How To Be a First-Rate Vice President

by Rose Hamilton


PTO Vice PresidentIf you’ve been elected PTO or PTA vice president, congratulations! And if you feel unsure of what you’ll be doing, don’t worry. Lots of new vice presidents initially felt that way.

Of all the board positions, the vice president’s job can seem the most unclear. Often, it’s described as “assisting the president,” which can mean any number of things. While you may not have as defined a set of tasks as your group’s treasurer and secretary, you can still play a crucial role.

To make the most out of your time as vice president, consider these dos and don’ts for next year:

  • Do talk to the president about your role. Technically, the vice president is subordinate to the president and should accept tasks, within reason, that the president assigns. But each situation is unique and your president may want to divvy up jobs and projects.

  • Don’t assume the president wants a partner. Some will consider their VP a sounding board and confidante. Others are more comfortable with a clear division of responsibilities.

  • Do ask the president if there is a project you can manage. This will not only reduce the president’s workload, but it will also give you focus. What’s more, if you can see something through from start to finish, you’ll get a true sense of accomplishment.

  • Don’t start up projects or jump onto committees without giving the president a heads-up. You shouldn’t feel a need to report your every move, but you don’t want the president thinking you’re competing to be top dog. The key is to keep the president in the loop so you work well together.

  • Do be a mentor. There are bound to be new volunteers who haven’t a clue, and you are in a great position to guide them.

To help you in your new role, read our article on the vice president’s job.  Also, we have many handy leadership articles on our resources page for vice presidents.

Have a great year!

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