I’ve learned so much from the Learning Leaders Fieldbook created by the MASIE Center that I had to create a blog series to share the insights.  You can check out Part 1 of the series here.  The MASIE Center created the fieldbook to focus on the creation, role and function of a Learning CEO.

In today’s piece, I’d like to cover the “Clock Model” mentioned in the fieldbook and relate that model to volunteer leadership.

Picture a numbered clock.  The leader is in the 12 o’clock position.  At the center of the clock (the point around which the hands rotate).  As you build your team, the best thing you can do is find leaders with complementary leadership skills to your own and to each other.  The idea is to keep attuned to the skills on the team and continually fill in the gaps on the clock.

“The key is to hire opposites to counter-balance great (strong) individual leaders: opposites in terms of style as well as experiences, perspectives and approaches. That seems counter-intuitive to success because, on the surface, you just hired a team primed for hostility, conflict, strife and delay. But, if they have a common set of values, if they fundamentally agree on how and why they are going to work together, then the real fighting is over and their discussions will be about how to successfully achieve those goals and that vision.”

I think the clock model works for staff teams and volunteer leadership.

1.  Center your team around shared values.

2.  Develop a diverse team – if they are all the same, you will always lack perspective.

3.  Seek talented, strong leaders and believe they can work together.

4.  As you fill your volunteer teams, you have to commit to stay away from the strain of not having enough leaders and be strategic in your recruiting.  Filling spots never works.