Leadership turnover needs tailored approach

April 23, 2013

By Iman Baghai

Every year, high school seniors graduate, and every year, people need to step up to fill the shoes that these seniors leave behind.

Iman Baghai Issaquah      High School

Iman Baghai
Issaquah High School

In many high school programs, students spend their entire high school careers pouring their hearts and souls into their activities and often rising as student leaders. But, more often than not, their zeniths at these positions are short-lived, as these leaders move onto college and beyond. Once they leave, others come in and these transitions can be graceful or ugly.

One of these organizations is the Junior State of America, the largest student-run organization in the country that works to fight civic apathy. Every year, delegates elect new student leaders.

When it comes to leadership transitions, “It can be difficult at times, though less so than you might expect … and students are generally good at passing knowledge onto the next year of student leaders,” Stephen Bayne, the Pacific Northwest program director for JSA, said.

The real gut of the issue every year isn’t who you work with. Rather, what’s most important is that “stuff needs to get done, though I suppose if they aren’t as good as the year before it might make me have to work harder,” Bayne said.

But, even something like that is fixable.

“It takes time, but I have to figure out how to tailor [my] approach to fit them,” he said.

At the end of the day, new leaders arise to help the organization progress. Stephen watches them grow because he knows that they’ll be gone one day.

The whole process “is very bittersweet,” he said.


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