A recently released study by three scientists explored the possible outcomes should earth be visited by aliens from somewhere else in the universe. The study listed a number of outcomes from beneficial to harmful. Contact with extraterrestrials might lead to a discussion of math and science or helpful information on solving issues like world hunger or poverty. Or, at the other end of the spectrum; Aliens could intentionally plan to eat or enslave people on earth.
I don’t know about you, but waking up and worrying about being eaten by an alien is not something I do often. What I do worry about is when they land and utter those immortal words “Take me to your leader” and we can’t find one.
So maybe before the aliens show up we need to assess how we select leaders in our volunteer organizations. Do we know what leadership qualities we are looking for? If we do, is there a selection process designed to find potential leaders with these qualities?
Jim Collins wrote about the leadership selection process in volunteer organizations and said that when searching for leaders and there is no compensation at all, that doesn’t excuse you from attempting to find the best possible leader. He says, “it makes selectivity all the more vital.”
With the success of your organization riding on the abilities of those leading, doesn’t make sense to find the best qualified people you can?
Here are some suggestions that can help raise the quality level of your leaders.
- Outline the responsibilities of each leadership position and the organization’s expectations on how the responsibilities are to be carried out.
- Decide what qualities and talents are desired in your leaders and develop a list.
- Communicate the responsibilities and qualities to the entire organization and commit to using them as a tool to assess potential leadership candidates.
The important thing here is to get buy-in and commitment from the organization for this process. It will be much easier to develop it than to actually apply and use it. It you start granting individual exceptions then you have doomed the process to failure.
So when the little green men come and say “Take me to your Leader,” wouldn’t it be great to be able to say, “We are all leaders, how can we help you?”