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the NALS docket May 2011 : Page 4

Accepting the Challenge By Marie Schoenfeldt, PLS, CLA A book entitled “Bringing out the Best in People” by Alan Loy McGinnis contains a great chapter The Management of Failure. It is written from the viewpoint that one of the best contributions leaders can make is teaching people how to handle failure creatively. McGinnis says that one rule for bringing out the best in people is “to create an environment where failure is not fatal.” He quotes a woman who said “what separates achievers from the masses and makes for lasting success is an ability to fail.” Failure is only temporary—if we learn from it. This may well be why leaders attain success. It seems to be a secret successful leaders have kept so well hidden for so long. Strong people admit failures, learn from them, and move on to a more productive leadership. If you have never considered yourself leadership material because you do not think you have got what it takes, or you will be a failure, why not develop a new attitude? Look on every opportunity to serve not as another chance to fail, but as a step in the development process to becoming a stronger, more successful person. There are many opportunities within all three levels of NALS to experience professional development and your leadership abilities. With that in mind, consider the potential for success in being a leader in our association. Think Big! There are three levels of NALS—local, state, and national—that are parallel in structure. Make a step-by-step plan to work your way up the ladder of success. Study each position, its duties and responsibilities, and decide what you want to experience. Start by chairing a committee for your local chapter, then run for an office. Soon you will be looking at chairmanships and officer positions on the state level. Once you have experienced the schedule of duties and time management of each position, you will have gained a lot of experience. Now, it is time for the big challenge, i.e. seek a region position, then a NALS position. Each position has clear responsibilities. Careful thought and planning on your part and, after feeling comfortable and secure, as well as recognizing and accepting your failures, you will be guaranteed success. Check out the following descriptions of the duties and responsibilities of the various officers and board members of some local and state associations (noting that not all local and state associations have the same slate of officers and directors). When you think about it, it is not that difficult. You will need to read and understand the bylaws and standing rules of the association and the officers’ handbook (beginning with your chapter) and take control of your own environment where failure is not fatal. Remember, for each step, each level, you will need to review these documents again. You will gain so much from each position you hold, whether local, state, or national. The journey is the best the part. Pack you bag and get started. We all know what the president does—bangs the gavel and declares “the meeting will come to order.” However, take a moment and look at the knowledge, preparation, and experience that it takes to achieve that position. A well-rounded president will be ready and willing to accept the challenge, have the necessary information, a theme and a set of goals, and a mapped-out plan of how to accomplish those goals. She will have been an active member of her association for several years, having volunteered and chaired committees and served as an officer prior to her election as president and/or president-elect. The president-elect is “in training” for the presidency and must be as prepared as the president. Remember, if the president is unable to serve, the president-elect steps in. Along with this responsibility is the challenge of maintaining and increasing membership and assisting local chapters to sponsor membership drives. The secretary and treasurer (these offices may be combined in some local and state associations) are also “in training.” Having accepted the responsibility of an elected officer indicates that you have the intention of “going up the ladder” and being a leader of the association. Your duties are self-explanatory and should be carried out to the best of your abilities. Finally, the parliamentarian! You are much more that a “member of the EC.” It is your duty to see that the executive officers as well as the members of the board are well versed in the bylaws and standing rules of the association. It is your duty to see that meetings are conducted properly and professionally. On the chapter level there will be various committees in need of leaders who are not afraid of forging ahead, looking at what has been done in the past (good or bad), learn from those experiences, and plan for the future. Those committee chairs will soon evolve into officers, giving them experience to become a state director and eventually an elected officer and the initiative to do more. Other board members may include: a marketing director, publications director, education director, and corresponding director. Some states have a historian who is also a member of the board. The marketing director is responsible for publicizing seminars, meetings, and special events; developing and implementing marketing opportunities; and, in general, promoting the association to the general public. The publications director is charged with maintaining the association’s website and in obtaining legal education articles, business items, and reports for various legal publications. Perhaps you have a “web master” who keeps your website current and informative. the NALS docket 4

e-Learn: Accepting The Challenge

Marie Schoenfeldt

A book entitled “Bringing out the Best in People” by Alan Loy McGinnis contains a great chapter The Management of Failure. It is written from the viewpoint that one of the best contributions leaders can make is teaching people how to handle failure creatively. McGinnis says that one rule for bringing out the best in people is “to create an environment where failure is not fatal.”<br /> <br /> He quotes a woman who said “what separates achievers from the masses and makes for lasting success is an ability to fail.” Failure is only temporary—if we learn from it. This may well be why leaders attain success. It seems to be a secret successful leaders have kept so well hidden for so long. Strong people admit failures, learn from them, and move on to a more productive leadership.<br /> <br /> If you have never considered yourself leadership material because you do not think you have got what it takes, or you will be a failure, why not develop a new attitude? Look on every opportunity to serve not as another chance to fail, but as a step in the development process to becoming a stronger, more successful person. There are many opportunities within all three levels of NALS to experience professional development and your leadership abilities.<br /> <br /> With that in mind, consider the potential for success in being a leader in our association. Think Big! There are three levels of NALS—local, state, and national—that are parallel in structure.Make a step-by-step plan to work your way up the ladder of success.Study each position, its duties and responsibilities, and decide what you want to experience. Start by chairing a committee for your local chapter, then run for an office. Soon you will be looking at chairmanships and officer positions on the state level. Once you have experienced the schedule of duties and time management of each position, you will have gained a lot of experience. Now, it is time for the big challenge, i.e. seek a region position, then a NALS position.<br /> <br /> Each position has clear responsibilities. Careful thought and planning on your part and, after feeling comfortable and secure, as well as recognizing and accepting your failures, you will be guaranteed success.<br /> <br /> Check out the following descriptions of the duties and responsibilities of the various officers and board members of some local and state associations (noting that not all local and state associations have the same slate of officers and directors).When you think about it, it is not that difficult. You will need to read and understand the bylaws and standing rules of the association and the officers’ handbook (beginning with your chapter) and take control of your own environment where failure is not fatal.Remember, for each step, each level, you will need to review these documents again. You will gain so much from each position you hold, whether local, state, or national. The journey is the best the part. Pack you bag and get started.<br /> <br /> We all know what the president does—bangs the gavel and declares “the meeting will come to order.” However, take a moment and look at the knowledge, preparation, and experience that it takes to achieve that position. A well-rounded president will be ready and willing to accept the challenge, have the necessary information, a theme and a set of goals, and a mapped-out plan of how to accomplish those goals. She will have been an active member of her association for several years, having volunteered and chaired committees and served as an officer prior to her election as president and/or president-elect.<br /> <br /> The president-elect is “in training” for the presidency and must be as prepared as the president. Remember, if the president is unable to serve, the president-elect steps in. Along with this responsibility is the challenge of maintaining and increasing membership and assisting local chapters to sponsor membership drives.<br /> <br /> The secretary and treasurer (these offices may be combined in some local and state associations) are also “in training.” Having accepted the responsibility of an elected officer indicates that you have the intention of “going up the ladder” and being a leader of the association. Your duties are self-explanatory and should be carried out to the best of your abilities.<br /> <br /> Finally, the parliamentarian! You are much more that a “member of the EC.” It is your duty to see that the executive officers as well as the members of the board are well versed in the bylaws and standing rules of the association. It is your duty to see that meetings are conducted properly and professionally.<br /> <br /> On the chapter level there will be various committees in need of leaders who are not afraid of forging ahead, looking at what has been done in the past (good or bad), learn from those experiences, and plan for the future. Those committee chairs will soon evolve into officers, giving them experience to become a state director and eventually an elected officer and the initiative to do more.<br /> <br /> Other board members may include: a marketing director, publications director, education director, and corresponding director. Some states have a historian who is also a member of the board.<br /> <br /> The marketing director is responsible for publicizing seminars, meetings, and special events; developing and implementing marketing opportunities; and, in general, promoting the association to the general public.<br /> <br /> The publications director is charged with maintaining the association’s website and in obtaining legal education articles, business items, and reports for various legal publications. Perhaps you have a “web master” who keeps your website current and informative.<br /> <br /> The corresponding director is charged with preparing and mailing correspondence as directed by the president.<br /> <br /> The historian keeps up with all events during the president’s term of office, taking pictures, collecting pertinent items for the history book, and presenting the history book to the outgoing president at the end of the term.The historian may also be in charge of the history book competition if applicable in your association.<br /> <br /> Members of the state board of directors usually consist of a state director from each chapter who will represent her chapter on the state level, attending all state meetings and reporting the activities of the chapter. In turn, the state director reports back to the chapter keeping its members informed of the dates and places of meetings, business decisions and other events and activities of the state and national associations. Your local chapter members will not know what is happening unless the state director relays the information to them.<br /> <br /> Serving on the national level is an honor and a privilege. Members use their experiences and knowledge from serving on the local and state level to assist them in continuing to maintain NALS as the best legal professional organization there is.<br /> <br /> The NALS Board of Directors consists of the president, president-elect, secretarytreasurer, regional directors and a certification, a marketing, an education, and a membership director. Some of these duties and responsibilities are parallel with the state associations. The certification director is in charge of monitoring the ALS, PLS, and PP exams and to encourage members and non-members to become certified. The marketing director works with local and state associations to promote NALS and keep the public informed, explaining our purposes, our goals, and our benefits. The education director assists in obtaining excellent and pertinent legal seminars for our members at national meetings and by presenting webinars. The responsibility of the membership director is of great importance, as this director must work with state and local associations to increase our membership and retain the current members.<br /> <br /> There is always someone in a leadership position to look to for help and guidance and, yes, help you to understand and determine why you may have failed a particular challenge.<br /> <br /> So, how about it? Get on board. The journey is awesome. Take the challenge. If you fail, learn from it. You will be a better leader!

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