Recently, I was with an annual campaign team. They were planning next steps for their campaign and considering how to present it at the full board meeting the following day. They were so excited, making thoughtful plans to motivate and challenge their fellow board members.
Originally, this meeting had not been on the calendar. The executive director was simply going to send talking points on the campaign to the campaign chair. I had to talk him into it, but then I watched as he began to understand the importance of this “meeting before the meeting.” In their planning for the board presentation, they went far beyond a simple campaign update report. Their campaign was stagnant and together they developed a plan to re-energize their campaigners.
A meeting like this means asking volunteer leaders to give up another hour of their valuable time. But by pulling them together and rallying their enthusiasm and input, their buy-in multiplied. Their presentation to the board was fun, motivating and important.
When swamped with day-to-day tasks, take time to think about how using “the meeting before the meeting” can boost the important initiatives and campaigns you are working to move forward.
Your volunteer leaders are in this because they believe in what the organization stands for. They agreed to serve because they want to help. Don’t shortchange them by trying to protect their involvement and time. If we truly want to build a team, we have to let the team be part of the plan!