American Legion Emblem


To some the title “leader” implies a domineering, take-charge, charismatic individual. Leadership isn't an adjective. You don't need to be an extrovert or charismatic to be a leader. Most members define leadership as the ability to achieve a position, not the ability to get followers.


Leadership is a mindset in action; it stems from social influence, not authority or power. Leadership has nothing to do with titles. You can be a leader in the work place, your neighborhood, your family, and/or our organization, all without having a title.


How to be a Good Leader


1. Be knowledgeable - it is not necessary to be an expert on everything, but basic knowledge is essential.


    a. Familiarize yourself with documents that govern the operation of your unit or committee.

    b. Posses a level of familiarity with programs of the American Legion Auxiliary.

    c. Strengthen knowledge on Parliamentary Procedure.

    d. Know the process for the appropriation and control of money.


2. Be Passionate - A good leader exhibits excitement; and through demonstrated, unswerving commitment to our vision, instills hope and inspiration to other members. A good leader “walks the talk” and in doing so earns the right to lead.


3. Listen - If you exhibit a proper attitude in listening, really listening, to your members the potential for identifying new opportunities will emerge. Instill in yourself, and others, that listening is an opportunity to grow. In the end, your success as a leader will be predicated upon your ability to listen and understand the viewpoint of others.


4. Have a Positive Attitude - Leaders should have an upbeat, optimistic attitude that serves as a source of     inspiration for others. If leaders seem discouraged or apathetic, members are likely to also become uninspired and demotivated.


     a. Be a cheerleader. Motivate others by your enthusiasm.

     b. Follow up with your members to ensure they are achieving the goals, objectives and milestones            



5. Lead with Integrity - A good leader must possess unquestionable character and lead with integrity. Integrity gives you so much as a leader; credibility, trust, confidence, influence and more.



Plan of Action

6. Lead by Example - Who says leadership is a one-way relationship? As you work toward developing leadership qualities in yourself, don't forget to look to your fellow members for feedback and inspiration.


    a. Pay attention to the things that have been effective in the past and always be on the lookout for new ways

        to inspire, motivate and reward your members.

    b. Be willing to delegate responsibility – use the talent of others!

    c. Always instill a climate of goodwill.

    d. Be respectful. Remember those all-important “shout outs” to deserving members and certainly the two           

       most important words, Thank you. Do you care about your members and strive to help build leadership       

        capacity in them?


7. Be Confident - Be aware of the way and manner which you present yourself. Bearing is everything! Be confident and decisive in your decision making. Members will pick up on your approach to leadership and find reassurance, clear direction and security when a leader portrays confidence and positive demeanor.


8. Act Professionally- As a leader, you should be cordial to all of your members. You should also recognize the importance of dressing appropriately, showing up for meetings on time, and communicating in a professional manner. Your goals and expectations should be clear from the beginning. Members will be more motivated and less confused. Tell them that their perspective is crucial to your success.



Leadership Awards

Unit Award: Leadership Training Award

Award Type: Citation: one in each division(5)

Presented to: One unit Leadership chairman who best demonstrates innovative methods to help members develop the leader within.

Materials and guidelines:

1. Narrative not to exceed 1000 words.

2. Pictures and examples are encouraged

3. Types of training provided

4. Number of members attending leadership skills workshops/training

5. Attach an award cover sheet, including the name of the award, as well as the name and contact information for the department and unit Leadership chairman.


Contact information for Questions:


Additional Resources:

   a. ALA Seniors Basics Course: A Course on our History and Legacy

   b. Junior Leadership Course: “The ALA: My Organization and What I need to Know to Grow as a Member”

   c. Power Point: “Officer Duties and Responsibilities”

   d. How to Sheets

   e. Unit Guide Book

   f. National Constitution & Bylaws

   g. New Member Packet, refer to Membership Programs Action Plan How To Sheets

   h. Members Only section – filled with valuable information for all members: Membership and new members     

       suggestions and sample information; Member Resources and Benefits; Department and Unit Resources 

       for Support Tools

2. Robert's Rules of Order

3. Basic Parliamentary Procedure

4. Your national committee members (see national plan of action for list of names)

5. American Legion Flag & Emblem sales: 1-888-4LEGION,,

    P.O. Box 36460, Indianapolis, IN 46236-0460


Plan of Action

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