Stephanie Krueger
2022–2023 National Mentoring for Leadership Ambassador

VFWA Headshots 2022

We are already at the end of the first quarter of the 2022–2023 Auxiliary Program Year!

There was so much to do in those early months in all the Programs and leadership roles we hold. Deadlines to meet and plans made that now need to be accomplished. All it takes is a team to accomplish plans and goals made for this year and well into the future. And that is where we need to get going. Future plans are accomplished easier if we include new people into the fold. They might be a long-time member or totally new to the workings of our organization.

The point of Mentoring for Leadership is meeting ALL members where they are at and helping to nurture their particular passion. That allows them to slowly but surely become the next leaders. Some will step right up and throw themselves into the organization and events. Others will want to learn one new thing over time. Still others will sit back, afraid to get involved with a group of strangers. So, we meet them where they are today and get them, at their own pace to the place they want to be.

Programs and activities need workers; Auxiliaries need Officers and Chairmen. We need to help all members reach their potential as leaders. How long do we want to do so much of the work alone? How long until we are gone? Until we move, get busy with our jobs, families, aging parents and our own health? How long do we want to store all our knowledge and expertise in our brains and not share it? Someone taught, or at least assisted you, in your early Auxiliary years. The time is now to step up and help the next generation of willing Auxiliary workers.

Have you found a way to make mentoring a fun activity in your Auxiliary? Members are more likely to stay around when fun is involved. Figure out how to get mentors and mentees involved in activities that they enjoy. Make a game of learning and sharing what we know. No one likes to do chores. That’s a fact. But when the everyday activities include some fun, we all benefit from that. When I was a new Auxiliary member, we used to go for pie and coffee after a meeting. Not to rehash what we just did, but to answer questions on how and why we do things. The coffee and pie were the reward we gave ourselves, and the things I learned are still with me today.

Most of those mentors are gone but the knowledge they shared is still with me after more than 40 years. Become that to someone who is starving for knowledge and a friend with whom to share the work. Mentoring has no deadlines to meet, except to share our knowledge while we are still around. Who knows, you might learn something yourself if you give it a try.