Leadership Transition Planning Guide
“It’s only a movement if it moves without you.” The following planning guide will ensure you are able to leave a legacy of leadership with your chapter as you graduate or transition leadership positions. The guide includes the following items:
- Why plan a leadership transition?
- Sample transition timelines
- Transition questions for incoming and outgoing officers to answer
Anna Mahalak, UNA-USA Youth Engagement Manager, is always available to help lead a virtual transition meeting for your chapter. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a call.
Why plan a leadership transition?
- Provide for the transfer of significant organizational knowledge.
- Minimizes the confusion of leadership changeover.
- Gives outgoing leaders a sense of closure.
- Celebrates the valuable contributions of experienced leaders.
- Helps incoming leadership absorb the special expertise of the outgoing leadership.
- Increases the knowledge and confidence of the new leadership.
- Minimizes the loss of momentum and accomplishments for the group.
Sample Transition Timeline
Spring Semester Transitions –
- February: Have current officers present at a meeting about what they do. Encourage members to get coffee with officers to learn about their positions.
- March: Elections or applications open. New officers selected after spring break.
- April: New and old officer retreat (before final exams). New officers register for UNA-USA Leadership Summit in Washington D.C.
- Late April/Early May: New officers meet for goal setting.
Fall Semester Transitions –
- October: Have current officers present at a meeting about what they do. Encourage members to get coffee with officers to learn about their positions.
- Early November: Elections or applications open. New officers selected before Thanksgiving.
- December: New and old officer retreat (before final exams).
- December/January: New officers meet for goal setting (before start of spring semester).
Transition Questions for Incoming Officers to Answer
- Goals for the position?
- What position-specific questions do I want to know about (timelines, duties, etc.)?
- Things I should do or want to do over the summer?
- Other students, faculty, and staff I should get to know?
- Resources and services I need to know about?
- Things I need to know about working with my campus advisor?
- One university policy I really want to know about?
- Other questions I want answered?
Transition Questions for Outgoing Officers to Answer
- Contact Information (cell phone, future email) and preferred method of contact?
- Email, website, or social media accounts/passwords to share?
- Timelines of important tasks/events?
- What forms does this officer position need to complete?
- How would you like to stay involved with the chapter (as an alumnus/a, serving on a committee or as an advisor, etc.)?
- What made you successful in the position?
- What challenges did you face in the position?
- Who did you work with in this role?
- What is a goal you had that you were not able to start/complete?
- Any other unfinished business for the incoming officer to be aware of?
- Things I wish I’d known before I took office were…
- One university policy I didn’t expect or really had trouble with was…