Think for a moment about what it means garner a far-out idea, convince other people to sign on to it and then set the wheels in motion to make it happen. It's easier than you think. Getting the masses to follow you into the woods is also something that anyone has the ability to do. They key is believing you can do it, and believing in what you are doing. Your heart must be in it.
I was never considered a leader prior to the 1994 MAA event. To this day I am horrible at the act of delegating. It used to take fighting back every cell in by body to assign important tasks to others, but I can do it now. Having said that the events which myself and countless others planned were great teaching grounds for what works and what doesn't when it comes to leading people and building a team. The following tips are hewn by glorious successes and hard lessons.
Believe In It
Like a candidate running for office, you must have passion for the cause. You must be able to pull people into the dream and the quest before they will walk a mile for it. It must be genuine and sincere. It must be based on something real that people will want to be a part of and get a lot out of. You must be able to carry the message to those on your team and share the rewards of success with them. They must believe in you and trust in you.
Find Good People
They are out there. Find people who are filled with soul and passion to be the best. This will compensate for knowledge and expertise more than they will compensate for the passion. If someone has an affinity for something, turn them loose on it and stay out of their way. If you must micromanage someone you are not a good leader. If they fail, lift them up. Most people will know it when you have handed them something of importance and will act accordingly.
Words Mean Things
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't wave the flag unless you are going to march with it. It is better to under-promise and over deliver. These are all old sayings but they are on the money. People will not follow or put their trust in someone who misleads them or is not forthcoming. Communicate blue in the face with your team and make sure that they always know where you are on things. My biggest leadership failures have been based on lack of adequate communication and not clearly laying out my intentions. If issues come up that cause confusion or misunderstanding, always square it away immediately and be sure that people understand before moving on.
Fairness in Leadership
From day to day, your leadership needs to be steady and unwavering. You need to get your message straight because when the time comes you must repeat it always. Your solidity will be an anchor for those people investing their time and money in your event. At the same time you must be flexible to the changing needs of the event. You can make adjustments without giving up the principles upon which you are operating. The integrity of your event must be balanced with fairness and peoples enjoyment of it.
Consistency in the Team
In large events where many participants are involved, your team needs to be consistent with one another. Participants should get the same answers from everyone. If everyone isn't on the same page, confusion and upset can occur. If the event spans a couple days, have regular meetings in the morning and at night to go over the game plan and resolve any issues that may come up. Changes in the course or policy of an event happen and that is okay as long as everyone is on board.
Reward the Team
At milestones of the event, be sure to recognize and compensate the team members in some fashion for their work. People will volunteer if they know their efforts are appreciated. When credit is given to you for a great job, never accept it singularly. Be sure to note the fact that it was a team effort and that it would not have been possible without everyone's hard work and planning.