Being a PTA leader is much more than managing duties and responsibilities. Being a leader also includes the ability to identify and empower others to carry out the mission and vision of PTA. One of the questions you may ask as a leader or emerging leader is: What motivates others to stay engaged in the work of PTA?
Do you remember when you started in PTA? Do you remember the motivations that led you to take a leadership role? The first question is easy to answer, but for the second one, you might have to think a little bit more. However, the answer to the second question is why you are still actively involved in Today’s PTA. It is precisely that motivation that others see in you and should encourage them to seek PTA leadership roles.
Your unique motivation helps build a diverse and active PTA leadership team. Motivation comes from the Latin word motivus or motus meaning “cause of motion”. The Free Dictionary defines motivation as, “the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior.” It is your motivation that keeps us aligned with the vision and mission of the association. Therefore, identifying leaders is not difficult, but it is important to identify your motivations and how these impact leadership growth and development for aspiring PTA leaders.
- To assess your leadership motivations, ask yourself:
- What motivates you to stand up as parent leader?
- How do you see yourself contributing to PTA one year from now?
- What do you expect to achieve as a leader?
- Which areas of your leadership are you looking to develop?
These questions will help you to bridge a relationship with other PTA members and align your motivations to help advance the PTA mission and vision.
Megan, my former PTA leader and mentor, asked me the same questions. Megan was willing to support my leadership development through challenging personal times. As a minority, I wondered if I was right for a PTA leadership position. Yet, under her mentorship as a PTA leader, I felt confident and secure. Her motivation inspired me!
My circumstances, as a parent with younger children and limited time, were not a barrier because Megan helped me assess my unique motivations and focus on my leadership potential. In time, I returned the favor by identifying another emerging PTA leader!
Seeking diverse leadership is rewarding. It is how we grow Today’s PTA. I wish you much success in your current PTA leadership role or path to leadership.
Armen Alvarez is the multicultural membership development manager for National PTA.