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Leading Successful Volunteer Projects

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Presented at ASIS&T 2004 Annual Meeting

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Leading Successful Volunteer Projects

  1. 1. Leading Successful Volunteer Projects Stacy Merrill Surla [email_address] ASIST Annual Meeting November 14, 2004
  2. 2. Introduction
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Principles of Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Duties/Practices </li></ul><ul><li>Case Study </li></ul><ul><li>Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Medicine bag </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>What makes a good leader? </li></ul><ul><li>Why run volunteer projects? </li></ul><ul><li>What problems are faced in volunteer projects? </li></ul><ul><li>What works? </li></ul>Ideas about leadership
  5. 5. What is a leader? <ul><li>Leader = </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Director </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boss </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Person in charge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible party </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Owner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accountable </li></ul></ul>Principles
  6. 6. What is a leader? <ul><li>Leader = Master </li></ul>Principles
  7. 7. What is a leader? <ul><li>Leader ≠ Master </li></ul>Principles
  8. 8. What is a leader? <ul><li>Leader ≠ Master </li></ul><ul><li>Leader = Servant </li></ul>Principles
  9. 9. What is a leader? <ul><li>Leader ≠ Master </li></ul><ul><li>Leader = Servant </li></ul>Principles
  10. 10. What is leadership ? <ul><li>Leadership = Ownership? </li></ul>Principles
  11. 11. What is leadership ? <ul><li>Leadership = Ownership? </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership = Giving it away </li></ul>Principles
  12. 12. Why volunteer projects? Principles
  13. 13. Why volunteer projects? <ul><li>Volunteers = </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Save money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide ready labor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give at least as much as they get </li></ul></ul>Principles
  14. 14. Why volunteer projects? <ul><li>Volunteers = $ </li></ul>Principles
  15. 15. Why volunteer projects? <ul><li>Volunteers ≠ $ </li></ul>Principles
  16. 16. Why volunteer projects? <ul><li>Volunteers Get > Give </li></ul>Principles
  17. 17. Staying on track Principles
  18. 18. Staying on track <ul><li>Keep your eye on the goal </li></ul>Principles
  19. 19. Staying on track <ul><li>Keep your eye on the goal </li></ul><ul><li>Remember: the goal will change </li></ul>Principles
  20. 20. Duties and Practices
  21. 21. Not motivational aphorisms (hopefully) Duties/Practices
  22. 22. <ul><li>Ask constantly </li></ul><ul><li>Look for people who can give in their areas of expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Provide real opportunities for people to contribute </li></ul>Invite Duties/Practices
  23. 23. <ul><li>Give ownership and control to others </li></ul><ul><li>Trust that things will work out (probably) </li></ul>Trust Duties/Practices
  24. 24. <ul><li>Just muster the nerve to try </li></ul>Be bold Duties/Practices Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win By fearing to attempt. - Measure for Measure
  25. 25. <ul><li>You can do it with what you’ve got </li></ul><ul><li>You can do it from whatever position you’re in </li></ul>Lead from your strengths Duties/Practices
  26. 26. <ul><li>Be the team’s muse of communication </li></ul><ul><li>Set up workable means for communicating </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t stop communicating </li></ul>Communicate Duties/Practices “ The time to communicate is… Now!” - Leo Surla
  27. 27. <ul><li>Champagne in the fridge at all times </li></ul>Celebrate victory Duties/Practices
  28. 28. Case Study
  29. 29. ASIST website redesign <ul><li>Scene 1: Executive director (ED) approaches member X about forming a group to plan an ASIST website redesign. ED suggests locals they both know, and promises the support of the board. X thinks the project can be done. </li></ul><ul><li>X agrees. </li></ul>Case Study
  30. 30. ASIST website redesign <ul><li>What have we got? </li></ul><ul><li>Achievable goal </li></ul><ul><li>Invitation </li></ul><ul><li>Giving ownership away </li></ul>Case Study Note: The leader in Scene 1 is the Executive Director
  31. 31. ASIST website redesign <ul><li>Scene 2: X invites members to meet and discuss. A central place is chosen with access to coffee, books, and snacks. Group members meet regularly to brainstorm, offer expertise, practice new and existing skills, and socialize. Some are more active than others. Timelines, tasks, and limits are set. Activities are summarized in memoranda. Society gives free event registration. </li></ul>Case Study
  32. 32. ASIST website redesign <ul><li>What do we have? </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers get more than they put in </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers know more than leader </li></ul><ul><li>Leader stays on top of details </li></ul><ul><li>Work is voluntary – no punishments </li></ul><ul><li>Leader constantly invites </li></ul><ul><li>Leader gives tasks away </li></ul><ul><li>Appreciation, plus valuable perks </li></ul>Case Study
  33. 33. ASIST website redesign <ul><li>Scene 3: The project wraps up, but stalls somewhat. Data collection, analysis, and brainstorming are done, but the 40-page report is not getting written. Meanwhile, X and volunteer Y manage to brief the Board on findings and recommendations. A memo follows and the project is miraculously complete. Board hires a contractor as suggested, and carries the work forward. Appreciation is expressed. </li></ul>Case Study
  34. 34. ASIST website redesign <ul><li>What happened? </li></ul><ul><li>The goal was achieved </li></ul><ul><li>The goal looked different than the team thought it would </li></ul><ul><li>The team gave the project away </li></ul>Case Study
  35. 35. Tools
  36. 36. Infrastructure <ul><li>Plans </li></ul><ul><li>Schedules </li></ul><ul><li>Regular communication </li></ul><ul><li>Measures of progress </li></ul><ul><li>Specific tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Means for collaboration </li></ul>Tools
  37. 37. Medicine bag <ul><li>Stickies </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Café meetings </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Instant messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Champagne </li></ul><ul><li>Chocolate </li></ul><ul><li>Perks & Honors </li></ul>Tools
  38. 38. Summary
  39. 39. Summary <ul><li>Leader = Servant </li></ul>
  40. 40. Stacy Surla [email_address]

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