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Raritan Valley Group > Leader Resources > 2014 Leader Training
Training Dates (For Chapters and Groups East of the Mississippi)

Session 1   Tuesday, February 18 at 6pm CT, 7pm ET
Session 2   Tuesday, March 11 at 6pm CT, 7pm ET
Session 3   Tuesday, April 1 at 6pm CT, 7pm ET
Session 4   Tuesday, April 22 at 6pm CT, 7pm ET
Session 5   Tuesday, May 13 at 6pm CT, 7pm ET
Session 6   Tuesday, June 3 at 6pm CT, 7pm ET
Session 7   Tuesday, June 24 at 6pm CT, 7pm ET

Subj: Leadership Training Applications due January 20 
Date: 1/13/2014 8:00:25 PM Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet 

November 12, 2013

To:  Chapter &Group Leaders
From:  The Leadership Training Team
Re:  2014 Winter/Spring Chapter &Group Leadership Team Training 

Dear Chapter &Group Leaders,

The Sierra Club will be offering Leadership Training to Chapter and Group ExComs in the Winter/Spring training session which begins February, 2014.

This learning opportunity is targeted at helping your ExCom build the most effective chapter or group possible to accomplish your goals.

Both Chapters and Groups may apply - AND Chapters may want to nominate and work with a group that it wants to be part of this training in order to help revitalize that group.

To increase your power, rather than take up your time, the training is offered remotely as a conference call training, and we have you recruit a team of Chapter or Group leaders to participate along with you as a core leadership team, so you can support one another and translate what you learn in the training to the real work of your ExCom.

Training Approach

The training is focused on core EXCOM LEADERSHIP TEAMS, rather than on individual leaders, because it is difficult for one leader to engage in real problem-solving by themselves without support and buy-in from other members of their ExCom. So you will work together as a team to assess how you are doing, identify what you want to do differently, get broader ExCom buy-in, and follow through on implementing the changes you want to make.

Because training sessions are only 90 minutes, and not a weekend, you need to familiarize yourself with the training materials and do a certain amount of work to PREPARE FOR EACH CALL.

The calls are INTERACTIVE, allowing you to share ideas with other ExCom leaders, and work together as a leadership team.

The training is conducted over a period of six months in order to provide you with ONGOING SUPPORT and to help you in real time to address the real things that will make you more effective at achieving your conservation goals.

We provide you with a COACH, so you have someone to facilitate the discussions, ask the questions that need to be asked, provide an outside perspective - and yes - to nag you to get your work done and push you to achieve more than you would on your own.

The coaches will continue to work with you for an additional month after the last training call to support you as you implement your EXCOM ACTION PLANS. The content of your plans and the nature of that support are up to you and your coach.

Training Structure

There are two main components to the training: a series of seven conference call training sessions that will link all participants by phone, and a coaching call just for your team following each training session. The training sessions are 90 minutes in length, starting in February, and are spaced three weeks apart. The roster of sessions is as follows:

Session 1: Assessing and Planning to Achieve Conservation Victories: Reflect on the core functions of ExComs, learn how to develop and implement a planning process, understand how your state and local goals can contribute to a more powerful national strategy.

Session 2: Creating a High-Performing ExCom Team: Learn how to build a high-performing ExCom team that achieves significant results by examining trust building, team norms, operating procedures, decision-making practices and accountability strategies.

Session 3: Structuring Productive ExCom Meetings: Learn how to transform your agendas and get important work done. Explore new ideas on crafting meeting agendas, running productive meetings and following up on action items.

Session 4: Developing an Effective 21st Century Communications Strategy: Learn how your Chapter or Group can develop a comprehensive communications strategy to expand your outreach and effectiveness; explore the benefits and uses of new communications technologies.

Session 5: Expanding Opportunities for Meaningful Engagement with the Club: Assess your current mix of engagement activities; learn successful strategies to engage many more new people in your work.

Session 6: Attracting a more Diverse Generation of Sierra Club Leaders: Learn how to create a more welcoming and inclusive Club; identify specific strategies to diversify your leadership and community partnerships that will benefit your conservation efforts.

Session 7: Expanding your Leadership to build a larger Environmental Movement: Assess your local leadership resources; learn how to recruit and develop new, more diverse leaders and teams that expand your capacity to make a difference in your communities.

Training Benefits

After this training, you will:

-- Have more clarity on how your work fits into the larger organization
-- Have more clarity on the role and expectations of an Executive Committee
-- Understand how to assess chapter/group strengths and weaknesses,
    and translate that learning into an action plan
-- Improve the process by which you set priorities and follow up on them
-- Improve the functioning of your ExCom to engage more effectively in chapter or group work
-- Transform your meetings to get more done in less time
-- Develop a 21st century communications strategy
-- Engage many more new people in Club activities
-- Expand your leadership in order to be part of a broader environmental movement 
-- Build a culture of fundraising in which all leaders find a role to play
    in which they are comfortable and capable

Training Dates (For Chapters and Groups East of the Mississippi)

Session 1   Tuesday, February 18 at 6pm CT, 7pm ET
Session 2   Tuesday, March 11 at 6pm CT, 7pm ET
Session 3   Tuesday, April 1 at 6pm CT, 7pm ET
Session 4   Tuesday, April 22 at 6pm CT, 7pm ET
Session 5   Tuesday, May 13 at 6pm CT, 7pm ET
Session 6   Tuesday, June 3 at 6pm CT, 7pm ET
Session 7   Tuesday, June 24 at 6pm CT, 7pm ET
To Apply for the Training 1. Read the Mutual Agreement below.

2. Recruit ExCom members and other key chapter or group leaders who will commit to participate with you throughout the entire training program (you must have a minimum of four leaders; more is better). Some of your best candidates would be your Vice-Chair, Conservation Chair, and (for chapters) a senior staff person or chapter coordinator.

3. Complete the Mutual Agreement form and return it to Greg Casini by January 20. Chapters and groups will be chosen based on the size of their teams and their perceived level of commitment, and notified by January 31.

This training will be conducted on the phone and over the internet. Participants will need to have access to a phone and a computer for the duration of this training.


If you have questions about this training, contact

Virtual Training for Chapter &Group Leadership Teams - Mutual Agreement


The Training: This training is intended for a core leadership team who will work together to translate learning into action to improve chapter or group effectiveness. The expectation is that there will be 3 to 9 people from each Chapter or Group working together with the Chair to ensure a highly effective ExCom. You may be seasoned leaders or new volunteers, but the common thread should be your commitment to learning and applying new skills to the real work of your ExCom.

There are two main components to the training: a series of seven conference call-based training sessions, and individual coaching between sessions. Training sessions will be 90 minutes each, starting in February and spaced three weeks apart. Each leadership team will have an assigned coach. Coaching calls will be conducted between the training calls and the coaches will continue to support the core leadership team through July. The coach will serve as a sounding board and help to facilitate the implementation of training lessons into ExCom practices. The coach will also be on point for the teams to give feedback to the trainers.

The Trainers' Commitment:
-- We will be prepared to offer quality training for all participants
-- We will offer training that is relevant and useful to participating teams
-- We will solicit and accept constructive feedback on
   the progress of the training sessions and coaching

Your Commitment:
-- Make this training a priority - devoting the necessary time
-- Come to the sessions prepared and actively participate
-- Complete any pre- or post-session work assignments
-- Work with your coach / teammates to "make up" a missed session
-- Apply the skills and practices learned to your ExCom work
-- Build a working relationship with your coach
-- Provide honest feedback to the coach and trainers to help shape this and future trainings
During this process, we will be using some technologies that will be new to you and to this group of trainers. The trainers will do their best to ensure that the technology is appropriate and functional, but there is an element of experimentation here. All parties need to have some patience.