California PTA: Creating a positive leadership climate


The following content has been provided by the California State PTA. Please find the original content source here

A good PTA leader:

  • Should have basic PTA knowledge and a willingness to learn
  • Is willing to attend training opportunities to further understand the organization
  • Believes in people and helps others achieve goals
  • Communicates well orally and in writing
  • Delegates responsibility
  • Is willing to do the job others are unable to do

Leadership qualities

  • Knowledge of, and commitment to, PTA positions – A commitment to PTA’s views and beliefs is essential to being a PTA leader.
  • Good communication skills – Successful leadership also requires excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as active listening allowing you to be more empathetic with others. This includes the ability to offer constructive criticism.
  • Conflict management skills – An effective leader has the ability to stand back and see what is happening within the group, assure that each member is heard, and not allow anyone to feel alienated or insecure because of another’s ego or ambition.
  • Critical thinking skills – Critical thinking skills allow leaders to ask the right questions, select relevant data, weigh conflicting information, and determine the right course to follow.
  • Decision-making abilities – A good leader knows when to determine if additional resources or input is required and when it is time to end discussion and determine a course of action.
  • Faith in the process – A leader must have faith in the ability of everyday people to work to change school policy, succeed with a ballot initiative and engage in petition campaigns.
  • Encouragement of others – The true test of leadership is putting the national, state, and local PTA goals before your own. This involves delegating tasks and authority, complimenting others, thanking them and sharing credit.

The art of leadership is the ability to make what one is doing attractive to others … attractive enough for others to want to join and take on responsibilities!

Team leader: strategies for success

The holding of a leadership position does not always mean that the leader will be involved in all activities. Instead leadership often requires the surrender of one’s own wishes and letting the group decide as well as great amounts of patience. Consider these suggestions:

  • Always remember that whatever authority you have comes from the job and not from the person. You are the temporary holder of your position of responsibility.
  • Remember that there probably isn’t any single best way to do anything. The thought may jolt you a bit; progress will come only because, one day, a better way to do something than yours will be found.
  • Surround yourself with people who are knowledgeable about the organization. The more everyone knows, the better your organization will function – and the less likely big mistakes will happen.
  • Listen. Make it easy for people to talk to you.  Don’t assume you know what the problem is. Ask them to tell you.
  • Find out what your team members do best. Delegating authority is an extremely important aspect of leadership. Effective delegation can save time and energy, provide diversity in approaches and promote efficient use of human resources.
  • Load your team members with challenges and responsibilities. Do it as soon as possible.
  • Give them ample credit for accomplishments. Let them have no doubt their work is appreciated.
  • Expect that their competence will be discovered.
  • Do whatever you can to support the efforts of other volunteers, wherever they may be in your organization. If you want people to help you, you must help them.
  • Effective leaders must recognize that no one-leadership role will be appropriate at all times. Leadership roles must suit the situation as well as the needs and preferences of the team as well as the leader. Remember to remain flexible enough to switch roles if necessary.

For more thought-provoking content on leadership topics, check out CPTA’s website as well as ACSA’s leadership tips and other articles. Don’t forget that it is crucial to take some time to rest and relax and find work-life balance - practicing everyday mindfulness will help you reduce stress, sleep better, and focus on your priorities. 

ACSA is dedicated to providing K-12 administrators with relevant content and building events that focus on today’s most important school administration issues. Become a member and join us for our world-class Leadership Summit, Every Child Counts Symposium, professional development events, one-on-one mentorship program, ongoing Equity Project, statewide advocacy efforts, members-only benefits, and much more.

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