Welcome to LEAPS’ second post of 2020! This time, our Chair; Aimee, will be talking exclusively to leapsonline.co.uk about the importance of one of her main responsibilities as chair; delegating tasks and duties.
The crazy speed of always needing more
But when I stop
And see you here
I remember who all this was for
From Now On – The Greatest Showman
Becoming Chair of Listening Ear & Positive Support was sort of an accident; during our 2019 Annual General Meeting I put myself forward for the position of Deputy Chair when our previous Chair suggested I just ‘take the reins’ completely. I remember saying, “you want be to be actual Chair?!” Now, almost a year later, I feel that the position has really taught me a lot about having a management/supervisory role, especially about delegation and the art of having the ability – or in my case, finding the ability – to entrust a task or responsibility with someone other than yourself.
Managing to do things on my own became difficult after I spent over two years in a psychiatric hospital, because in there pretty much everything was done for you. The staff were in charge and there was a cook and a cleaner, so there was very little to do for yourself and by yourself which meant that on my discharge in 2014, I was so reliant on others that I wondered how on earth I would survive in my own home. It wasn’t just about hoovering and making dinner though, my mental illness also meant that I found taking good care of myself and particularly my body, very difficult. I couldn’t respect myself and my health because I didn’t think I deserved to.
All of this meant that after hospital I had to stay in a rehabilitation ‘ward’ for three months where I lived in a little bungalow and did everything for myself, but there was still staff (in their own bungalow down the road) present 24/7. It was the perfect aid in allowing me to adjust to independent living, and so when I got my own home in the community, I felt more capable of being able to look after myself and in my recovery, I learnt that I am deserving of being healthy and well.
These lessons have always stuck with me and have made me more independent and reliant on myself, but sometimes this hasn’t been such a hugely good thing; for example, when I was first promoted to Chair! Initially, I really struggled to delegate tasks and responsibilities to other members of the Committee and the group in general because I believed that if I were truly independent then I’d have the ability to take on all of these challenges by myself. It felt as though delegating would be weak of me and would seem as though I wasn’t ready to be Chair; but LEAPS being the supportive group that it is, I soon realized that this wasn’t the case. Everyone having faith in me and believing I could do a good job of things really motivated me to learn about delegating and so I began asking other Committee members to do tasks that previously, I would have just taken on myself.
LEAPS’ support through this uncertain period led me to make a huge recommendation to the group; I thought that we should take on a Social Media Manager to manage our Twitter account (which you can follow here) and this website. The reason their support inspired this move was because it made me really feel that I owe the group so much in return for it and I honestly felt that I wasn’t doing a good job of managing these aspects of LEAPS. A difficulty in making this decision was knowing that originally, I’d been taken on by LEAPS to do these tasks, so saying out loud that I was unable to maintain this responsibility felt almost like admitting defeat! I quickly turned that thought on its head though and realized that the best way I could carry out this task was by telling the group that I couldn’t do it efficiently. A bigger disservice to the group wouldn’t be recommending we take someone on to fulfill my old responsibilities, it would be failing to do a good job with my responsibilities.
To that end, I’d like to thank our members for their confidence in my abilities as Chair, and welcome our brand new Social Media Manager!