distance Workshops. Chairs and officers from other sisterhoods can be consulted.

EXCUSE I can’t afford it.
EXCUSE BUSTER Sisterhoods should budget for presidents and leaders to attend conventions, conferences and training.

EXCUSE I don’t know enough people.
EXCUSE BUSTER This is a great way to meet people and expand your circle.

EXCUSE I don’t have the confidence.
EXCUSE BUSTER Attend the Leadership Institute. It is a great confidence builder.

EXCUSE I am not a good public speaker.
EXCUSE BUSTER Speaking gets easier with practice and you can share responsibilities with others. Build your speaking skills at a Leadership Institute. Ask for a coach from the Women’s League training department.

EXCUSE Sisterhood is not my priority. I am involved in other things.
EXCUSE BUSTER This is an incredible opportunity for growth. Identify all the personal positives (opportunity to make a difference, personal growth, skills acquisition).

Women’s League has several publications available to help you recruit the best leaders and potential leaders for your sisterhood in an orderly and appropriate way. Log onto WLCJforYOU and scroll through the materials under LINKING: Strengthening Sisterhoods.

Consulting Services to the rescue!

Your affiliation with Women’s League entitles you to consulting services just for the asking. A Women’s League consultant can appear on your doorstep in just six weeks or less. Or, with one phone call, we can get you talking to the right person almost immediately. We will work with you one-on-one or with your leadership via conference call. Become an email penpal. Women’s League Consulting Services will get you what you need when you need it!

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