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Working with Senior Leadership

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What/who do you call senior leaders where you are?  Perhaps you use director, CEO, executive director, director of volunteers, board president and, for me, add bishops, archbishops, chairs of provincial or national committees, doctors (the great senior leaders in most voluntary health organizations, etc.). 

Now, count the levels between you and the senior persons you want to connect with…your direct boss, your boss’s boss, the “big cheese,” the prestigious chair of a key committee. 

Now choose the one to focus on that you most want to influence.  Get that person and his or her job firmly in your mind.  Picture his or her office if you’ve seen it.  Got it??

So, let’s begin to strategize together.  And strategize you must if you wish to truly influence these leaders.

Suzanne Lawson takes you on an exploration of why a volunteer program manager would want to influence senior leaders at all—and then offers some practical ideas for doing so.  This article is adapted from a speech Suzanne presented to the Toronto Association of Volunteer Administrators.