In my last post, we examined the role of committee chair and its importance in a booster club. A committee’s success will rise and fall with the competency and dedication of its leader. Therefore, it is critical to fill each role with the right volunteer leader.
Last week, I shared how Steve led the Truck & Equipment Committee to unprecedented levels of success. Now, let’s take a look at four attributes that made him so effective in his role. These attributes apply to all committee chairs, regardless of the committee’s area of focus:
Committee chairs are some of the most influential leaders in a booster club. They are literally on the front lines, interfacing with parents and students. In many ways, your booster club’s success relies on your committee chairs. Once you select the right people for these roles, empower them to serve and give them your full support.
When I became the Blackman Band Boosters’ president, I was immediately faced with a predicament that led to one of the greatest success stories during my tenure. Over the prior couple of years, our Truck & Equipment Committee had dwindled to only two adult volunteers – parents of graduating seniors – and a hand full of students. The adult volunteers pulled our two equipment trailers to football games and events.
In his book, Creativity, Inc., Pixar Animation Studios president Ed Catmull shares a challenge of epic proportion – someone accidentally deleted every work-in-process file that comprised Toy Story 2. In an instant, 90% of the film was gone! Two years of his team’s work was lost. To make matters worse, the company’s backup system – their virtual safety net – also failed.
The Pixar team rose to the challenge and overcame this random, tragic event. They released Toy Story 2 on time, and it instantly became a major box office success. You’ll never imagine how they restored the lost data, but here’s a hint – you’ll find the answer in chapter eight.
Catmull and his leadership team learned several valuable lessons through this crisis, many of which extend beyond the scope of data storage and backup. But this example poses questions for every booster leader – Where do you store your data? Is it secure? Do you have a reliable system in place to protect it from loss?
Clear and timely communication is vital to a booster club’s success. We must effectively distribute information so students will be on time, prepared and ready for practices and events. We must also keep parents aware of their responsibilities so they’ll meet due dates for fundraisers and show up when help is needed. On a broader scale, we need to let extended families know what’s going on in the organization.
Parents of teenagers are in one of the busiest seasons of life. Today’s parents receive more messages and information than any prior generation. Booster clubs are literally in competition with other media outlets and organizations for a parent’s attention. So what can you do to ensure your message is heard?