Last month, I was elected as the 2022-23 President of the Cedar Wood Elementary PTA. It wasn’t something I wanted to do…but with 75% of the current Board moving on to middle school, and fresh faces in the other positions, I was really the only logical person to take over. So, I agreed to do it, feeling that I didn’t have much of a choice.
As the Vice President for the last two years, I’ve gotten glimpses of how hard the job can be. The current President is a stay-at-home mom who loves to volunteer, and we didn’t have a lot of parent involvement, so she worked the Presidency as a full-time job. Yikes! I can’t (and won’t) do that. I love my day job and don’t really want a night job, so I worried about being able to fit everything in without burning out or having it all go up in flames.
Then help arrived…
Luckily for me, the WA State PTA Conference came to town a few weeks ago. Sounds super boring, right? Wrong! I spent the weekend surrounded by people who are passionate about helping kids, which was great. But even better than that, they’re passionate about helping other PTA leaders like me.
The conference had an entire Leadership track designed for first-time Presidents. I learned about what Presidents typically do, how to stay compliant with non-profit regulations, how to be an effective leader, how to run a Board meeting, how to deal with conflict, how to deal with burnout, and most importantly, how to delegate. I had the opportunity to ask the questions that have kept me up at night, and meet other local volunteers that are just as nervous as I am, along with the incredibly generous folks who have already done the job and love sharing what they know.
Turns out, I’ve had the skills all along
The main thing I learned? Running a PTA uses the exact same skills that I use every day in my own business. I already know how to lead a team to complete a project. I know how to work with budgets and get buy-in from different parties who need to be involved. I know how to delegate tasks that I’m either too busy for or don’t know how to do. I know all about effective marketing and communication. I know how to offer great customer service to clients. And I know how to find help or advice when I don’t have the answer to a question.
And unlike the office, where all of the decisions ultimately are my responsibility, running a PTA is a group effort—I legally can’t make decisions on my own, which takes a lot of the pressure off of me. I’ll largely be a facilitator and cheerleader.
I’m still a little nervous, but now I know I can do this. And I’m excited to see how the new role will help make me even better at my day job.
What new roles are you taking on in life or work? Can I help you?Whether you have a new project you’re leading or you’ve stepped into a completely different opportunity, let me free up your time by taking on those digital or design tasks. Simply reach out to me – I’m here to help.