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President/Chief Staff Executive Task List: Introduction

To get the volunteer/staff year off to a good start, both team partners (the president and the association executive) need to define who will do what during the term. One way to enhance this dialogue between the president and AE is to discuss issues common to both.

A job functions summary or task list can help you define the president's and AE's roles:

By working together on this task list, association presidents and AEs can gain a new perspective on their relationship. A structured format in which AEs and presidents share ideas and expectations about their jobs and lines of responsibility can help their relationship head in the right direction.

There are no right or wrong answers in this exercise. Answers may even change annually with each president's style, goals, and abilities. The important thing is for the president and AE to reach an agreement on who does what, thus encouraging a level of consistency in the relationship. Keep in mind that this list is not meant to be comprehensive. Feel free to add additional activities that may not be noted here.

Remember, the answers in a job functions exercise will vary by association size.  In small associations, it is likely that most of the responsibilities and functions will fall on the shoulders of its elected leadership, since the AE may be the only staff or chiefly an office administrator.  In larger associations, more of the responsibilities for publications, government relations, and media representation will be delegated to the AE and his or her staff.

It can be helpful for the president and AE to each keep a copy of this task list and refer to it throughout their leadership year together.