It is great feeling to be approached by senior members of your clubs committee with the invitation to be your local sports clubs next president. Sometimes this approach comes years in advance, giving you time to join the committee see how things work and potentially cut your teeth in the Vice President or other executive roles but all to often the call for help comes only weeks or even days before your clubs annual general meeting.
Here are our top 9 things to consider when you are deciding if you will nominate for your club’s President.
- The impact of the role on your family – In today’s 24/7 world the role of club president is also 24/7, 365 days a year. The demands on your time are non stop so you must consider how this will affect your family. We strongly recommend you have a discussion about your thoughts with your family and what that means to them. Will you expect them to also join you in club activities? Will your potential election mean there will be long periods of time you will not be home? How will your family deal with the late night absences and phone calls that will inevitably come? It is vitally important your are realistic and upfront with your family on what being President of your local club means to them and allow them to have feedback into your thinking.
- Impact on your employer – like wise, for all the reasons detailed above you should also consider telling your employer that you are thinking of taking on the role of club president and that from time to time this may require a little bit of flexibility to answer calls or to go to the club during work hours. If you are self employed, make sure you understand how many hours you can devote to the role as the role of club President has the potential to become all consuming and often detrimental to your own business.
- Understand your own motives – why are you considering the role? Is it to support the club and contribute to your community? Is it simply your turn? Is it a nice feeling to have the title, responsibility and power? Is there something you want to see achieved? All are very valid reasons but to do a good job you need to understand both your own motivations and balance these off against the needs of the club. Keep in mind most Presidential roles at local clubs are voluntary so you will be giving something up, whether it be time or money, in order to perform the role so make sure your motivations are clear and acceptable.
- What are your objectives? – Understand what you want to achieve as Club President? How will you look back on your time and say whether you were a successful President? If you are going to take the role it is important to agree with your new committee immediately on what the objectives of the club are for the next couple for years if they are not already in place. Keep in mind, you are not just going along for the ride, your tenure and legacy will be judged by others so it is important that you have a strategic plan with goals and objectives in place as a priority when you assume the President’s role and communicate them to the wider club community so the community can see you are leading and not just being a passenger.
- Who is going to be in your team? – It is impossible to be a successful President without a strong committee and a strong team of club volunteers? Who is going to be on your team? Are you choosing these people for their skills, passion and ability to deliver or simply because they are good people who want to be involved. Ideally your team should have a balance of both groups. It is crucial to get your team together as soon as possible so you can hit the ground running.
- What sort of President are you going to be? – Will your style be a dictatorial style or will it be more inclusive seeking people’s opinion and input every step of the way. Are you going to be hands-on or delegatory? It’s very easy to be too much of one and not the other, and most err on the side of too hands-on. In other words ‘Delegate don’t suffocate”. Delegation means you can trust others to get things done rather than doing them yourself and burning out.
- Club rules and responsibilities – Make sure you have read the club rules and understand the responsibilities of the role. It can save you a lot of time and grief if you take the time to read you club rules because trust me some of your members know them inside out.
- Are you ready to inspire? – Whether you like it or not, your fellow committee members, your players, members, supporters and the community will be looking to you to lead the club. More importantly you have the ability to inspire people. How will you do this?
- Succession planning – The greatest recruit a President can ever make on behalf of the club is the next President. So from day one in the role you should be looking to identify and groom the next President. Why? because if you don’t identify this person then there are only two choices when your tenancy is up; you continue in the role or the club folds. Fairly confronting but that is the reality so identify and groom your successor and this will ensure an orderly and successful handover of your club because it is your responsibility to leave the club in a better position than when you took on the role.