A successful network leadership team should consist of leaders who are active and consistently contributing to their identified community. The leadership team should be an accurate representation of those who play an active role and consistently participate in planning and promoting alumni engagement opportunities for the network. We see successful network leadership teams with varying numbers of actively engaged members depending on the size and activity of the network.
If you are in need of new leaders:
- Start with a conversation with your Alumni Engagement team member.
- Identify the skills your leadership team needs. Do you need someone to help you with social media? Do you need another person to coordinate volunteer engagement opportunities? Establish what the leadership team is currently lacking and recruit potential leaders who can fill that gap.
- Promote from within. Is there someone who has attended engagement opportunities that might be interested in taking a more active role? Could there be a shuffle in roles from the current leadership team to gain new perspective?
When inviting someone to join the leadership team, try to do it in person and explain what you think they can contribute by joining. Share why joining the leadership team is a good investment of their time and what you’ve personally gained from being on the team. Invite recruits to sit in on a network leaders meeting to give them a better perspective on what it means to be a leader.
Succession planning works best when the incoming leader has been active in the network, regularly attends engagement opportunities and has helped plan engagement opportunities before. Whenever possible, we recommend using a joint leadership team approach. This requires forethought and planning. The outgoing leader should identify the potential new leader and cultivate them for the future leadership role. We recommend having the outgoing and incoming leaders serve in a joint leadership role for one year to transition before the outgoing leader effectively retires from that role.