Wanted: True Believers

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by Edwina Klemm


If we placed a want ad for volunteers, what should it include? Should we seek someone who has nothing but time, someone who could spend entire days working on projects for Legal Secretaries International? Should we seek experienced volunteers who have worked for other associations and have great public speaking or organizational abilities? Or should we seek "true believers" to advance our goals?

"True believers" are those who believe in legal secretaries, believe in their professional association, and believe in putting their time (and often their money) where their membership is-working for the members, working to promote legal secretaries. True believers come in all sizes, shapes, and ages. They may start out doing small jobs, but soon become so committed to the organization that they want to do more, help more. They move into positions of leadership, but they don't stop and rest, they keep on working.

Every worker must be committed enough to accept the challenge and see the job through to completion. Knowing what the job entails and knowing you can budget your time and talents to its completion are the first steps in accepting the challenge. Officers and directors must have a talent for organization, the ability to delegate tasks, and the people skills to follow up and see that tasks are carried out without conveying an "If you haven't done it, just forget it, I'll do it myself" attitude. It is not enough just to be elected; we cannot just "talk the talk," we must "walk the talk." True believers continue to work, no matter what position they have attained; it doesn't matter to them that the work being done affords no moment in the spotlight, no personal glory. They work for love of the profession and the association. And they teach others along the way, training them to step up and take over.

It takes many dedicated volunteers to run this association. We need the help of every member, no matter how small they feel their contribution may be. From introducing someone to membership to working on the committee hosting a meeting, from certification to outside program development, if you are willing to work, we have a job suited to the time you have available. If you would like to serve your professional association of choice, but you're not sure where or how, contact the director of the area in which you have an interest to see what you can do. We have a place for you.

Get involved-you'll find the work fun and rewarding, certainly not in a monetary fashion, but the feeling of accomplishment, enhanced self-worth, better public speaking ability, more knowledge of your association, and increased ability to perform at your highest level are surely priceless. You and your professional association both win. And what could be better?

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Edwina Klemm, PLS, is a charter member of Legal Secretaries International Inc. and is presently serving as President. She has attained certification as a Professional Legal Secretary and is the author of our Legal Secretary’s Creed. Edwina is also currently serving as president of Legal Secretaries of Texas and has held numerous positions, including president, of other professional associations.  She regularly serves as a seminar instructor and frequently contributes articles for In Brief.