We think leadership development is of the utmost importance because we are a student group. Our members don’t stay around for twenty or thirty years, they are here for four or five at most. Therefore we need to pass along what we’ve learned and not reinvent the wheel every time someone graduates.
We use various strategies to do this as effectively as we can:
Encourage Young Leaders:
We try to have younger members in leadership positions so that they are still here to help and guide new leaders once someone else has taken their position. Former leaders and executive board members are a wealth of information and it is tremendously helpful to have them available when the current leaders face challenges.
Leadership Transition Sheets:
All of our old project leaders fill out “Leadership Transition Sheets” to pass on useful things they learned, contacts that they made, and any documents or files that would be helpful for the incoming leader.
Two Election Cycles:
We elect three officers in November (Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice President of Administration), and three officers in April (Vice President of Programming, Vice President of Communications, and President). This ensures that at least half of the executive board will already have six months of experience, and will be able to aid the new executive members in the transition.