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Clarifying roles for coalition leaders

Depending upon the structure of your coalition, you may have formal or informal coalition leaders. In most situations, the leaders are unpaid volunteers in the coalition. They may have a passion for the mission of the coalition or their work may closely align with the work of the coalition. Defining roles for leaders can vary depending upon the person, the position and the level of staff support. Join me this week for three steps to take to get clear on roles for coalition leaders.

Assess current leadership positions

Review the kinds of leadership positions you have in the coalition. Although it is easy to keep doing what you have always done, take time to reflect on what is really working and what may not be working. If you find that having leadership positions is adding a lot more work for staff, you may want to change your structure. Also, take time to reflect on the current roles and expectations for these positions and be willing to ask questions. Do those in the current positions understand their role? Are these positions working well for the coalition? Do these roles help the coalition accomplish its purpose? What is not working well with current leadership positions?

Consider coalition needs

As part of last week’s blog, we discussed staff roles. Understanding staff roles is critically important to clarifying leadership roles. Once you are clear on staff roles, you can evaluate staff capacity and coalition needs. Although it may take some time to understand what is really needed, it is worth the investment. Are there certain leadership roles that would meet coalition needs? What kinds of roles would enhance staff capacity? Could the coalition expand its impact by empowering new leaders?

Match leader interests and skills

Once you have considered current leaders and coalition needs, apply what you learned. Evaluate interests of existing coalition leaders and identify members who may be interested in leadership roles. Connect these leaders to specific coalition gaps and needs. When making these connections, set expectations and clearly define roles for the leaders. How do the leaders work with the staff? Are the leadership roles similar to the staff role? Will these leadership roles provide support or add burden to the staff?

So what about you? What are you going to do to clearly define the role of coalition leaders? How can coalition leaders enhance your coalition?

If you would like additional guidance on clarifying roles for leaders, download my new free worksheet, Clarifying Roles and Responsibilities.

Photo by Karina lago on Unsplash

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