In business and non-profit settings, there is a is a constant need to continually recruit and develop leaders and volunteers. But how does that happen? There are an endless number of theories, but let’s take a look at a tried and true sports method: the draft board. Every professional sports league does it, yet the NFL has turned it into an event unto itself.

In theory, the draft is simple: the 32 NFL teams pick college students who will have a chance to play for their team. Yet the complexity of this event causes it to be an incredibly fascinating event to watch. Hundreds of hours go into each and every pick. Each team has some sort of “draft board” that helps them visualize who they want with each pick.

As a leader, you need to maintain a “draft board” of people you are either recruiting or training. This habit helps you focus on the people around you that need to develop. I recommend creating a physical board for your draft board. Why? Because it will always be in front of you, and that reminder will put those names in your thoughts regularly.

On my desk at work, I have about six Post-It notes on my desk. On these Post-Its I have specific names I am trying to recruit, as well as names of people who I think can connect me with potential volunteers. Since I started this practice, I have begun being more proactive in identifying potential volunteers and those with leadership potential.

Maintaining this visual will serve as a continual reminder to look for future leaders in your organization. Your job as a leader is continually build your team. It is a never ending process, and you need to do the work necessary to build a great team.

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