by Les Condit, DTM
I started very earlier taking roles as a club officer. This seemed normal to me. I was an Eagle Scout, spent 14 years in leadership positions in the Navy, and had various management positions in my past career.
I looked forward and saw that to achieve my Advanced Leader Silver, I would have to complete a year of service, so I asked about becoming an Area Director. There was more to being an Area Director than I was told, but it was not overwhelming. The problem was that we kind of had to figure it out as I went sometimes. Some of the communication came after things were already urgent and that made it hard to plan for it and make sure everything was done when it was needed, particularly for clubs that only met monthly. This drove me to want to be a Division Director the next year.
As a Division Director, my main focus was on communication and preparing the Area Directors for what was to come and to try and help make sure they achieved everything they needed to. I think this stressed a couple of the Area Directors at first, but eventually, they seemed to appreciate my effort and it was a very successful year that culminated with the 2015 – 2016 Division Director of the Year Award and many friendships that I hope will last for the rest of my lifetime.
I am very thankful to Natalie, Nora, Curtis, Joe, John, and Mark for the outstanding jobs they did as Area Directors and the support that they showed me.
I learned many things on my journey and these are a few to share with you:
- Volunteer organizations require very different skills for a leadership role than other organizations.
- I enjoyed being a Division Director more than an Area Director so don’t be afraid to shoot for more challenging roles.
- Over-communicating works out better than under-communicating in the end.
- If you want credit for your leadership, then work hard to help those following you to be successful.