Follow the Leader

As a DECA advisor, you are the model of leadership in your classroom and chapter. So how do you translate those skills to your members?

The secret to having an effective leadership team is to clearly define the responsibilities and then let your leaders take ownership. Here are six tips to help you get started in your role as a leader mentor.

  1. Define your roles.

First, identify the positions for key leaders that will support the mission of your chapter then develop an organizational chart. See the “Be A Hero” guide, page 11, for a sample of an organizational chart and guidelines.

  1. Set the ground rules.

Expectations and responsibilities should be written down, analyzed and evaluated each year. Consider developing a specific contract for each chapter leadership position detailing responsibilities and accountability based on a written job description and have it signed by the leader, advisor and parent.

  1. Select your team.

Document your process for selecting your DECA leadership team. Decide if you will:

  • Have a written application,
  • Require letters of reference from other teachers and community members,
  • Set up an interview panel of alumni and businesspeople,
  • Require a written exam on DECA knowledge and leadership,
  • Have a vote by your members,
  • Require a combination of some of the above.
  1. Train your team.

Provide your team with an opportunity to engage in chapter development and team building activities. This is a great time to work on your chapter’s program of work and overall goals for the year. This can be done before school begins or at the beginning of the school year. Encourage your president or key leader to help you plan the training. It can be a few hours, a full day or an overnight retreat. Check with your association advisor for scheduled fall leadership training opportunities as well.

  1. Let them take the lead.

Let your members take the lead on organizing chapter activities such as recruiting, planning community service and social activities, preparing for competitive events, developing public relations for your chapter, and more. Give them the opportunity to develop a communications plan for your members and a schedule for chapter meetings. As teachers, we all know if they invest in it, they will own it!

  1. Make it a big deal.

Keep chapter leaders engaged by making the opportunity to serve your members a big deal. Involve leaders in activities within your chapter and beyond, provide them with a special officer shirt or name badge, and take the time to recognize them for a job well done. Encourage your chapter leaders to mentor underclassman and build a legacy of leadership for your chapter.

Follow Sandra on Twitter @stuckerdeca

Categories: Advisors, Chapter Development, Chapter Resources, Chapter Resources (Home Page Teaser), DECA News, High School, Leadership

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