Ready to up your leadership game?
You’re going to love this post!
It’s full of 11 genius ways to be a better PTO leader.
After all, when you boost your leadership skills, you’ll also strengthen you PTO when you put the new skills to work!
Let’s get to it!
Woman, you are incredible!
But you can’t do all the PTO things by yourself.
Learn how to delegate to save your sanity.
One of the biggest cliches about PTOs is that they’re nothing but a big clique. So don’t play into that trope by excluding anyone.
Even those volunteers that need a little more hand holding than others are worth including!
Trust me, a little kindness in this area goes a long way.
You were once super green and needing guidance, so pass a little of your knowledge and a lot of your patience on to the newbies.
Actively include everyone.
Go out of your way to talk to people you don’t normally talk to.
Look for opportunities to invite parents who don’t normally come to things to get involved.
Make the ask to them personally instead of an all call to everyone.
They’ll certainly appreciate it!
Even if they don’t get involved, they’ll have super nice things to say about how open and inclusive your group is!
And that could cause others to get involved.
This goes for pretty much everything in your life…
Life will be easier if you do more listening than talking.
Take the time to hear what other people are saying, either verbally or non-verbally and respond with empathy and understanding.
Too many people overlook this detail and their leadership suffers as a result.
People won’t get involved with your PTO if you’re not paying attention to what others are saying.
And worse yet, if you’re ignoring them altogether, that’ll spell disaster!
This next tip is also good life advice in general: be proactive, and not reactive, as much as possible.
Anticipate what’s next on the horizon by checking out the PTO and school calendar frequently.
The very best leaders are planning in advance and have a response planned for what comes up.
This totally works for some things, and other things, not so much.
But you get the idea, right?
Stay on top of what you’re supposed to be doing as a leader and prepare for what’s next.
Don’t procrastinate and get yourself into a pickle.
Good leaders literally have their crap together.
They’re not leaving a trail of papers behind them as they enter a room.
Nope, instead they have everything put together nicely in an organized binder.
Follow the rules
Good leaders are also role models.
And as such, they follow the rules!
You should as well.
Don’t go parking in fire lane just because you’re just running into the building for a minute.
The rules apply to you just as anyone else.
If you start breaking school rules like that, your authority is diminished.
And as a result, people won’t follow you when you need them to!
The best leaders go into a position with a curious mind.
They talk with former leaders and members to see what’s been done before and how it’s been done.
They seek out new ideas and possibilities.
But they don’t come in with a certain unwavering agenda.
One resource for a constant source of incredible ideas is the PTA/PTO Super Star Leaders Facebook Group.
There are literally thousands of leaders waiting inside the community to lend a supportive ear and help you right now.
Another aspect of a good leader is someone who communicates clearly!
Don’t make the mistake of thinking everyone knows what’s going on.
This is true for both members and fellow leaders.
Get others on the same page as you by communicating early and often about your plans and volunteer needs.
And then after the fact, report on what you did and how you did it.
No one is going to be able to get inside your brain to get the information, so make sure you’re writing it down!
This one’s a no brainer…
Do what you say you’ll do!
I’ll be blunt because this is important.
No one will respect you as a leader if you don’t follow through with your commitments.
They key to success here is to only commit to what you know you can do, based on your time or skill level.
If you’ve made a commitment that exceeds either of those things, then you need to delegate ASAP.
Be smart about change
Been keenly aware of making change only when something needs to be changed for the better.
Don’t just change something for the sake of change.
I know you’re hot to trot with all sorts of good ideas about this and that, but take a breather.
Step back and see if it’s truly something that needs to be changed.
Ask other executive board members and maybe even the Principal.
Most people are resistant to change, even if it’s the greatest idea ever.
So introduce change slowly and only where necessary.
It’s kind of like moving into a new house: you don’t go digging up and of the existing gardens for one full year because you don’t actually know what flowers are there.
There could be a load of beautiful daffodils and tulips waiting to burst through the ground in the Spring.
You’ll never know and will disrupt those gorgeous blooms if you make major changes to the garden blooms before a year has passed.
PTOs are just like that.
Don’t make huge changes the first year of your term, especially if you’ve only had limited previous involvement.
Hold off and see what blooms throughout the year before making sweeping changes.
Meet people where they are
This last point builds upon the previous point.
PTO is a team sport.
You can only do so much yourself, and you’ll need the help of the other executive board officers and PTO leaders.
You’ll have to pace yourself accordingly.
For example, if your PTO board is used to communicating only via email, and aren’t particularly knowledgeable with anything tech, you’re going to have to introduce change slowly.
Because a really fast way to tick the other board members off is to declare that all communications are only going to be held in a new app that no one really knows how to use.
Moral of the story: learn where your people, a.k.a. other officers and leaders, are before making a change and don’t implement change they might not be ready for.
I know you’re full of spirit and have a will to make drastic change, but you’ll need to pull in on those reigns so that you keep everyone working together.
Over to you!
Which of these PTO leadership tips are you going to implement right away?
Have any other ideas for being a better leader?
Let’s discuss in the comments!