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Empowering Leadership

RLTC/VLLS News and Tips
June 2008

By Del Albright

Tip #1: Setting Expectations
Tip #2: RICS and RLTC

Leadership Tip #1: Setting Expectations. Probably the biggest shortfall of any supervisor, paycheck or not, is incomplete expectations. In other words, the problem with employees or volunteers not getting the job done the way the supervisor thought it should get done, was the Supervisor's issue. He/she did paint a clear picture of the problem and solution -- the job -- the Expectations. There's a trick.

An expectation is defined (by me) as that picture in your brain of what you'd like done -- even when saying it out loud does not come naturally. It also applies to personal relationships and other human interactions. It's hard to really blurt out what we want (expect).

However, in dealing with volunteers who need coaching and guiding, rather than bossing, being able to clearly articulate expectations will get the job done right and with a big smile.

Here's the short cut way to remember how to set an expectation:

If it makes you smile, write an expectation to achieve it.

If it makes you frown, write an expectation to avoid it.

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Leadership Tip #2: RICS and RLTC. The paperwork of RLTC/VLLS is called RICS -- the Recreational Incident Command System. These forms save your bacon, get your event organized, and make life much easier in the long run. Very importantly, it ensure that every volunteer has a real job and that all the real jobs get done.

The trick to using RICS is to use Post-it type notes. Yup, stickies. Before you write your plan, get a list of volunteers who have signed up to be on your activity. Put one name of a volunteer on one Post-it note. Stick them up on a flip chart or wall.

Across the top of the wall or flip chart, list the jobs you know need to be done -- with a number under each one that tells about how many volunteers are needed for that particular job.

Then start putting your Post-its (with names) under the job headings until your names and numbers match up. You can move them around (shuffle) as needed up until the last minute before you put them to paper (RICS forms) and publish your plan.

It works and it works well. It will save you hours of frustration and ENSURE that all volunteers have a real job and all real jobs get done.

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