While the National President is in meetings and at receptions representing JCI United Kingdom at European Conference and members go to training sessions, key note speakers and parties, what does a deputy national president do?
Well – quite a lot it turns out.
First of all my job is to deputize for and help the National President. In my case that was very easy because NP Allison is very self-reliant. Other than being able to help her carry stuff now and then and lend her my UK to Europe electrical adapter, Alli managed pretty well on her own.
I tried to spend as much time as I could with the delegation. While the day for the NP is busy from morning to evening with General Assemblies and receptions for lunch and dinner all the way up to the evening parties, I could sneak off for dinner and spend it with the JCI UK members, which was a lot of fun.
I spent most of my days with NP Alli in General Assemblies. General Assemblies are where the National Presidents from all the National Organisations in Europe (at World Congress its the National Organisations from the whole world) come together to vote on issues for JCI. Its quite a bit like the UN with countries negotiating and voting. Like all organisations with human beings JCI also has its politics, but the JCI politics is including not excluding. The JCI politics makes sure all organisations get their say and opportunites to have candidates and host conferences, not just the large National Organisations which is what would happen if all that decided is voting strenght on member numbers.
As deputy presidents in Europe we get deputies training. This means that all the deputies from Europe come together and learn about JCI, leadership and get to know each other as a team. The first training is at the European Presidents Meeting (normally in February), the second is a European Conference and the third and last is at the World Congress (this year in Brussels, 1-5 November).
In Tarragona we had a whole day with two excellent JCI Trainers and VPs (colleagues of JCI UK IPP Lesley Young who is also Vice President in Europe this year), Esther Ter-Beek and Ismail Haznedar. We talked about how the planning for our plan of action is going, about leadership styles and communication and had open table discussions about how to establish new chambers, how to really make a difference with JCI and other topics we wanted to discuss. We also attended General Assembly when the candidates for JCI office in 2012 was announced as these are the people we will be working with.
We also got to meet and hear from the candidate for JCI World President, Bertolt Daems from the Netherlands. I was very impressed by Bertolt and look forward to working with him should he be elected (he is currently the only candidate). I believe Bertolt will get things done which is something I respect deeply.
So that is what a deputy does, or more or less. If you are interested in a role on National Board and maybe one day as Deputy National President, contact me!
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This post was written by James Lambert