Guest blog by Trish Ward, National leadership Committee Chairman
What does leadership mean to you? To every member, the concept of leadership may be different. Creating a definition of leadership may not be the issue, in reality it is the action of leadership where we often feel challenged. How do you become a leader? How do we keep the leaders we have and how do we allow those leaders to grow and flourish? The American Legion Auxiliary has a wide array of content to help you enhance your role as a leader in our organization and it’s just one click away!
Get started with leadership by solidifying your understanding of our organization by taking the ALA Senior Basics Course. The course is available via download from the leadership section of the American Legion Auxiliary’s national website at www.ALAforVeterans.org. Its simple format can be utilized individually or in a group session. In addition, there is a Junior version to help Juniors get started with learning about the noble history of our nearly 100-year tradition of serving veterans and their families.
Remaining committed to Goal 3 of the 2014-2019 ALA Centennial Strategic Plan, to Develop Leadership at All Levels, should be a primary objective of every ALA member. In support of this important goal, the ALA Academy now has five interactive online training courses available. Everything from ALA Branding and Why it Matters to Me to Establishing an ALA Culture of Goodwill and Communication Methods 201 can help every member become more knowledgeable and prepared to take their leadership skills to the next level. Accessing the ALA Academy is as easy as clicking on the menu choice, ALA Academy, found under the tab, Members Only on the national website.
Feeling confused on your role as an officer or chairman or not sure what to say or do in a meeting? Access the many helpful documents available under the leadership program portal located within the Member Support Committees area of the national website. Topics such as ALA protocol, flag etiquette, parliamentary procedure, and best practices for good leadership can be accessed 24 hours a day with just a click.
Stay current and up-to-date on ALA programs by urging all members to receive the monthly program communication, ALA in the Know eBulletin. It’s easy to subscribe to and requires only an active email. You will receive a content link each month to access and download this timely information to read and share with other members.
Taking first steps to becoming an effective leader requires patience and commitment. Set the stage for good conduct by embracing the concept of compassionate leadership. Compassionate leadership is a thought discipline embraced by modern leaders who desire to treat their team members with a greater sense of caring, kindness, and consideration for the human condition. Compassionate leaders urge a greater level of team engagement, value building, robust and trusting relationships at all levels, and inspire collaboration and commitment. Caring about the team with sensitivity and sincerity will enable you and your members to have fewer conflicts and better outcomes in projects and activities.