Leadership Conference Reports

Report from Leadership Conference 9/2014

Sigma Leadership Connection Report                                     Donna M Glynn, President Elect


September 24-17, 2014

The program objectives for the conference were

1. Compare effective models of leadership

2. Describe strategies to effectively address leadership challenges

3. Apply leadership concepts within a professional setting

4. Analyze global leadership trends in nursing

The Chapter Leadership Goals were

1. Learn best practices from chapter leaders to improve chapter vitality

2. Learn how being a chapter leader enhances the professional leadership journey

3. Discover STTI resources that advance chapter operations

4. Understand how collaboration with other chapters promotes the exchange of ideas.

The opening plenary and Keynote address was presented by Cathy Catrambone (President Elect) and discussed “Leadership in Action: Uncovering the next Generation of Leaders.  The keynote addressed the issues of mentoring and advised chapters to encourage students to become active members.  Mentoring was a critical component of Leadership Succession. 

Plenary Session II:  Balancing your Volunteer and Professional Passions by Patricia E Thompson.  Discussed the delicate balance of volunteer time and professional commitments and how to avoid burnout and enjoy both aspects of professional nursing. 

Session:  Back to Basics: Understanding Chapter Expectations and Responsibilities.  The goal of this session was to review the STTI expectations to encourage chapters. Chapters are described as “healthy” or “thriving.”  A “healthy” chapter meets the minimum basic standers regarding meetings, inductions etc.  A “thriving” chapter exceeds the basics and encourages growth, visibility and service.  All Chapters should try to exceed the basic requirements.  Ideas for programs include Nightengale Tea, Brown Bag Lunch Series (article club), Student study sessions, resume night, or movie night.

All chapters are governed by the “Bylaws.”  As a board, we can recommend changes to Articles 1,7,8 &10.  This would include number of board members, titles of officers etc.  Any changes to the articles require a membership vote.   Chapters may have as many voting board members as they desire, but STTI recommend 7.  President is responsible to ensure that all officers are current with dues.  Leadership succession is key to the development of future leaders.  Limited to one term.  Cannot be on the ballot and on leadership successions—if running for office needs to leave leadership succession.

Bylaws must be reviewed every two years (on even years).   Governance Committee is responsible for updating the bylaws and addressing any changes STTI has voted on at the Biennium.  Bylaws may be amended at any time, put the process must be followed and a membership vote on changes in always required. 

Induction:  All cohorts should be considered separately, but a class can only be eligible for induction once.  If Theta-at-Large want to “Induct by Exception” a membership vote would be required (this would be important for the accelerated programs that have not completed ½ nursing curriculum. We have one year after graduation to induct a student.  Chapters may perform “Virtual Inductions” for online programs.   This could be done via a teleconference or webcast, no physical ceremony, utilize the induction protocol on the STTI home page, and recognize the new members in the Chapter Newsletter or at an event.  Encourage Virtual Inductees to join a local STTI chapter after graduation.

Action Item:  Need to review our bylaws and discuss member of board, voting issues. 

Action Item:  I have contacted the chapter representing University of Phoenix and will have the information shortly regarding virtual induction

Cultivating Future Leaders:  This session focused on mentoring and cultivating future leaders.  Cultivation of future leaders must be clearly stated in the chapter’s strategic plan and core values.  Email is never enough to encourage new members to become involved.  STTI recommends having incentives for attendance at events (win a free annual dues, sweatshirts, etc).  All events need to be posted on the webpage at least 6 weeks in advance.  Chapters should have a “Welcoming Team” at every event to welcome new faces and introduce the future leaders to the board and other attendees.  Easier to have involvement from new members with a “one time commitment” as opposed to running for office.  One time commitments can be helping at induction, working with a leader at a service activity.  We need more advertising of our chapter.  Thoughts—start a publicity committee.  Non voting members of the board.  Be specific with committee involvement as far as the number of hours per month.

Theta at Large needs to consider hiring a Webmaster to assist with the communication piece.  ? internship from communications departments at Simmons or Curry.

Chapters should encourage new members to apply for the Rising Stars Program.  Chapters should always send a junior member with a senior member to all conferences.  

Action Item:  Is cultivating future leaders part of our mission and strategic plan?  Board needs to have discussion related to the mentoring of future leaders.

Action Item:  Do we want to develop a “Welcoming Team” for upcoming meetings?

Action Item:  Do we need a publicity committee for newspaper submissions, college paper submissions, college radio broadcasts etc. 

Harnessing the Power of the Digital Age: Best Practices for Chapter Website: This session focused on the website. All chapter members should be utilizing the website for information, events, induction etc.  We need to update regularly.  ? benefit of a webmaster.  Time frame to maintain a current website is approximately 1 hour per week.  Don’t overload the website. Provide appropriate links. Need to know what our members want on the website.  ? content, journal articles, presentations, job opportunities, research scholarships.  All board members should have uploaded their picture to the website.  Usability is key.  Fast loading pages. Avoid pixels that are over 300 as they take forever to load. 

Action Item: need to discuss at board meeting hiring a webmaster

Action Item:  the webpage is now current and I have updated the page and included the upcoming events.

Action Item:  need to send out a group email asking member to visit our chapter page, renew membership on the page and try to “make” members use the site. 

Strategic Planning Workshop:  Strategic planning identifies where the chapter is going over a specified period of time (usually 2 years for STTI).  Must be based on Members perceived needs.  Strategic planning is critical for successful Key Awards.  The chapter president leads the process of strategic planning, identifies team members, and develops chapter goals. The chapter goals must strive to create the ideal membership experience.  What membership experience do we want to create?  What do members want, and how will we find this information (we have this data)? How do we want to deliver the message to members?  How do we want to change our acceptance and retention rates? What are the financial goals of our chapter?  Complete a SOAR analysis

Action plan:  I will provide a handout to the Board at the next meeting regarding Chapter Strategic planning.  Does the board want to develop a strategic plan for our chapter based on the members needs assessment which was recently completed.

Regional Dinner:  I was able to attend the region 15 dinner.  We meet and discussed many of the issues affecting our chapter.  Jennifer Allis Vazquez (Region 15 Coordinator) reported that she is planning to restart the regional conferences.  Jennifer is hopeful to have a regional conference in the spring.  ? Boston, ? Portsmouth—needs to be convenient for all.  I have volunteered to help with the event and will have more information shortly.