Leading a chapter can be a high-pressure job, but creating the right leadership environment makes it manageable. Also: community management’s loneliness factor.
Strong chapters make for strong associations, and that means you need strong chapter leaders. But if they feel exhausted and burned out before the end of their terms, you not only increase the likelihood of leadership turnover, but you risk those negative feelings affecting other members, too.
To ensure the strength of your chapters, provide the right conditions and tools for leaders to succeed, says Charlotte Muylaert on the BillHighway blog. For starters, they need to understand the strategic goals of both the chapter and the national organization.
“Besides giving chapter leaders the information they need to lead and manage their chapters, you should also teach them how not to be a chapter superhero or martyr,” Muylaert says. Emphasize the importance of delegation, and recruit other volunteers to share the workload.
“Chapter overachievers are a liability for your association, not a blessing,” she says. “They stand in the way of other members who want a taste of service and leadership.”
Lastly, make sure leaders have the resources they need. Consider creating a chapter-leader-specific resource center and a peer support network where they can connect with leaders in other chapters.
Community Manager, Party of One
According to @TheCR State of Community Management Report, 34% of #cmgrs are a team of one. CbA contributor Tirza Austin explains what you can do to avoid burnout and increase productivity in your community as a “team of one.” #assnchat #teamofone #cmgr https://t.co/Wxyp72AJBf pic.twitter.com/DGM8eAFK9E
— Community by Association (@CommunitybyAssn) June 20, 2019
Feeling all by yourself? You’re not alone in that. About 34 percent of community managers say they are a team of one, according to The C0mmunity Roundtable’s State of Community Management report. But that number is probably higher for nonprofits, Tirza Austin writes on Community by Association.
“Being a community manager alone is not ideal, but it is the norm at this point for associations until organizations begin to realize the importance of a community manager or a community team,” she says. “But your membership appreciates you. Gain strength from the difference you make to members and join other community manager groups.”
To avoid burnout and beat loneliness, Austin also recommends engaging the entire organization through staff trainings. Defining your job description can also help other team members see the value in what you do.
“If you have an organization that doesn’t appreciate or acknowledge what your role is, write your own job description so your organization knows what community managers actually do,” Austin says. “They will be shocked with the value you are adding to membership and your organization.”
Other Links of Note
You’ve seen phishing scams in your inbox. Now, they’re coming for your calendar, reports Wired.
Workplace conflict is natural—and healthy when handled correctly, says the Bloomerang blog.
Looking for meeting sponsors? Smart Meetings explains how to attract conference sponsorships quickly.