Establishing a Strong Leadership Platform for Your Chapter
Bonnie Harken, iaedp Managing Director
As you watch eating disorders professionals in your chapter build a spirit of community, network, and become part of contributing to the excellence of patient care through training and educational opportunities offered through your chapter, I am sure it has been a gratifying experience.
So how do you ensure its perpetuity? The key is a strong leadership team. You can build that team from the day you organize. What we learned at national is that the format of President, President Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer provides a strong leadership platform because through your executive committee meetings guiding the chapter governance, this team of leaders learn together. When a President leaves office and serves as the Immediate Past President, she/he becomes a source of wisdom and historical context for chapter governance. The President Elect is actually a training ground which allows the new leader time to understand the lessons of the past, invest in the chapter “culture”, and be ready to assume the top leadership role prepared and ready to serve with as little disruption as possible. Both the Immediate Past President and the President Elect are a supportive role for the current President.
Each chapter should have regular Executive Committee Meetings. The Executive Committee is the President, Immediate Past President, President Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. Each meeting should have minutes taken and minutes from the previous meeting reviewed. In addition the written record of the meetings should have an Agreed Upon section and an Action Plan section which will keep your chapter moving forward. These written minutes should be created by the Secretary. The Treasurer should also have regular written reports to the Executive Committee on the chapter financial records. These reports should be in hard copy and placed in a notebook that is kept and maintained by each succeeding officer. Meetings should be conducted and business concluded using Roberts Rules.
If you need a format for Meeting Minutes including Agreed Upons and Action Plans or a format for a Treasurer’s Financial Report, please contact National. I have started a chapter in the past. I understand the work and sacrifice involved. It is heartbreaking to dedicate yourself to creating something viable and valuable and watch it fall apart because of the lack of a strong leadership base.