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Organizations-Effectively participating
Voting for Leaders
By Linda Campbell
Mar 20, 2005, 8:52am


Note: The following is the text from a presentation made by Linda Campbell at the 2004 ADGA meeting.  It represents Linda's opinions about leadership in general, and includes specific information for ADGA.

2004 ADGA Annual Meeting  Albuquerque NM

Linda S. Campbell
Luray VA
ADGA Director - Since 1982
ADGA Past President


Help to shape “your” organization!

vBoard should have mix of historic perspectives and new ideas and new energies.
vHelp make the improvements you feel are important!
Why Do Volunteers …Volunteer?
vMost want to make a difference or strengthen an industry in which they are involved, and receive satisfaction from doing so.    
vAn effective volunteer leader can serve as a conduit for others to work collectively to effect positive growth. 
vThe more productive and effective the leader is the more the leadership team can achieve. 
What Compensation Do Directors Receive?
If a Director attends the annual meeting, he/she receives:
v$300 Stipend (generally used to help pay for hotel )
v$.31 per mile for travel expenses
vRegistration for the meeting

Lunch is generally provided during the Director's meetings, and may be provided by ADGA or the local host group.
(If a Director is unable to attend the meeting, there is no compensation provided for that year).

What Expenses do Directors Have?

In addition to the cost of attending the annual meeting (which is partially reimbursement as noted previously), any expenses incurred throughout the year are the Director's own expense.  This could include phone calls to answer member questions (such as to the ADGA office or replying to members), attendance at district functions such as meetings or shows they may try to attend, or any other activity in support of ADGA membership events or meetings.  

Director candidates also have the cost of printing campaign letters during the election process, and any related campaign expense.  This will vary per district, based on the number of members in that district.  ADGA covers the cost of mailing the campaign letters to the members of that district.

Directors Do Not Receive…
vAny salary or payment for time spent working on behalf of the members.
vPer diem or actual travel expenses
vPer diem or actual food expenses
vReimbursement for expenses for communication with their members.
vAny other reimbursement except the compensation listed.
Reality of Elections
vSmall percentage of membership actually vote!
vIf you are serious about making an impact, then exercise your privilege to vote!
vDon’t complain if you don’t participate!
A Successful Leader…
vOperates effectively within the volunteer environment.
vUnderstands roles and responsibilities.
vPractices teamwork.
vActs with accountability.
vDevelops good interpersonal skills.
As we work together, we share our visions, listen effectively and communicate with knowledge and enthusiasm.

Results of Productive Leaders
vProductive leaders enable others to achieve results that at first may seem impossible. They can enable other volunteers to realize their strengths and skills.
vRobert Conkin, a football coach, may have said it best:  "If you can get things done with people, helping them to grow and become more than they have ever been before, then you have one of the most treasured talents anyone can possess."   

Desirable Leadership Characteristics

Leaders should have the authority of knowledge.  All good leaders develop and improve their skills and demonstrate their involvement with that expertise.

Leaders are visionaries who can see facts and ideas that others view as ordinary and rearrange them so that they become extraordinary.

vLeaders will produce change.  They are not disoriented by change and don't run from change.  They see change not as a threat, but as an opportunity and a challenge.
vLeaders will give their all.  They are willing to commit themselves to their visions and their success.  Tapping their reservoirs of passion gives leaders the energy to transform the present into a more successful and promising future
vLeaders are good listeners, and they are good communicators.  They deliver their messages with enthusiasm and sincerity.  They encourage discussion of issues, and they respond with their ideas.
vLeaders are students.  They never stop learning and growing, while learning from their mistakes.
vLeaders will take risks.  They are willing to take calculated risks because they can visualize how things can be done better. 
vThe most important risk is the willingness to expose oneself to the possibility of a negative outcome in order to carry out one's vision.  
vLeaders are ethical, and leaders are optimists.  They have hope.  They trust their gut feelings and other people.  Trust and hope are the basis on which leaders empower others.
vLeaders are accountable.   They should be able to explain their reasoning and decisions, and also understand how their decisions can positively or negatively impact their membership.  They should always act responsibly  with any decision.

Making Your Selection

Research previous minutes. Look for voting records as well as discussions.

Ask the candidates their opinions on issues.

Discuss issues with your friends and get their feedback.

vHas the candidate held other leadership positions in ADGA?  In other organizations?
vWould you want this person to represent you and your ideas? 
v Are you comfortable with his/her skills and abilities to sort through facts and reach informed and intelligent decisions?
vWhile we may have a desire to vote for someone who agrees with our individual ideas, there is more to being a good leader than an agreement to "vote as I tell you.“
vFor most of us, a much more valuable leader is one who will seek out the opinions of others; look at all the facts; sort through the potential impacts of the possible decisions; and then make an informed decision that will benefit the organization as a whole. 

Building Trust...The 4 C’s

Credibility: Leaders must earn and establish their own  credibility and that of the organization they represent.

Competence: Leaders must gain knowledge about issues.

Candor: Good leaders are open and can handle tough questions.

Character:  Leaders show values with decisions they make.

The ADGA Process

Members make nominations for Director positions (candidate must be a regular ADGA member in good standing).

The top two persons receiving highest amounts in nomination process (for each position open) are placed on ballots for each District.

Members vote for up to one person per position.

In the event of ties, member with longest continuous membership prevails.

Board Meeting

Directors elect the Executive Committee Members.

President presides over meeting.

President appoints committee chairs and members (usually with input from rest of Executive Committee).

How can you help?

Support "YOUR" Association by volunteering as a Director, Committee member or simply a member-advocate for the organization!

Exercise your voting privilege!

Give your suggestions for improvements – they might be just what is needed!   Remember that positive suggestions for improvements are an essential method of effecting change! 

A responsible member doesn't just "condemn" something with which he/she does not agree. Try to develop suggestions for alternate methods to accomplish the goals of the organization!  For example, if you don't like a current rule, offer suggested improvements by communicating with your Directors and the appropriate committee handling that topic.

Be a part of the solution, not the problem!

Be patient!  Sometimes change comes slowly, but eventually it does come! 

Thank you for your attendance, and
thanks for your membership in the American Dairy Goat Association!


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