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 Janet's Leadership Blog

January and February

Leadership Blog

Janet Hurlbert, Department Leadership Chairman


     During the months of January and February, I am asking Auxiliary members to complete the Auxiliary Basics Course.  There is no better way to learn about the Auxiliary than to get involved by taking this Cours. e

      WHAT is included in this Auxiliary Basics Course:

            (1)  American Legion Auxiliary history; (2)  Basic protocol; and (3)  Basic conduct of business

This course is a first step in becoming an effective American Legion Auxiliary Leader.  There will be more leadership training opportunities available as the strategic plan unfolds.

     WHO  should consider taking this course  - all members.  Most leaders are not born, they are made.  In addition to leadership qualities such as integrity, vision, and the ability to communicate effectively, a good leader knows s much as possible about the organization they are leading, has a passion for the work, and has mastered basic skills such as parliamentary procedure.  I encourage every member to enhance her membership by expanding her knowledge of the organization.

     WHY  is this important to our members.  This course in in support of the American Legion Auxiliary Centennial Plan Goal 3 to develop leaders at all levels.  It is important for you to realize that every member plays a role in the success of this organization.  If each of us strives to be effective in mission delivery, work toward personal growth and treat others with respect, we will not only achieve the 5 goals of our strategic plan but we will have a healthy, thriving organization.

     WHERE  are we able to take this course.  You can take the course in your own home using your computer.  You must log on to the alaforveterans web site, register for the members only page by creating a username and password.  From here you log in to the Leadership page and select the Senior Basics Course that you want to take.  \

      HOW do you go about taking the course.  There are two methods to participate in this course.  You may choose to read the material, then answer the test questions or you may wish to follow along with the PowerPoint presentation, reading the text as you go and answering the test questions after each section.  Whichever method you choose, print the answer sheet and cover sheets prior to starting.  Complete all information requested on the sheet, fill in your T or F answers and send these sheets to me (Janet Hurlbert) 220 1st Ave West, Clark, South Dakota 57225.   Perhaps your Unit would like to complete the Auxiliary Basics Course at a monthly meeting or hold a special meeting at which time you can take the course.  Let's see how many of you can take this course on line.


“Leadership cannot really be taught.

It can only be learned.”



South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary




 Leadership Action Plan

Janet Hurlbert, Chairman

220 1st Ave West

Clark, SD  57226

Phone: 605-233-1232    


          The American Legion Auxiliary is an organization that provides women of all ages, junior to adult members, the opportunity to develop and improve their leadership skills.  Our organization depends upon an ever-emerging stream of competent new leaders, trained and guided by experienced ones, to assume leadership within the Auxiliary and advance its mission long into the future. 

     The Auxiliary offers a variety of opportunities for members to serve in leadership roles, from chairing a short-term community service project at the unit level to running for a national office. 

      The Leadership program and the 2014-2019 ALA Centennial Strategic Plan:  In support of Goal 3 (Develop Leadership at All Levels), the Leadership committee raises awreness of leadership development opportunities through how to sheets and online resources.  We encourage you to register on line at in order to research all of the resources available to you as a member of the ALA.  You will need to create a username and password in order to get in to this web site.  

Also Committee Contact Information can be seen at

What can you do?   As a member you can work with a mentor to develop interest and skills of the ALA; volunteer to chair a short-term project in your unit; or give a presentation in ALA training that is available to your unit; get to know the members of your unit and assist them at meetings; hold a workshop on preparation of reprots and apply for awards; purchase the Unit Guidebook to share with members of your unit or participate in the ALA Academy as a unit.


Enhance leaders' knowledgew about ALA history, programs & organization.  Encourage members to take the Welcome to the American Legion Auxiliary Senior Auxiliary Basis, A Course on our History and Legacy at under the Leadership tab.  Share your past experiences with your unit.  Recognize the members in your unit who have completed the Basics program.


Encourage the use of ALA reference documents and materials.  Download the documents and familiarize your members with them; volunteer to assist Junior members in learning about the documents of the ALA; set aside time at a unit meeting to review the documents of the ALA; study the Constitution & Bylaws and Standing Rules of the Department as well as those of your unit.


Offer a mentoring program, utilizing the knowledge of members who have served as leaders beyond the unit level.   This is an excellent way to use the Past Department Presidents, Past District Officers, Past Committee Chairman and Past Unit Officers.  All members are eligible to hold unit, district, state and national offices.  Use a unit survey form to collect valuable information on all of the members in your unit.  Use positive, experienced members to guide new members. 

Nurture a culture of goodwill at all levels of the organization.  Expect the best of the people and consider your own behavior before evaluating others; always respect the opinions of others even when they differ from your own; always invite a new member to participate in meetings and events; greet new members and offer them a “new member packet”; be open, rather than critical, of the ideas of others; and above all, give praise and recognition when members do what is asked of them.


Mid-Year Reports should include a narrative of all of the work of your unit from April 1st, 2017 through November 1st, 2017 and are due to the District President no later than November 15th, 2017.  Be sure to include pictures and newspaper clippings that will help explain the accomplishments of your unit. 


Year-End Reports will include a narrative of the work of your unit from November 1st, 2017 through April 1st, 2018 and are due to the Department President no later than April 15th, 2018.   Be sure to include pictures and newspaper clippings that will help explain the accomplishments of your unit.


As your Leadership Chairman, I am encouraging 100% reporting on this program.  Every Unit should have something to report that they have done under the Leadership program!!  You have all done something at your monthly meetings that will qualify for a “Leadership Report”.


I am also encouraging ALL members to use the National web site.  You may not all have access to a computer; however, each unit should have at least one member who can access this information.  Here are some instructions as to how to get in to the national web site:

            Go to:                           

            Click on:                                Members Only

            Log in:                                    With user name and password (that each of you have created)

            Under Member Support          Click on Leadership and a list of 24 Leadership Program

                         Committees                   Area Topics will be available for your use

            Go to Member Resources        Click on Programs Action Plan

                                                              Under Full Plan click on the top entry to open

                                                                        (the entire book will be available)                                        

                                                             For Leadership, you will need pages. 60-61 for Natl. officers

                                                                                       Pages 79-92 for reporting

                                                                                      Pages 135-150 for program material


If you have had problems getting in to this information, please give me a call and I will assist you in accessing it.  All of the information that you need can be found on this web site; therefore, I am strongly encouraging each member to register here.  The Leadership program has many areas that you can work on.  It would not be feasible for me to include all of the material on this Plan of Action.

Looking forward to working with each of you as you prepare for the 2017-2018 Auxiliary year.  As your chairman, I will have a monthly blog alongside this Plan of Action with a special quote for each month.  Please share this information at your monthly meetings. 


                                                                                    Your Department Leadership Chairman

                                                                                     Janet Hurlbert