TPC Structure #1: Leadership
Merriam-Webster Leadership: The ACT of Leading / The ABILITY to Lead – Leading: providing direction or guidance – Lead: To GUIDE or DIRECT on a course especially by going in advance.
As explained in the front page article “TPC – Will History Repeat” being a leader is a responsibility. In the case of The Pub Club (TPC), it is a responsibility to its current, past, and future members as well as to TPC Mission itself. As TPC, the “COURSE” is our Mission. The short version is this: “The structure, meetings, and special events are all designed to enable members through active participation to build and hone ALL the skills necessary to become accomplished scientists and to strengthen their foundation for a successful chosen career.” As MW says, Leadership is the “ACT” of Leading. This is not a passive phrase. In fact this was one of the lessons learned from the failed versions of TPC. One cannot “Lead” by always asking those he is Leading where he is going. By definition, the person depending on “DIRECTION” and “GUIDANCE” from another is a FOLLOWER. Does this mean a Leader disregards the input of those they Guide? No! In fact, as you saw in the article, many attempts were made to get that input on guest speakers, snacks, topics and more. However, if proceeding with planning had been dependent on that input, the great success of the Fall 2014 semester as described in newsletter #70 would not have happened, and TPC would not exist today. Those speakers had to be invited and scheduled “IN ADVANCE,” the snacks had to be budgeted, purchased, and set up “IN ADVANCE” and the topics needed to be studied, prepared and scheduled “IN ADVANCE.” Someone had to “LEAD.”
Among the most important Leadership requirements is communication. Without continuous and effective communication, both Written – emails, newsletters, website, Twitter, etc. – and Oral – starting and closing a gathering, casually reaching out to members and non-members alike, etc. – TPC would not and cannot exist. Another essential ingredient of a successful Leader is Delegation. In some circles this has been turned into a bad word, indicating that the person delegating is lazy or incompetent. To the contrary, a Leader who is committed to effectively and efficiently meeting the objectives of the entity he serves understands this requires delegation. To delegate properly, a Leader must see the Big Picture as defined by the “COURSE” or mission. A Leader must also be tuned into the members they lead, look for untapped potential and the opportunity to foster it. By identifying the abilities and potential of each of their team members, they can determine how to delegate responsibilities in a manner that best accomplishes the mission and builds both “skill” and confidence of each team member. In TPC, this means understanding that members who sign on to the group wishing to receive the benefits of their membership can only do so through active participation. Therefore, a Leader in TPC must be willing to delegate the responsibilities of running TPC and expect that these duties be completed in a manner that meets the Mission. A Leader who will not employ delegation, either out of pride or a misunderstanding of its purpose, will be less productive for themselves, TPC, and the members who count on them.
What other “ACTS” of Leadership does TPC require? Organization, Planning and yes, more Communication! 1: Events must be scheduled and placed on TPC calendar as far “IN ADVANCE” as possible. This will include a summary including both the event specifics and topics written using a promotional approach. Why should people come? What specific value or benefit can they expect through active participation? Whenever possible, links to related material and biographical information should be included. 2: Summaries of the previous meeting need to be written and posted on the website and/or in TPC newsletter within 2 to 3 days after the gathering. 3: TPC Newsletter is to be written, assembled, and sent at least 3 days before weekly gathering. 4: Pantry snacks (pop, chips, etc) need to be inventoried, budgeted, purchased, and kept in stock “IN ADVANCE.” 5: Continuing contact with members throughout the week to maintain TPC relationship and excitement is essential. Yes, there is more, but suffice it to say to run a successful Pub Club you must have and be a responsible, committed Leadership team. I tell you from experience, it is too much for one person to carry.
To sum it up, to be a Leader in TPC you must understand it is a servant responsibility. Your job as a Leader is to serve both the Mission of TPC and the members who join to achieve it. No one can Lead a successful TPC if they are only in it for their CV/Resume or Ego. While these things should be positively impacted by Leading TPC, they are the product of a successful Leadership not the sole motivation.
B Huot TPC/The COM Founder & Director
Contact form at the bottom of the Mission page.