Do You Empower Your Committee Chairs to Lead With Influence?

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve focused on the role of the committee chair. We’ve seen that committee chairs are on the front lines of a booster club, interfacing with parents and students. At the heart of every thriving booster club you’ll find hard working, dedicated committee chairs.

In my prior posts, we saw how Steve led a thriving Truck & Equipment Committee, and we learned the four attributes of an effective committee chair. Now, let’s examine how the executive team of officers can empower committee chairs and maximize their influence.

Once you match the right people to the right leadership roles, empower them to do their best, and get out of their way. Give them room to be creative. After all, they are volunteering their time and they are passionate about the program!

I learned an important lesson about empowering committee chairs in my first year as president of the Blackman Band Boosters. The nation was coming out of the economic crisis of 2009, and we had delayed as many purchases as possible until things seemed to be more stable.

Carol was our awesome Merchandising Committee chair, and she worked with a local vendor each year to create promotional T-shirts that we sold to our families and fans. Merchandising was not a fundraiser for us – we sold everything at cost to maximize publicity for the program.

At the beginning of the year, Carol designed new graphics and was ready to place an order with her vendor. Although the funds would later be reimbursed through shirt sales, I was reluctant to approve the purchase. By putting off the purchase, I did not empower Carol to manage her committee, and I denied her the opportunity to serve.

Once I realized this, I quickly approved the purchase and saw my role from a much different perspective. A major part of my role was to allow others to serve by empowering them to do their very best.

In order to empower committee chairs and maximize their influence, the booster executive team must realize three important points.

  1. A committee chair’s focus is exclusively on the work of their committee. Officers have a much broader area of responsibility. Recognize the committee chair’s ability to manage the fine point details of her committee, and trust her leadership.
  2. Committee chairs have the best interest of the booster club at heart. Remember, they are volunteering their time and they are also passionate about the student program. Don’t micromanage their activities and “hoard” every task.
  3. Committee chairs are on their journey through the teenage years with their children. Just like you, the parent who volunteers to lead a committee chair is creating memories with his child. You can help him make the most of this time by allowing him to serve to his fullest.

When the booster executive team views committee leadership from this perspective, committee chairs will have the freedom and support to achieve great things.

If you want to learn how to empower your committee chairs to lead with influence, check out my book, The Booster Leader: 35 Leadership Essentials for a Thriving Booster Organization. The Booster Leader is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats.

Question: How are you helping your committee chairs lead with influence? You can leave a comment by clicking here.