What does a successful club President actually do?

When we ask presidents what do they do it is amazing how many say “EVERYTHING!”. Often when this question is raised the answer will be a list of tasks and responsibilities that need to be ticked off. For us at Sports Community we believe to be a successful club President, you need to be an effective leader.

The reality is the President is the leader of the club but what does this mean? What is leadership?

To truly understand what a President should be doing it is worthwhile considering what being a leader means. Here at Sports Community we use the definition of leadership created by US leadership guru Kevin Kruse who defined leadership as:

“the process of social influence which maximise the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal”

Kevin’s definition gives a great insight into what a president should do. Successful and effective presidents ensure that the club has clearly defined goals and objectives; this doesn’t just mean at the strategic level, but defining the goals for each position.

What a successful club President does:

Strong presidents resist the temptation to take on all the work themselves. Rather they use “the process of social influence which maximise the efforts of others”. This means the majority of an effective president’s time is actually taken up with talking to people. This encourages volunteers to positively and actively contribute to the club goals.

It is amazing how much time it takes to talk to people. Early in the season, an effective president will be working with the committee to identify all the goals, roles and tasks to complete throughout the year. Once they have this knowledge they will then start recruiting people. They will look for volunteers with the knowledge, skills, inclination, time and desires for the role. The process of recruiting people is simply talking to people or using the process of social influence.

Once people are recruited to roles and tasks, a successful club President will ensure they have all the training and support they need to undertake the role. Much of their time in the early stage of the year will be spent checking to ensure that people are OK in their role and they have all the information and resources they need to be effective. Strong Presidents minimise the amount of “learning on the job” or “being thrown in the deep end” feelings their volunteers will experience. Again, the more volunteers, the more time a President should spend talking to people to make sure they are OK.

Once people settle into their roles a strong and effective President will ensure that each person has planned how they will undertake and complete successfully their allocated task. In many instances these plans will need to be presented to the committee for review and sign off.

As plans are signed off and the season progresses, a successful club President will be continually checking on how people are progressing through their plan to achieve their goal. This may not be from a performance perspective, but to ensure that the volunteer is on track. If they aren’t, the President and committee can identify how to support the volunteer as early as possible.

So what does a President do? Well, they ensure that everybody in the club is not only happy, but that everybody is contributing in some way to the achievement of the clubs goals.

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