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American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Illinois


"The Leadership Program raises awareness of ALA leadership development opportunities."
Pam Corbin

The Leadership Program raises awareness of ALA leadership development opportunities.

What can you do?

1. Learn about and promote participation in the ALA Leadership Academy, which is being developed as a result of the ALA Centennial Strategic Plan.
           * Work with a mentor to develop/enhance interest, skills and knowledge of the ALA.
           * Become familiar with the different types of leadership training available through your department, the    
              national organization and your community. Pick one that appeals to you and participate wholeheartedly.
           *Build your leadership skills by volunteering to chair a short-term project.
           * Give a short presentation on ALA training opportunities to the unit.
            * Get to know the members of your unit. Help them identify the skills they can put to use in service to our
               veterans. Not all leaders have titles.
            * Survey members to identify their interests and skills. Match projects based on individual member’s      
            * Develop a plan to incorporate at least one aspect of leadership learning, monthly or quarterly, at
            * Hold a workshop/brunch focusing on preparation of reports and applying for awards.
            * Provide the ALA pin to new members.
            * Purchase a Unit Guidebook to share among members at meetings and encourage them to go online to
               download information.
             * Identify individuals willing to assist members who wish to acquire or strengthen computer skills in order
                to communicate via the internet.
             * Identify individuals who lack the ability to communicate via the internet and ensure their inclusion in all
                unit and department communications.
             * Participate in the ALA Leadership Academy as a unit.
             * Provide information to units for participation in the ALA Leadership Academy

2. Enhance leaders’ knowledge about ALA history, programs and organization.
            * Take Welcome to the American Legion Auxiliary Senior Auxiliary Basics, A Course on our History and
              Legacy at under the Leadership tab.
            * Attend district/department training sessions/workshops.
            * Volunteer to be a trainer/course leader.
            * Ask questions.
            * Share past experiences.
            * Prepare a personal history of your involvement in the organization; refer to Welcome to the American  
               Legion Auxiliary Senior Auxiliary Basics, A Course on our History and Legacy at
      under the Leadership tab, to discover how national endeavors may have
               influenced your personal history.
             * Attend a Mission Training session or other national event.
           * Initiate new members. Offer every new member an orientation packet.
           * Offer an ALA information refresher course for all members.
           * Encourage members to take Welcome to the American Legion Auxiliary Senior Auxiliary Basics, A Course
              on our History and Legacy at under the Leadership tab.
           * Recognize members who have completed the course either in a meeting or via publicrelations.
           * Encourage members to participate in Mission Training or other national event.

3. Encourage the use of ALA reference documents and materials, such as the Unit Guide Book, Unit, Department, and National Constitution & Bylaws, Department Operations Guide, ALA Girls State Program Guide, and the national website listing of previous annual reports, to include the Centennial Strategic Plan initiatives.
            * Download/purchase the referenced documents and become familiar with them.
            * Volunteer to assist a Junior member in learning about the documents of the ALA.
            * Ask questions about any programs or terminology you don’t fully understand.
            * Ask members to review the Unit Guide Book, Unit Constitution & Bylaws, Department Constitution & 0
              Bylaws and National Constitution & Bylaws, noting things found puzzling or not understood. Bring these
              questions to your Leadership chairman for clarification.
            * Participate in the ALA Innovative Leadership Video Contest Challenge. If chosen, your video will be
               playing on the ALA YouTube channel. Go to or your department Leadership
               chairman for specific information.
           * Set aside a time to discuss important ALA documents at unit meetings and develop a committee to
              address changes in procedures based upon a review of the referenced documents.
            * Develop a plan to assist Junior members in learning about the referenced documents.
            * Utilizing available materials, collectively develop a unit plan for projects on which your unit wishes to
             * Hold a workshop to explain unit Constitution & Bylaws, Standing Rules, how the unit finances are
                structured, how the budget is planned, and how to write meeting minutes.
             * Set aside a “show me where it’s printed” at meetings where members can ask why something is done
               the way it is or where in the governing documents it says we have to do it this way.
             * Ask members to review the Unit Guide Book, Unit Constitution & Bylaws, Department Constitution &
               Bylaws and National Constitution & Bylaws noting things they don’t understand or find puzzling and
               address what comes from the discussion by documenting the results. Set aside time to answer any
               questions that arise from any discussions on ALA documents. Follow guidelines on
      Submit, to the national organization, the name of any member who
               demonstrates an innovative leadership recruitment or development practice, for a National President
               ‘Shout out.” Follow guidelines on

4. Offer a mentoring program, utilizing the knowledge and experiences of members that have served as leaders beyond the unit level.
           * Complete a (member/leader data) unit survey for your unit. Refer to, Leadership
              page, and How To sheet found at the end of this program Plan.
           * Volunteer to be a mentor for a member or Junior member on the unit/department level.
           * Learn the process and apply for a unit, department and/or national appointment.
           * Seek election to a unit, department or national office.
           * Apply for a unit, department or national committee appointment.
           * Use positive, experienced members to train and guide new members.
           * Encourage members to volunteer to train/guide new members.
           * Encourage members to become “experts” in some areas so that they can become the unit mentor in that
           * Discover potential leaders and talent within your unit by collecting a unit survey form from every member.

5. Nurture a culture of goodwill at all levels of the organization.
           * Resolve to consider your own behavior before evaluating others.’ Expect the best of people.
           * Participate in discussions or debates while demonstrating respect for opinions that are different from your
              own. When you disagree, extend the olive branch of friendship since we all share a common mission.
           * Speak privately with another member directly, rather than involving others with your concerns.
           * Invite new members to participate in meetings and events.
           * Always greet new members and offer a new member packet.
           * Provide unit officers/board of directors contact information.
           * Unit leaders should encourage members to work their issues out directly with the parties involved rather  
              than attempting to fix the situation by intervening.
           * Listen to what members have to say and thank them for their ideas.
           * Be open, rather than critical, of the ideas of others.
           * Assist in positive solutions to conflicts by focusing on the desired outcome.
           * Give praise and recognition when members do what is asked or go beyond what was expected.

National is asking me to include in my narrative report so please send me any information from your Unit or District:

            * What department trainings were held for units and/or the department and were they well attended by returning and new participants?
            * What topics or presentations were included in your trainings?
            * Of members attending these trainings, did you require feedback concerning what they learned, how this training will improve their ability to lead, and what trainings they would like to attend in the future?
            * Did you hold training on nurturing a culture of goodwill?
            * Did your department successfully implement the unit member/leader data survey? What were the unit responses?

Phone: 309-663-9366
Fax: 309-663-5827
copyright 2013.