DoWhatYouCanWere you recently elected to a parent group leadership position? Congratulations! You'll see your dining room table again in a couple of years.

While I likely can't help you reclaim your table, I can help you with three tips for making your new job a success:

1. Tread lightly when it comes to your predecessors and change. You can and should suggest and make changes and improvements, but you'll have the most luck if you do so while also being careful about how you describe the work of those who preceded you. You can change things with or without the support of the more experienced leaders -- which do you think is more effective? Here's my take on bridging the newbie-veteran gap.

2. Focus on serving families and creating a warm environment first. All of your other success (especially fundraising success and adding volunteers) comes from those connections. Focusing mainly on fundraising is the most common new leader error.

3. If your group hasn't tapped into systems that make leadership easier and more effective, be the leader who makes that happen. Two examples: Is your treasurer using a PTO treasurer tool like our Finance Manager? Do you keep track of all your parents and email them through a volunteer tool like our Volunteer Manager software?

Above all: Try to have fun, even when it's hard. Sunshine and laughter can make the work better for you and for all.