How can Presidents and Vice Presidents work as an effective team?
At Sports Community we have the opportunity to work with many club committees. One of the fascinating things to watch is often the dynamics between a club President and the club Vice President.
The role of Vice President means different things at different clubs. In some clubs, the Vice President is the unofficial president in waiting, learning the role so when the President decides to step down they will naturally transition into their role.
In other clubs, the Vice President really doesn’t have a clearly defined. The President is the leader, the secretary does the administration, the Treasurer does the financial management so what does that leave the Vice President? In these circumstances the Vice President does very little, compared to the other office holders of the committee.
So how should the President and Vice President work together?
Officially, it is the Vice President who steps into the role of acting President when the President is unavailable, whether it be to chair a committee meeting or host an official club function.
Ideally the Vice President is so much more than a “temporary replacement” for the President. They should be a team working closely together to achieve the goals of the club.
To be a team working together, the President and Vice President need to have a common shared vision. They need to both be across the goals of the club and how they (and the wider club) will achieve them. The Vice President should be the “sounding board” of the President so that ideas can be safely bounced around and challenges explored.
Share the load
There are many tasks the President does that they can be delegate or share with the club Vice President. This can significantly reduce the workload of the President. The Vice President may be given responsibility to oversee a number of subcommittee or functions within the club. These could be chosen based on their skill sets and interests. This is rather than the President taking on 100% of this load.
Often Presidents feel that they have to deal with every issue raised. An alternative strategy to combat this is for the Vice President to take over the “day-to-day” oversight of the issues. This allowing the President to remain, on the strategic direction of the club and the “bigger” issues successful club President.
This is not to understate the day-to-day issues. Many have the potential to severely disrupt the club. The Vice President is a very senior figure within the club who will generally have the capacity, authority and understanding to resolve the majority of issues.
Another area the club Vice President can really support the President is taking an active part in the recruitment of volunteers. This could be for roles at the start of the year and as the year progresses. Again, this is an operational function. But, it is one that often takes a lot of time and is rarely done well by clubs. The reality is that most Presidents believe it is quicker to do tasks themselves than to seek others to help them. If the Vice President can take on the task of finding volunteers, it is much more likely Presidents will be willing to delegate tasks to others. Again, this also allows the President to remain at a strategic and planning level and the Vice President taking on the operational elements.
High level of trust
Effective President and Vice President teams are constantly talking to each other. They update each other on the progress of the club and are a strong support for each other. The role of President can be extremely lonely so the Vice President can provide vital support to the President, especially when things get challenging and don’t always go to plan.