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You as a volunteer leader or staff know that it is always a challenge to achieve the goals for each presidential year. How do you set targets at the board orientation and make sure you stay on target and hit your goals? First you must make it mandatory that all existing and new board members and chairs attend your leadership orientation. This is where you share the road map for the year. Are you ready?

Guarantee good attendance by completing it within one day if possible, have a strong focused agenda and have a quality moderator. The moderator should not be on staff. They should be unrelated to staff or leadership to ensure impartiality throughout the program. That will help everyone stay on point and hit all objectives. You know that a bad orientation will result in a challenging year. Invest in this first event and it will result in an increased leadership engagement. Everyone must leave with individual targets and dates to hit those targets. Never have a plan without a realistic goal dates. 

Never over burden a small number of people. Educate board members to be the liaison with committee chairs and not be the chair of the committee. Guide committee chairs to secure the work from each of the committee members, one piece at a time. It sounds easy but it takes guidance and training. Inside staff can have a challenge guiding volunteers but they need that oversight or staff end up doing the work.

Engaging the right volunteers is important too. Learn the lesson of being a talent scout. Talent scouts are the people whose job it is to have their feet on the ground and locate rising stars in the membership.  You may consider it of value to engage your own association talent scout. This can save challenges in the future and will guarantee growth of the association and the leadership ladder will be strong. 

Consider planning now for your next orientation, plan the venue, schedule, build the agenda and more important, who will attend. Get your talent scout in place and get the right people in your leadership. It is not hard but it takes time and focus. The best of intentions can end in big challenges if there is no plan in place. Look for support when developing a strong leadership plan.


Remember all volunteers need guidance and constant engagement. Plan your orientation three months out and hold it one month before the new board takes over their positions. If you need help feel free to contact us.  We can moderate or just guide from the wings... Sue Fern, CEO, Fern Management Services.


"I feel that Sue is an asset in Leadership Development and Professional Development and can help organizations to highlight their needs in order to be more effective in accomplishing them.  I wish you luck in your search for effective leadership. It is challenging and never will be an easy task; however, it will bear sweet fruit if you persevere!"

                 Arthur B Levy DMD, President Elect - Academy of Laser Dentistry

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