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

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