AYF-YOARF Leadership Workshop

AYF-YOARF Leadership Workshop

‘Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on Earth. It can be defined as the process of influencing an organized group toward accomplishing its goals. It is not restricted to the influence exerted by one particular position or role; everyone is part of the process.’ 

–James MacGregor Burns

On June 4, the chapter executives of the Armenian Youth Federation – Youth Organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (AYF-YOARF) gathered in three locations for simultaneous Executive Leadership Workshops led by members of the AYF Central Executive (CE). The workshops focused on key areas of day-to-day work within the organization while keeping in mind bigger picture ideas and goals. Topics of discussion included making meetings more efficient and productive, individual roles within the executive, empowering the greater membership, and projects and goals.

A scene from the New England region’s workshop

The New England region’s workshop took place in the hall of Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, R.I. Representatives from all four New England chapters were present, along with two Central Executive members. The workshop began around 10 a.m. by dividing members into groups, to allow for a more comfortable and easy learning experience. The groups were assigned tasks throughout the morning, involving many administrative duties any executive would do yearly. The groups discussed best practices and methods for these tasks and gained an understanding of why we do certain things the way we do. Following lunch, the day focused more on the “big picture” side of the organization. The CE wanted the executive members to understand that this organization must think longterm and outside of the box. The day was ended with a quick recap of both administrative tasks and big picture ideas/mindset around 3:30 p.m.

The Mid-Atlantic region’s executive workshop was also a huge success. Senior executive members as well as Junior advisors from Philadelphia, New Jersey, D.C., and New York assembled at Philadelphia’s St. Gregory’s Church on June 4, led by two CE members. There was an organized structure of discussion points laid out, while the attendees also brought productive discussion to compare and contrast their respective chapters’ issues and strengths. The workshop was extremely beneficial for members in attendance to discuss, collaborate, and share opinions on how to strengthen chapters and the organization. A large portion of the workshop was spent assembling task forces from within the chapters to accomplish different goals; the aim was to find unique ways to engage chapter membership while developing successful chapter events. Topics included educationals, political engagement, socials, upcoming dances, and Junior-Senior relation initiatives. The members discussed ideas, received feedback, and have now taken that information back to their respective chapters for further discussion and implementation. That evening, a majority of the attendees attended the Philadelphia ARF’s 125th celebration and May 28 celebration at the church hall, with special guest Grigor Hovhannisian, the Armenian ambassador to the United States.

The day proved to be a success, both through the eyes of the participants and the AYF-YOARF Central Executive, not only because of the information discussed, but through the deeper understanding gained of neighboring chapters and regional practices. The AYF-YOARF CE wants to thank all members for their commitment to the betterment of our organization and wishes them success in all future endeavors.

Half-way across the country the Midwest workshop took place in Chicago, Ill. Although only two chapters were present with representatives from the Chicago and Racine executives, there was only positive feedback from all members in attendance. Central Executive member Ungerouhi Kenar Charchaflian started leading the workshop with icebreaker games, which was followed with a discussion of the AYF-YOARF Operating Guide and Procedural Handbook. The executives also discussed the ways that they run their chapter meetings and exchanged ideas with each other. The executives were very happy with the outcome of that day and feel prepared to lead their chapters for the second half of the year.

Source: Armenian Weekly Mid-West