P.E.O. LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
The Beauty of Assistants for Chapter Officers…
This system can make saying YES to an office easier and help ensure a flowing pipeline of prepared leaders for the chapter. Many chapters already use this type of cycle for the incoming/outgoing vice president and president, as these officers already function in a similar and naturally supportive way. When members see evidence that the officers of their chapter are supported, it makes it easier to consider serving in that role. Support also includes starting the chapter year with an effective Officer Transition meeting, receiving proper supplies and P.E.O. website- backed officer training and establishing a pattern of regular communication between the president and all officers. Whether it is in person or via a hybrid mode, sisters need to be assured that in serving, they will be secure, prepared and part of the “leadership team” of their chapter. Establish the support to show that those who agree to be officers in your chapter are not in it alone…and you may experience more sisters willing to say YES to officer service! by Debbie Kotecki, Chair, P.E.O. Leadership Development Committee WE CAN HAVE THOSE?
s described in the Leadership Development resource, “Create a Flowing Pipeline of Chapter Leaders,” there are generally four elements present in those chapters where sisters are most willing and ready to serve as an officer in their chapter…Clarity, Opportunity, Support and Appreciation. Let’s take a closer look at the element of SUPPORT . One supportive option for chapters to consider is to have the president appoint assistants. If your chapter has difficulty finding officers for specific offices, such as treasurer, an assistant may ease their concerns. Or, if a sister would be glad to serve but knows that her travel plans mean she will not be available for several meetings, an assistant can be used. Although there is only one officially installed sister in each office, the assistant works alongside her to either learn from the officer or to guide her . Let’s walk through a couple of examples of how this works. TO LEARN: The assistant position can serve as a training time for a sister who is not familiar with the office. She is working to assist an experienced officer so she can learn what the job entails. • Nancy was asked to be “treasurer assistant” to Bonnie, an experienced treasurer who was serving in her second term. • Nancy sat next to treasurer Bonnie at meetings to watch and learn the ropes. Bonnie took time to explain to Nancy the treasurer duties she’d be working on between meetings and patiently answered all of Nancy’s questions.
• Several times when she was unable to attend a meeting, Bonnie confidently asked her assistant Nancy to be her substitute. In February, Nancy sat alongside Bonnie when she completed the treasurer’s annual report. • Nancy was then elected and installed as the next chapter treasurer. TO GUIDE: An assistant can also be a sister already experienced in that office who helps guide an inexperienced officer through the various tasks and duties as she experiences them throughout the chapter year. • Outgoing treasurer Bonnie was appointed to be the “treasurer assistant” for the first year of Nancy’s service as treasurer. • Bonnie was now Nancy’s back-up for meetings she couldn’t attend and was Nancy’s mentor as she learned the job. The beauty of this LEARN and GUIDE cycle of assistants is that it both prepares and supports the sisters who agree to serve our chapters as officers. • When Nancy was installed for a second term as chapter treasurer, another sister, Barbara, was appointed by the president as the new assistant to the treasurer, and she spent the year learning the job from Nancy. • The following year, Barbara was at ease accepting the office, and outgoing treasurer Nancy became Barbara’s “treasurer assistant” for the year.
Leadership Tip: Lead up to the nominating committee calls by having a minute during your autumn meetings for each officer to share what she is learning and enjoying about serving in that office.
September–October 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD
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