Program of Leadership: Your Chapter's Master Plan

September 29, 2020

So your officer team has been elected and a new semester has begun. Now what?!

What do you do? Where do you start? If creating a list of goals popped into your head then you are on the right track! While there are endless ways to organize your ideas and initiatives, this article will help you craft an attainable program of leadership.

A program of leadership (POL) is a document created by a leadership team that outlines specific obtainable goals. The primary goals are usually far-reaching and broad, but also include specific action steps and milestones to make them a reality. As an example, a goal could be to expand your chapter's fundraising efforts with a specific task to create a list of 30 local business contacts. The idea is to create a realistic goal and list specific ways to make it happen. This will give your team a roadmap for what to do next throughout your term.

POL goals should help your chapter grow, develop and excel. Consider these tips as you add goals to your program of leadership:

  1. Creating goals that are too simplistic or not beneficial may not motivate your team. For example, if a chapter is fully funded every year with a healthy savings account, then a new fundraising goal may not seem worth the effort.
  2. Goals should not be spontaneous, but long-lasting and driven by actual needs. Consider a SWOT analysis, member survey or another tool to help identify those needs.
  3. Goals should be challenging but include a specific focus. For example, a solid goal would be to “Engage members in competitive event preparation by using former competitors as coaches for new members.” A vague goal would be to "Engage members more.”

The best way for a team to agree on a set of goals is for each individual to brainstorm as many goals as possible individually, then compare notes to find similarities and narrow down your list until you have 3-5 goals. Having too many goals could cause your attention to be split and your energies to be unfocused.

Need an example? Check out the 2020-2021 Collegiate DECA Executive Officer Program of Leadership.


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