Part 3: Becoming a Leader in Your Chapter
Part 1 of our series exploring the life cycle of a member discussed how to engage non-members with the goal of converting them to members. Part 2 on member engagement examined active participation of members. Now, we explore the next phase on the journey along the membership engagement scale: an active member’s transition into leadership and the corresponding engagement levels.
Strong leadership is a key aspect to the success of any chapter. But leaders don’t just suddenly appear, they are developed through participation in the chapter and training activities. Becoming a leader begins with a simple choice to engage in a more active manner.
Level 8: Join a committee and participate in event planning.
The first choice of engagement involves participation on a committee. It doesn’t matter what committee, or what role within said committee. The more active a committee the stronger the engagement level of a member. This is especially true for committees that work to plan events. A member’s level of engagement increases as does the visibility of the outcome of the committee’s actions. Over time, members will gain more confidence, taking on more responsibility within committee participation.
Level 9: Serve on the chapter board and have a stake in chapter planning.
Hopefully, after a certain amount of time in committee work, your chapter’s budding leaders will take the next step and seek a role to serve on the board, whether appointed or elected. Through this transition, members will grow in experience and skills. They will work their way up the ladder, ideally eventually holding a top position. Through participation on the board, they will be well-trained for the execution of their position. As a leader, members serve as a role model to prospects and entry-level members alike. They also have a stake in creating the value of the chapter for all members and for their own career development.
Level 10: Become a mentor to new members.
Leaders move though the life cycle of their membership and retire from an active role in leadership. This does not mean their time as a leader, or as a member, is over. In fact, this may be the most important level of engagement, as they have the responsibility of imparting to members at various engagement levels the knowledge they have learned throughout their membership. This mentorship allows for continuity of chapter value.
Understanding the life cycle of membership engagement from prospect to member to leader to mentor is essential to the management of your chapter. More importantly, it builds trust between members and ensures the success of the chapter in the present and for the future.