Engaging Members for Excellence Get ‘Em and Keep ‘Em
T he work of the nonprofit leader is highly specialized. We train, inspire,and engage members to function at their highest level.The primary work is in building and maintaining effective relationships. We can’t ask teams to do anything without effective relationships. It is crucial that we change ineffective paradigms to change the results. Changing the paradigm begins with changing the language. Here are taboo words: Volunteer :Members are not volunteers.Being called to a nonprofit is totally different from volunteering. Drop volunteer and change the paradigm.Invite others to define what it means to be called to do good works. In church we use members in ministry, and in community organizations we use servant leaders. Agenda : Create deliverables instead of agendas. Define what you want to achieve in the meeting. This encourages and empowers members to function at a higher level. Celebrate excellence. Recruit :We recruit people for temporary jobs but engage members in our mission. Develop a compelling statement that will touch the passion of a competent member. Converse meaningfully about the duty, task, or position. Make the commitment as important as it sounds. Engage members by allowing them to access their passion in a particular aspect of your mission. Motivate : Motivation is also temporary. Engagemembers in a relevant andmeaningful journey. Learn to create initiatives, delegate, ask, and stay out of the way while providing support and encouragement. This way, members motivate themselves while you guide the path.
Create Write statements for people to share about successful committees, programs, events, etc. Give them the language or create it together. Also, share opportunities. Someone else might know the right person for the task. Share goals, challenges, successes, and feelings. Create energy and influence others. Be intentional about that influence. Encourage members to see themselves as leaders within a culture of high performance. Transformational Leaders influence people positively, negatively, or neutrally. It’s our choice. Which do you choose? Hugh Ballou is a Transformational Leadership Strategist and the President of SynerVision International, Inc. After 40 years of musical conducting, he now works as executive coach, process facilitator, trainer, and motivational speaker teaching leaders in many diverse fields that fine-tune skills employed every day by orchestral conductors. Hugh is the author of Transformational Leadership books and is a recognized expert in working with church, religious organizations, business, and nonprofit community leaders. Blabbermouths :
Get, engage, and retain members in your mission: Get the Right People : Develop relationships with as many people as possible. Leadership depends on relationships. When you know a person, you know their skills and preferences, allowing you to make good decisions about what to ask of them.Move from a minor job to a more important assignment. Having nobody is better than having the wrong person. Empower Teams for Success : Create and define the vision.Share it.Empower members to create action items to make it become reality. If they define the pathway to success, then they own it and will see it through. Set check-in times for coaching and celebrating. Do not micromanage or criticize. Add value to their work with your comments. Lead,Don’t Do : Allow your teams to function at a high level. As with a choir, direct, don’t sing, allow them to make the music. Celebrate Success : Don’t forget this. One hooray goes a long way toward encouraging members to function better.We impact group performance by our response. They want to know how we feel. Publicize Opportunities : Be specific about opportunities for participation and work timelines. Share your vision and ask for what you need.