The Priority of Preparation: Developing Your Program of Leadership

Jul 3, 2023

What does the start of this year look like for your chapter? Your initial focus could be creating fundraising opportunities as soon as possible, kickstarting your SBE’s new product line or even beginning chapter competitive event practices. However, what each DECA chapter should have in common is a developed Program of Leadership (POL), complete with SMART goals to carry out each plan of action.

Why is a POL so important?

It allows your chapter officer team to maintain organization and focus on your goals. Breaking projects down into more manageable tasks makes it easier to see your vision and track progress. A defined POL can also set your team’s understood tone and work ethic. Communicating your goals effectively at the beginning of the year can prevent misunderstandings and ensure everyone is on the same page. Lastly, a POL can clarify your officer team’s ideas to your members. Those you are serving can clearly understand what you want to accomplish and how they can be a part of that action.

How can my team start making a POL?

Get your officer team together, grab a couple of snacks and get ready to brainstorm! You want to start by defining your goals and objectives. Essentially, what do you want to achieve this year? Then, start creating steps to carry out your goals and ways to measure progress and accountability. Assign tasks to all team members to instill value and foster cooperation. Set deadlines, create a budget and define resources needed for each goal. Don’t overlook going through risks and potential roadblocks as well. An easy way to ensure your goals are strong is to check if they’re SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.

How can we ensure the POL is effective?

Holding your teammates accountable for their assigned parts of the POL is the most important aspect of ensuring its lasting effectiveness. After you outline your goals, return to your POL at every officer meeting to remind and motivate your team about your mission. Remember to stay flexible throughout the year and understand that only some things may be carried out as intended. Adaptability is crucial to stay on track despite unexpected changes or potential challenges. Most importantly, establishing a team commitment dynamic will be instrumental in ensuring an effective Program of Leadership.


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