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Programming Ideas: Smooth Leadership Transitions

As the school year winds to a close, your club should be looking to the future by holding board elections for the 2006-2007 academic year.  A smooth leadership transition will ensure the continued success of your club.  Here are a few tips to help avoid the major pitfalls of the leadership transition process:

  • Hold elections early enough so the outgoing leadership has time to train the incoming leadership.
  • Keep the class composition of your board in mind.  An all senior board could serve well for the upcoming year, but the ramifications may be felt the year after.  Keeping at least one person actively involved on the board that will be returning the following year helps lead to successful board transitions.
  • Plan a meeting with your recreational sports department and other key contacts to introduce the incoming leadership, update necessary paperwork, and discuss the future year together.
  • Turn over and review all club paperwork and equipment together.
  • Update all bank information and review all financial records together.
  • The incoming leadership should prepare a summer contact list for club members to facilitate easy communication.
  • The outgoing leadership should brainstorm and share with the incoming leadership its top three challenges, best practices, important documents, key people, activities, contacts, and things it would do differently.

It is important for the outgoing leadership to keep in mind how it felt when it was the incoming leadership.  Make sure the questions you did not have answers to and the information you wish you had when you assumed office are passed on to your replacement.  This is your chance to leave your legacy, share your vision, and impact your club tennis team for the years to come.

Many thanks to Rollie Madison from DePaul University for providing "Planning a Leadership Transition" by Bonner Curriculum, from which several of the above ideas were taken.