Hi there! I hope you are all well.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. Delegation is a critical skill necessary to keep your synagogue President from burning out or feeling frustrated. This holds true for us Rabbi’s as well (although we’re paid to handle the stress). Trying to micromanage every detail is one of the great sins of synagogue leadership. I often hear synagogue leaders complain that they wish they could delegate but they simply have nobody qualified to help out. This is usually never the case. The problem begins with an unclarity on our part about what we need. When we are clear about what we specifically need we can turn to our membership (and/or our office staff) for assistance. Capable volunteers are usually more available when they know what it is specifically being asked of them. A vague request for assistance will often fall upon deaf ears. The second problem is that we don’t bother to train those we are delegating to. This then feeds the viscous cycle of having nobody “qualified” for the job. At times, a couple of simple instructions could turn one of our members into a trailblazer. The third problem is that we tend to be afraid to let go of control. It’s known in synagogue circles as a Messiah Complex. Without us doing everything, the whole place will fall apart. Get over it – we’re individually just not that significant.