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Resource Management -- Question & Answer Listing  
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Question / Answer

Question:
Are a leader's technical competencies, or hard skills, more or less important than his/her leadership and interpersonal, or soft skills?

Answer:
Effective leaders should have both strong leadership skills and the appropriate technical skills to support the position he/she holds. Leading people takes more than charisma, good interpersonal skills, and effective organizational management abilities. These qualities are extremely important, but a leader should also possess some technical knowledge about the work his/her subordinates perform. Technical competency enhances a leaders ability to lead.

Question:
Are there any approval requirements for Family Readiness Groups (FRGs) and/or other private organizations associated with a military community to hold a fundraising event?

Answer:
Whomever is coordinating the event should discuss the proposed fundraiser with your organization’s commander, rear detachment officer, president, or other senior leader and get approval. In most military communities, you will have to submit a request letter to an approving authority to hold the fundraising event. Typically, this letter is submitted to the Directorate of Community Activities; however, contact your local command for specific guidelines. If you plan on holding the event at a concession or public area on post, you may also need to get permission from the manager in charge of that area (e.g., Post Exchange or Commissary manager). Consult the Army Family Readiness Leader’s Handbook, as well as the other resources provided, for more information on fundraising.

Question:
As a leader of (or advisor to) a volunteer organization, what information should I know about monetary resource issues?

Answer:
As a leader of (or advisor to) a volunteer organization, it is important for you to know everything you can about your organization’s budget. How much money do you need to maintain your programs and services? Are you provided with sufficient funds or do you need to seek donations? Most volunteer and/or nonprofit organizations have specific operating procedures that they must follow, specifically regarding financial matters. Learn the laws, regulations, and other legal restrictions that apply to your agency. Recognize that other organizations may be competing for funds in your military and/or civilian community. Seek information on the fiscal policies and resource decisions that govern and/or impact your organization and learn what you need to do to be competitive for those resources.

Question:
As a leader, how important is it to consider future needs when managing current resources?

Answer:
You should always consider future needs while managing current resources. Otherwise your efforts to reach those long-term goals will be futile. It is important to position people and resources now in order to accomplish long-term goals in the future. Learn more about strategic planning and resource management from the resources listed.

Question:
As a new leader of a volunteer organization, what can I do to prepare myself for situations out of my own area of expertise?

Answer:
Although a leader is expected to have a certain level of knowledge and skills to perform his/her job, a leader cannot possibly be an expert on all matters. One way to prepare yourself for situations you may not be as familiar with is to know what resources and expertise is available in your community or within your reach outside of your community. Identify community leaders and learn the talents and expertise of those within your organization and allow them to assist you when faced with situations that are out of your area of expertise. Oftentimes, they will welcome the opportunity to participate.

Question:
As the leader of a Family Readiness Group (FRG) or other volunteer organization, what do I need to know about managing resources?

Answer:
First of all, you need to be aware of any laws, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), regulations, etc. that are associated with your organization and/or the resources you have. For example, if one of your resources is having free use of a government facility for holding meetings, you need to know if there are any restrictions on its use and/or what your organization is responsible for in terms of maintenance on the property. There are very descriptive rules and regulations associated with a non-profit or private organization’s management of monetary resources. Check with your local community leaders for specific guidelines. Acknowledge and adhere to the appropriate standards for accountability of community resources. It is also wise to have some form of “checks and balances” to ensure resources are being handled properly. Challenge questionable behavior with direct and honest communication. The important thing to remember is that as a leader of an organization, you are ultimately responsible for that organization’s behavior.

Question:
Can volunteers be terminated?

Answer:
Although most program managers dread the thought of having to “fire” a volunteer, there are some instances where terminating a volunteer is necessary. Obviously, termination should be used as a last resort, following counseling, corrective action, retraining, etc. However, if the performance of the volunteer is such that the organization’s ability to provide quality service or products is hindered, it is the program manager’s responsibility to correct the situation. The same respect and fair treatment should be given to both paid and unpaid staff members. Be professional about the situation. Meet in private to preserve the dignity of the volunteer and yourself. Be direct and firm. Provide any administration details associated with the termination. It is important to have policies and practices in place that promote accountability and standards among your volunteers and paid staff and the program manager’s job to enforce them.

Question:
Do I need to make sure our Family Readiness Group (FRG) members have transporation to bring them to our FRG activities?

Answer:
As a Family Readiness Group (FRG) leader or Activity Coordinator for the FRG, it would certainly be a welcomed gesture to ask individual members if they have transportation issues that may prevent them from participating in your activities. Many FRGs ask their members to complete a survey for the purpose of gathering ideas about what members are interested in, how many children they have, medical or transportation issues, etc., which can help the FRG leader plan activities. You may have members who are unable to volunteer a lot of time to the FRG, but who might be willing to give others a ride to the meetings or events. Ask for volunteers. You are not responsible for solving everyone's problems, but it would surely be a welcomed idea if you helped coordinate rides for members who might otherwise not be able to participate in FRG activities.

Question:
How can a leader be confident about his/her decisions that severely impact an organization’s resources?

Answer:
As with any decision a leader makes, he/she should consider all the available information about the issue; analyze different courses of action (to include getting feedback from those affected by the decision) and select the most efficient and effective option before committing to a decision that will be costly to reverse.

Question:
How can I determine the types of resources I need to support a new business and how can I obtain those resources?

Answer:
The type of resources you need to start your business is dependent on the type of business itself. You need to do a lot of research about your area of interest and develop a business plan to outline your needs, your operational policies, and your strategy for success. Consult the Small Business Administration (SBA) district office in your area or their website. The U.S. Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration also has some information on self-employment on their website as well.
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