If you’re working today, you’re a talent scout. You need a talent for your company – and even more tricky, for your professional association. How do you find talent for a non-profit association without the perks of a big raise, insane benefits, or the sparkle of a new city? These challenges face many board members as they try to ‘recruit their replacement’. Here are 5 tips to help you tap leadership potential for your organization.
1. Share your story
Stories inspire and interest people – share yours. Why do you take time away from the rest of your life to volunteer? Letting others know the importance you find in contributing to your professional association may inspire them to engage as well.
2. Never stop learning – and share the lesson
Ongoing board development offers new perspectives or new approaches to leadership issues. Share the lessons you learn through your board involvement. You’ve likely expanded your view a bit. This larger perspective often allows you to recognize leadership potential in others, even if they may not yet see it themselves. Encourage them to develop their own leadership skills by sharing your new insight with them as that may spark their interest to get more involved.
3. Look elsewhere
While it sounds counterintuitive, look beyond the organization for which you’re recruiting. Your goal is to identify talent and thought leaders – and they may not already be part of your organization. You might run across them in your company, at a related industry event, or even online on LinkedIn. If someone is insightful and thoughtful, invite them to join the association, sharing what you think would be of interest to them.
4. Tap their interests
The number one reason individuals do not volunteer is that they are not asked. When this ask is personally delivered, wow – that is far more powerful. Find out what interests them and then connect them with a volunteer opportunity that fits. This approach is much better received than just telling them to ‘get more involved’. Getting them engaged in something they already care about is a win/win proposal.
5. Be an ally or mentor
Our professional colleagues often have hidden talents that we discover by accident or over time. Help them showcase their abilities and accomplishments. Recognize these talents by suggesting them for leadership positions or opportunities, even on a small scale. Speaking up for them when they are not in the room familiarizes others with their names so that they also think of them when the right opportunity arises.
Recruiting new leaders for your professional organization is one of the most important things a board member can do to impact the future of that organization. Use these simple steps to identify your potential ‘replacement’ ensures that your own contributions continue as part of your leadership legacy.
Looking for more volunteer management resources? Download our free e-book: “Success with Leading Volunteers.”