View Full Version : Leadership Skills


EYEFORGOT
08-25-07, 09:53 PM
I have found myself in leadership positions outside of just teaching my own kids.

Since we have to find our own resources and team up to get what our kids' need I feel compelled to put my money where my mouth is and get things going, rather than sitting by the sidelines and complaining or waiting for someone else to do it.

Something as simple as a theater group or an environmental club gets complicated. I'm not a well organized person and that's probably a big part of my mistakes. I make loads of them.

It's like pulling teeth to get people to volunteer for things or step up to the plate to help. If they do they want me to tell them what it is I specifically want, but what I'm looking for is their ideas and follow through.

So I've gone and made several mistakes in planning, I communicate and accomplish things out of the most efficent and logical order. And, of course, I don't realize my mistake until after the fact. Now I've got a Mom who is impatient and annoyed at the confusion, a co-organizer who won't return my emails to help me clear things up, and Moms who felt slighted in the planning process not asking me about it but asking the impatient Mom about it. I'm hoping my co-organizer has just had lots of stuff going onwith her family and isn't ignoring me because I've annoyed the crud out of her. I preemptively apologized.

This same scenario happened last year with a co-op I tried organized, I was limited because of lack of volunteers. Guess what for? Moms didn't want to teach! Can you believe that? They were completely intimidated about "teaching" kids not their own. I don't mean whole semesters of history and math. I mean a few weeks of history that gels with what another mom is doing with art, and subjects that moms are familiar with. We weren't always Moms and homeschool teachers, we do have other skills to share.

It goes with the territory. You keep volunteering to help and you end up in a leadership position. Now that you're leading you get to hear everyone's complaints (ideas in disguise) and not too many solutions. You make mistakes and their scrutinized, but since no one else stepped forward, you do the best you can. In this case I'm just trying to do the best I can for my kids. However having the mistakes pointed out, and people irritated and sometimes even hurt feelings leaves you feeling like a lousy leader/royal screw up. Then you have to accept that that, too, is inevitable and you do the best you can. Thick skin needed even though all you wanted to do was be nice and helpful.

(sigh)

Any advice?
How do you handle your screw ups?
How do you avoid them? (organization is hit or miss for me)
Words of wisdom?
Ok. Vent over

Imnapl
08-28-07, 02:41 AM
How do you handle your screw ups?
How do you avoid them? (organization is hit or miss for me)
I'm better at organizing a part of something rather than the whole thing. For example: the costume convenor for an ice show rather than the chairman of the whole show. I asked the coaches for specific information way ahead of schedule so I had more time to plan and prepare.

Screw ups? I don't take a leadership role in things I'm not very experienced with or talented in. If it's new territory, I take a helper role.

I prefer not to share the leadership with another person, but have no difficulty delegating work.

I learned that it was a waste of time to plan or care about something no one else was interested in helping with. My husband just resigned a volunteer position for the same reason - no help - he stuck it out a lot longer than I would have.

EYEFORGOT
08-28-07, 12:29 PM
I must be a glutton for punishment. Taking on more than I can chew comes so easily for me and I have yet to learn from it. It didn't look like such an impossible task when I started.

It's nice to know someone else knows where the cut-off point is. I'll definitely keep this in mind.

I've gotten myself into a corner with my project now. I think I need a pick-axe in addition to my shovel as I dig myself out of this mess. :(

EYEFORGOT
08-29-07, 12:41 PM
What happened to my help?!

I officially hate this. I have no idea how to get across "You said you would help me and now you're ignoring my calls and emails." She's my only help. Even the moderator is shrugging and not moderating. I've told her exactly what needs to be done. Nothing. Nada. No responses to my queries.

Evidently I am so freaking brilliant they trust me to make every blessed decision. Oh goodie.

Imnapl
08-29-07, 01:08 PM
What happened to my help?!

I officially hate this. I have no idea how to get across "You said you would help me and now you're ignoring my calls and emails." She's my only help. Even the moderator is shrugging and not moderating. I've told her exactly what needs to be done. Nothing. Nada. No responses to my queries.It's difficult to work in a vacuum. Is there someone else you can ask to help you?

EYEFORGOT
08-29-07, 01:36 PM
yes...i asked for help on the list. but that's the problem with home schooling sometimes...

the Moms are generally happy to help in a small way but not actually take on a bigger task of "teaching" others' kids. Perhaps because there's enough on their plates (Sunday School, Scouts, other volunteer work, part time job).

it's just that even though i started the group, i really wanted help with the details and thought i was clear about it. Evidently not, because if i make one decision alone that must mean i'm to make all decisions.

i guess i need to stop complaining and just sleep in the bed i didn't know i had made. Must be a store model.

So...to find calm when you're in a situation you can't change...and have to lead and teach where you hadn't intended or wanted...

any pointers?

Imnapl
08-29-07, 01:42 PM
So...to find calm when you're in a situation you can't change...and have to lead and teach where you hadn't intended or wanted...

any pointers?
Keep It Simple Sweetie

:D

EYEFORGOT
08-29-07, 03:45 PM
Thanks for saying "sweetie" and not the other one. :)