Convention Events and Programming => Elections => Elections Archives => Topic started by: kjayers on September 10, 2015, 09:55:20 pm

Title: Candidate Q&A - Director of Membership 2016
Post by: kjayers on September 10, 2015, 09:55:20 pm
This thread is for questions and answers for the candidates for the 2016 Director of Membership of Altonimbus Entertainment.

Please remember the following when participating in the Q&A threads. The normal forum code of conduct (https://www.kumoricon.org/forums/index.php?topic=11025.0) applies, except:

There is a partial exemption to the rule that forum discussion cannot be about a person. You may incorporate personal comments, including praise or criticism, into your election questions and answers, and ensuing discussion, but only regarding candidates who are running for a position, or about another person if it is directly entangled with an issue germane to the outcome of the election. In so doing, you must still exercise standard courtesy, and refrain from profanity, disruption of the discussion, excessive vitriol, and irrelevant comments. Please keep in mind that there will be an opportunity for spoken comments at the elections meeting.
Title: Re: Candidate Q&A - Director of Membership 2016
Post by: kjayers on September 12, 2015, 02:58:51 pm
In most departments, the director does not need to be a subject matter expert; instead, the department needs to be led by a people-manager who hires subject matter experts.

What resources have you used to develop your managerial style?  What should your direct reports expect from you as a supervisor?
Title: Re: Candidate Q&A - Director of Membership 2016
Post by: opalhawk on September 21, 2015, 02:58:43 pm
What resources have you used to develop your managerial style?

Throughout my time volunteering as staff at conventions for the last 8 years, and through my own professional career, I have been fortunate enough to work under some fantastic managers, and have done what I can to learn from them.  I've also had the opportunity to work under some managers who were less than exemplary, but I've also used that to learn - in some ways, it's just as important to learn how you shouldn't behave.

One of the best managers I've ever had jokingly referred to himself as "the janitor" only to his employees.  He said this as a joke because he used that as his mentality for management - We, as his employees, do the work he hired us to do, and he'll clean up any messes that get made along the way.  That mindset always stuck with me.

What should your direct reports expect from you as a supervisor?

My main philosophy is this: I am here to assist my direct reports. I've hired them because I know that they know what they're doing.  My job is to put them in a position that will help them to work to their strengths, and know how to set up our organization so we can counter their weaknesses (because we all have weaknesses. My job is to help them complete things they may need assistance getting done on their own or, if it's something I'm not capable of assisting with, to get them to the people who can, and to help them get it done.  Even if everything's going fine, I check in regularly to make sure everything's going okay.

On that note, my job is also to take care of my employees - to make sure that they're not miserable or upset, and if they are, to also help with that!

I've worked in registration and/or membership for 8 years now, and played a major part in transitioning it into what it is today.  This directorate is most definitely my baby.  I have a defining goal and vision for how I want things to work, but that doesn't mean I'm not flexible either with the end goal or how we can work to it.  My goal is to support my staff and lead them to what I want them to achieve.  It's been pretty effective so far, as when I get the right people in the right positions, I'm usually able to accomplish more than I planned for!

I want things to work.  When mail-out pre-registration wasn't working, I tried in-person pickup.  When that didn't work or decrease attendee wait time, I transitioned it to all live-printing, as well as completely restructuring how our management system works in Registration.  I am not afraid to make significant changes in order to make things work better.  This does require a bit of a "roll with the punches" attitude sometimes, when I drastically change a plan because it wasn't working.  However, people who have worked with me before can tell you there's definitely a method to my madness.  And although it can be drastic, it's not sudden: I'm a planner.  I'm good at giving us a fair amount of work that we can get done throughout the course of the year.  I'm not a fan of slamming it all in at the end, so even though there may be a lot of work, but it's never overwhelming.

I do favor the carrot, over the stick - I constantly thank and try to provide rewards for people who have helped me, and am continually trying to make rewarding employees more of an effort.  Some of our departments have a lot of training, or pre-convention work to do, and I always make an effort to try and provide food or at least do something to thank them for their time.  This is a volunteer gig, and they're not getting paid, so I do what I can to try and make things worthwhile.

Thanks for hearing me out.  I am so excited about our move to the OCC, and can't wait to see what my team can accomplish!  We had a great group this year, we moved MOUNTAINS getting us to where we need to be for our transition to this bigger venue, and I hope they all come back.