Saturday, February 27, 2010

in the NewZone: Talking It Up with JoJo

in the NewZone is a new twist on an old favorite of ours: "in the news." We wanted to keep it fun and add "the Zone" part to go along with our theme this year of cheering leaders.

For your bit of leader news this weekend, we can't wait to let you know about a leadership seminar coming up in March that we're doing with JoJo Tabares. Mark your calendar quick. . . you are going to want to catch this one for some timely encouragement.

Homeschool Leadership Seminar Coming March 10th!

Homeschool Group Leader Workshop 03/10/2010 12:30 pm PST/3:30pm EST

Join JoJo Tabares, author of Say What You Mean: The Language of Leadership, and her co-hosts Kristen Fagala and Denise Hyde, authors of One By One: A Homeschool Group Leader’s Guide to Motivating Your Members, as we discuss how homeschool group leaders can lead more effectively with less stress and get more participation!

You'll hear:
  • Why motivation is a huge part of successful leadership
  • What leadership is . . . (relationship)
  • Three burning questions every leader must ask
  • Questions leaders have asked: how to avoid burnout, how to get people to show up, how to get more volunteers
  • Tips on motivating teens
  • Why we need leadership skills
  • What a leader isn’t
  • 16 Biblical qualities of a leader
  • Why a leader needs: effective communication skills

So, mark your calendar for:

Wednesday, March 10th

3:30pm EST/12:30pm PST.

Here’s how to join in the call:

Listen via your computer:

Or call in via phone: (724) 444-7444 Call ID: 19736

Bonus tip: You can sign up for a free TalkShoe account to have access to the chatroom during the call!

Do mark your calendars to attend because space is limited and this session will NOT be available to the general public as an audio afterward!

See you there,
Kristen & Denise
Leader Store

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday's Wisdom: Benefits of a Board

Our friend Homeschool CPA Carol Topp is well known as an expert on organizing a successful homeschool group board. We decided to ask her to discuss some of the benefits of choosing to have a leadership team.

Homeschool groups usually start small. Somebody might say, “We’re just a moms’ play group,” or “We don’t want to be very structured.” What thoughts would you share with these moms who aren’t comfortable with the idea of a board or an organized leadership team?

Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular. And as more people are homeschooling, our groups are growing. It quickly becomes not just a small group of moms meeting anymore. And you have to have more structure to deal with their growing needs.

You have to have a little more structure to deal with the finances you may be taking and other decisions that you may be making. And having a board means you are sharing the responsibility for that group. You’re sharing the decision-making. Who wants to make all these decisions themselves about what classes will be held or where they’re going to find a meeting place or do we need insurance or a million other questions?

But the most important thing a board does is to help you avoid burning out, because you’re sharing that load. And also, having a board means that you can replace yourself--that no one person is doing it all--if she is, then she is making herself too difficult to replace.

There are lots of times when a leader may have to step down. Maybe because she is burned out, but also it could be that her family moves out of town. We’ve had that happen. Or maybe she becomes ill or someone in the house becomes ill, and she has to step down from her responsibilities for a while. Every group out there and every leader out there ought to be saying, "If one of us had to leave, could we keep going?" Who could step in—always have that in the back of your mind.

You’ve put together a wonderful CD to help leaders be successful and make themselves duplicatable and replacable called How to Manage a Homeschool Organization: Boards, Budgets and Bylaws. Can you tell us a little more about it?

This is actually an audio of a presentation that I give at homeschool conventions. You can download the audio immediately and also get a PDF of the slides I use during the presentation. So it will be like you’re right there at the homeschool convention workshop that I give.

If you download it, you are welcome to bring your board together to listen to it as part of a board meeting and say, “We’re going to listen to some of this advice and maybe take away one thing we can do to improve. Wouldn’t that be a good idea?

Loving leaders and leadership!
Kristen & Denise

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday's Wisdom: A Lesson From Moses

Homeschool CPA Carol Topp has traveled the country speaking to homeschool group leaders, and in her own years of leadership in the great state of Ohio, has learned many valuable tips for avoiding burnout as a leader. Welcome to the second part of this series with Carol Topp on burnout.

What is the TOP way you’ve discovered that homeschool group leaders can avoid burning out?

I think the best way is to learn from other leaders. We’ve got a great example in the Old Testament of the leader Moses. What Moses failed to do was to delegate responsibility. So, the first way to avoid burnout is to get help.

What Moses was guilty of doing was sitting around all day basically listening to everyone’s complaints and dealing with them all himself. His father-in-law came out there into the desert where Moses was leading the Israelites, saw what he was doing and said, “What you’re doing is not good. You will wear yourself out. The work is too heavy for you. You cannot handle it alone.” He goes on to suggest a plan to Moses of how to delegate responsibility to trusted leaders and then they can entrust it down a level, too.

We should be following that Biblical model of leadership. It’s almost unbibilical for a leader to think, “I have to do this all myself.” That comes from pride. Sometimes it comes from a perfectionist tendency, and sometimes it comes because they can’t get any help. I know, of course, your book helps a lot with motivating members to help, but we also have to make sure that the leader doesn’t have the improper attitude of thinking, “I have to do this all myself or this is the only right way to do it.” That’s probably what Moses thought: “There’s only one way to do it—my way.” And he was corrected in that and we need to follow his example of getting help and delegating responsibility.

HGL: One of the responsibilities leaders can delegate is co-op classes. To pay or not to pay? That is the question. And Carol answers that question well in her ebook, Paying Workers in a Homeschool Organization. Check out a sample chapter here!

Learning to delegate,

Kristen & Denise

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday's Wisdom: Are You Burning Out?

What a great time we had interviewing author and Homeschool CPA, Carol Topp! She shared a bundle of hand-picked truths from her super-helpful book, Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out. With knowledge and insight, Carol explained the warning signs of Leader Burn Out and how to avoid it.

We are excited to make this complete interview available to you as soon as possible because it will bless you. Until then you can get a taste of the goodies Carol shared right here on this blog as we post excerpts from her interview each Wednesday of the next four weeks. Soon the complete interview will be available in two reasonably-priced formats—audio cd and word-for-word transcript! Details coming soon. Here's today's excerpt:

Do you feel like you might be burning out? Is homeschool group leadership overwhelming you? Have you noticed another leader's fire seems to be fizzling out? How would you know?

HGL: From your experience, how can a leader know when he or she is burning out?

Carol Topp: There is a really big difference between just that tired feeling that we all have and burning out. Obviously, a homeschool leader is taking on the responsibility of leading the group in addition to homeschooling her own children and doing everything else we do--cooking, cleaning and bottle washing.

You can know when you are actually suffering from burn out. I have a few symptoms listed in my book, Homeschool Co-ops. These include the loss of enthusiasm, negative feelings all the time, even depression. Sometimes it can manifest itself in health problems like constant colds, constant fatigue and headaches.

I think a real common sign is when you start neglecting your own children or their homeschooling requirements because you are so busy working on the group. That is a sign that you are headed towards burn out--you are misplacing your priorities.

Another sign is when your husband and kids complain that you are not paying enough attention to them. Again, you are misplacing priorities. When you become very irritable and start snapping at people, it can be an indication of burn out. Ultimately, you just feel like a failure. That is a sure sign that you are burned out, or coming awfully close to it.

May God give you strength and wisdom,

Denise & Kristen