Sunday, August 3, 2014

So you want to be a leader in your league....

I've been the Training Director for our league for the last eight months, and even though I'm very glad I ran for this position, sometimes the weight of the responsibility that comes with this position makes my job hard. That weight is firmly on my shoulders at all times when I'm dealing with the league, as it should be.

1. Feel the weight and acknowledge it. Yes, any leadership position in your league, whether it's captains, coaches or board members has a lot of responsibility. You have to realize that you always will be ultimately responsible for decisions made in the league. Your league elected you to this position, so you have to be responsible. Think of it like being the adult chaperone on the school bus; if a crisis arises, all eyes will be turned in your direction. Are you ready to give them an answer? Are you willing to put your personal agenda aside to make sure the league is being taken care of? I'm not going to lie, it's hard sometimes.

So many emails
2. Be in communication and reachable. Before I became TD, I was not super diligent about checking league emails; I mean, I had the forwarded to my non derby account, so I could read them, but I was really really bad about checking Google docs and such. My email habits have completely changed, and I try to consistently check my emails for the league as often as possible. Do I spend way more time on emails now? Oh yes. Some days, it feels like that's all I do. (My current inbox has 8,497 emails. Take that all of you OCD people!) BTW, if you are a captain of a team, you'd BETTER be reachable by your teammates.

3. Get used to criticism. Being in a leadership position, people are going to criticize your decisions. Some people are going to mumble their criticism, and some people are going to shout it from the rooftops, trying to incite others to criticize your decisions too. How will you handle the pressure when it feels like people are attacking you?

4. Look for the bigger picture. You may think you're addressing the bigger picture, but we fool ourselves a lot when we're busy or have a personal agenda. You are only the caretaker of your league, not the owner of it, so be sure you're making decisions that are in the best interest of your league, and not in the best interest of your bestie. 

5. Don't give in to lazy. Sometimes it's just easier to give in because you're tired. I'm sure the parents out there understand exactly what I'm talking about. Someone keeps pushing and pushing for a quick decision, and you give in because you're tired, you're busy, you're stressed out, or you're just plain over derby at that point. It's human nature, but try to fight it!

6. Learn to delegate. Nobody can do every little task that leadership positions are responsible for. Derby for the skaters, by the skaters, makes a hell of a lot of work for the skaters, and if you're in charge of herding all of the cats, you're going to get burned out really fast if you don't delegate some of the work to other people.

7. Be ready to speak your opinion, even if it is in the minority. Our BOD is filled with dedicated and strong willed women who have definite opinions about important issues, and everything else.  We don't always agree, but we listen to each other. Just don't get butthurt if people don't love love love every opinion you have. No person group of people an be on the same page about every damned thing. We aren't pod people.

Being in a position of power will reveal your character, and how you deal with pressure. Sometimes the discovery process isn't pretty, but it can be a real eye opener. I suggest you take the opportunity to run for a leadership position if you haven't, but don't take it lightly. It is real work.

1 comment:

  1. This is perfect and came at the right time for me. We're getting ready to nominate new board members and I'm being put up for nomination. Whether I get the position or not, I'll be more involved with the team. We've had a lot of drama lately and I think a new board will go a long way to making that better. I'm gonna email this to myself as a reminder. Thank you!!