How do you build a success-driven team for your animal welfare organization? Whether you work at a shelter or volunteer at a rescue, said Mark Peralta of Best Friends Animal Society – Los Angeles, “You need to find people who will work along side you and carry out your vision.”
In his presentation at the 2016 Best Friends Animal Society Conference, Building a Powerful No-Kill Team: How to Recognize and Cultivate Leaders, Peralta shared how to find these types of teammates, how to keep them engaged, and tips to identify leadership.
In both yourself and others, he said, “Identifying strength and weaknesses is key… Don’t pretend to be an expert in something you’re not. Have other people who are experts in that area.”
Here are some of Peralta’s tips for finding the right people:
- Remember that your team needs different players. “A baseball team doesn’t need three shortstops. You need a pitcher, a catcher, etc. The same goes for your shelter or rescue group.” Identify all the different positions and skills that you need for each.
- Once you identify your positions, job descriptions are key. “They are a must for staff, but they’re great for volunteers, too.” Let people know exactly what they’ll be doing and what expectations you have. “What do you value in each position?” Be specific.
- Have a good process in place. That way, “People know what to expect, and you do, too.”
- Decide where to look. “There are obvious places, like LinkedIn and other social media. There are also industry sites like animalsheltering.org.” Decide if you want someone who’s been in the industry, or if you want someone outside the industry with a fresh or different perspective. That will help determine where to look.
Even if you have all the talent and experts in the world, he reminded attendees, you have to have them on the same page. “There’s nothing worse than having a bunch of people rowing a boat, and some people are rowing in a different direction than others,” he said. “A good leader will verbalize what he or she wants to accomplish.”
To learn more about engaging and developing a successful team, watch Peralta’s full presentation here.