Keep-The-Momentum-GoingCan you develop impatient patience? No, that's not a typo.

To succeed as a PTO or PTA leader for the long term, you need to be able to keep pushing change and improvement along. You need to lead your group with a bit of impatience to get things done, make improvements, and make a real difference at your school. Without a leader who keeps a steady push for change, it's too easy for volunteer groups to sort of exist and survive and be "just OK."

But you also have to regulate your Type A tendencies and add patience. Volunteer organizations and schools are generally very slow to change. I've seen too many great volunteers give up because of frustration with pace. They want every smart idea and every new idea implemented perfectly right now. And that's not how school parent groups work.

What we all want and what our schools need are great volunteers who stick around for years and help your group and your school serve kids as well as you can. If you're a procrastinator, it helps to find a fellow leader with the action gene. And if you're a go-go leader, you're going to want to temper your expectations and remind yourself frequently that long-term, steady, good work has real value, too.

We have some great resources on being an effective leader, including:

Are You Ready To Lead?

The Secret to Successful Leadership