The Junior League of Oakland East Bay spent the summer ramping up and launching our work plan for the year. If you attended the September General Membership Meeting, you know we had a fabulous time talking about servant leadership, finances, fundraising, membership, SPAC, and more. It was exciting to hear what the year has in store for us on an event level.
What happens on a personal level is up to you. What allows positive relationships to form and enables fun while accomplishing the goals laid out before us? The two major guiding principles for conduct among volunteers are kindness and accountability. These attributes create an atmosphere of trust, and trust creates a safe place for us to learn and try new things. This is the kind of atmosphere we want for our League.
Kindness involves speaking well to and about each other. We’re all guilty of gossiping at one time or another about someone or something in the League, but let’s put the past behind us and from this point forward do our best to resist League gossip. Complaining is not useful. Perpetual negativity can become toxic. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying to ignore legitimate problems, but instead, think in terms of solutions and focus on what good is being done and can be done. Think, if I am unhappy can I be a part of the solution? How can I kindly present this? Create opportunities for constructive dialog. Leadership wants to hear you and your solutions. We all want to make things better.
Accountability is critical to accomplishment. JLOEB aims to be the best volunteers in the counties of Alameda and Contra Costa. So let’s build JLOEB’s reputation. When we say we have 10 volunteers for a shift, let’s have 10 volunteers. Show up for the shifts, trainings, and meetings you sign up for. Find a replacement if you can’t make it. Whatever you do, don’t “no show.” That is a fail. The League is counting on you. Our community partner is counting on you. Don’t break that trust.
My theme for the year is “Leveraging our Past and Hope for our Future.” Looking to our past, we have the wonderful opportunity to work closely with our sustainers as mentors and advisors for leadership and committees. We gain insights from sustainers from when the League was in its heyday and are motivated by their passion for the league. We are able to use some of their valuable knowledge so that we don’t have to recreate the wheel. It’s a beautiful partnership for which we are truly thankful.
The second part of the theme is Hope for our future. I believe in the Junior League. I believe the hope in our hearts can translate to effectively caring for our communities. That hope can lend itself to creating friendships based on service to others. That hope will sustain us through challenges that will make us stronger and more skilled. Our hope lies in action: as long as we communicate and rally support for what the League has to offer we will continue to be a vibrant and relevant organization.