KTA: Building a Strong Leadership Team


Do you ever think: “Wow there are so many campaigns we could be working on, if only we had more people to share the load!” Many of us across the state have hosted public events in June, or are gearing up for summer fair booths and other ways to meet new people and reconnect with neighbors we haven’t seen in years. How do you get new folks to take on leadership roles so that we can build our movement for human dignity and democracy? This month’s Kitchen Table Activity is focused on building your group’s leadership team through one on one conversations so you can take on new projects or expand on existing ones! When your group is struggling to establish directions, complete projects or get critical mass to a meeting (or even to have a meeting!), it is a good time to consider beefing up your leadership team.


If you’ve ever been added to an email list where someone is asking for people to sign up to lead a committee, join the leadership team, or take on the role of Treasurer, chances are you’ve thought to yourself “Someone else would be more qualified for that.” So instead of general calls for volunteers, this month we’re reaching out to specific people whose skills you have seen in action, and asking them to fill a specific role.

Last month’s KTA shared tools on welcoming new folks onto your group’s email list, into your monthly potluck, or to your regular meetings, and reminded you to add them to your cleaned-up county database. This month we are moving people one rung higher on the “leadership ladder,” inviting them to take on a leadership role in your human dignity group bigger than one they have done before.


1. Sit down with your existing leadership team members and brainstorm a list:

    • Who do you want to invite into a more significant leadership position in your organization?
    • What specific strengths do they have that make them a good fit for that role?
    • When would be the best time to meet up with them and who from your team is best suited to have that meeting?

2. Practice as a team! After many years of social distancing, making new connections can feel awkward. Do a run-through with everyone so folks can shake off the cobwebs. How do you want to present this role to your potential new leaders?

3. Go time! Reach out to the people you think are most strategic to bring in and set up a time to meet for coffee or go for a walk.

  1. Make a genuine connection with the person.
  2. Provide context on the role you hope they will fill, why you think they would be a good fit, and ask them directly if they would like to fill it.
  3. Listen and discuss: Perhaps they want a smaller or larger role, make room for them to find their place in your group.
  4. Discuss next moves: do they want time to think about it? Do they want specific support in getting oriented to the role? Get clear on what they need and when you will talk next.

4. Update your database. The May KTA encouraged groups to clean up their database so it’s ready for use. Keep it updated every month to make sure it stays a useful tool!

5. Follow up! Make sure that whatever you committed to in the meeting, you stick to. Life gets busy and sending a quick thank you or reminder can ensure the conversation doesn’t end after just one meeting.

6. Let us know how it went so we can share your experiences with folks across rural Oregon! Send us a note to emma@rop.org. We’d love to hear from you!