Supporting a new lead person

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Little League International headquarters is in the community where I live. Every year, the nonprofit organization I lead participates with Little League’s Kid’s Day. It’s held in the museum.

Our volunteers set up a table with giveaways for the parents. We hire a couple local clowns to tie balloons for the children and pass out candy. It’s an all-around feel good experience for everyone.

There’s a new lead person in charge.

Mehrdad Baghai, in his book As One says, “Volunteers choose to opt into campaigns case by case.” Don’t feel disappointed when an experienced volunteer opts out. Read my review of As One and leave a comment on that post for a chance to win a free copy. It’s a great book.

When choosing lead people, go with passion. Resist the temptation to pressure a more experienced but reluctant person to take the job, unless you enjoy pushing ropes. It’s much easier to pull a passionate person back than to push a reluctant person forward.

4 Ways to Support a new Lead Person

  1. Persistently clarify the vision. If you don’t clarify the vision, a passionate person may take your places you don’t want to go. In this case the vision is easy, have fun.
  2. Avoid hovering over and reject walking away.  A new lead person doesn’t need someone telling them how to do everything. On the other hand, be sure they have encouragement and support. The goal is managing emotion not detail.
  3. Always perform an after action report. What went well? What did we accomplish? What could be better? Who performed well? What did we learn?
  4. Focus on success. Mistakes blind many leaders to successes. You may be tempted to correct, instruct, or in other ways “add value.” Let the new leader describe mistakes and prescribe solutions. They may see better and suggest more than you.

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What do you do when a new lead-person is in charge?

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