Taking Steps Toward Leadership–Following Through

I have found myself in a position of leadership.  I didn’t know what I needed to do to make my crew successful.  They did not have an enjoyable time doing their part.  I had fun doing it when I was in their position.  What was the difference?

  1. They didn’t realize the amount of time they were supposed to devote to this.  How much time was that?  1 morning every month for meetings and training.  1 visit to each of the 4 or 5 clubs in a 6 month period (total of 8-10 hours over 6 months).  Filling out paperwork for reports to the district 1/2 hr for each club over 6 months.  Helping to host an area speech contest with another area leader–once in Sept or October, and one in March or April.
  2. They didn’t like filling out paperwork.
  3. They didn’t realize how much they were responsible for and it was more stress than they were willing to put up with.  Contests are not easy things, but they’re not in the league of beauty pageants or world fairs.  9/10 of the jobs are delegated.

One didn’t want to give up 1 weekend per month where he had to get up early in the morning on a Saturday.  One was totally overwhelmed with his work.  The other 2 did their best.

I failed them because I just assumed that they enjoyed doing the stuff and since they didn’t ask for help, they must have been ok.  They weren’t.  I didn’t want to hold their hands during the year because they were fully capable of doing what it took to fulfill their promises.  I was wrong.

What surprised me is that no one asked me questions.  If something wasn’t working out, they threw up their hands.  I wouldn’t find out until too late that they needed help.  I needed to follow through when things were on-going.  I needed input from them, and needed to make sure I taught them and mentored them in the processes too.  I was too far from the fire and my marshmallow stick was too short.

I seem to do better at the management job the 2nd time I attempt it.  1st time I’m always catching up and making mistakes.  After that, I get ahead of it and am able to cope with whatever comes up.  When you’re leading, you have to follow through on your promises, and follow up on your crew.

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