Leadership Transition

Managing the transition from one district administrative year to the next is critical to each district’s long-term success. Creating an effective transition ensures that a district preserves its knowledge base, which in turn enables the district to continue to serve clubs in the most effective way possible. Follow this guide to help plan an effective district transition and set the district up for a successful year ahead. Keep in mind that this is a guide, and actual practices may differ from district to district. Begin by scheduling a meeting that includes the outgoing and incoming district leadership teams.

Before the meeting, identify what needs to transition:

  • Identify key items that need to transition and who they should transition to
  • Look at any pressing business that will need to occur in the midst of the transition (i.e., financial or any decisions that were made in the current administration that will affect and/or impact incoming leaders)

Create a transition calendar and checklist to ensure understanding and accountability.

Create an agenda to:

  • Review goal achievement over the past year to understand where the district has been, and help you identify where it is going
  • Address any pressing business that may impact the incoming officers
  • Dedicate time on position-specific transition (e.g., outgoing program quality director works with incoming program quality director)

At the meeting, review the following (you can also use this exercise for any discussion related to specific district leader positions):

  • Things that worked well supporting the District Success Plan
  • Were there any District Success Plan items that did not get completed?
  • What the district leaders would have done differently if they knew then what they know now

The following are examples of items that should be transferred according to position, but there may be more:

District Director

  • Oversee district transition
  • Year-end audit, due to World Headquarters on August 31
  • District financial records, due to World Headquarters on November 30

Program Quality Director

  • Negotiated contracts (e.g., district conference, audio visual, catering, etc.)
  • Training evaluations (e.g., club and district leader)
  • Any processes for district-level speech contests

Club Growth Director

Administration Manager

  • District records (e.g., meeting minutes, district operating procedures, etc.)
Area Directors

  • Any Area Director’s Club Visit Reports that could assist an incoming area director in servicing and supporting the club
  • Any documentation (e.g., minutes) and actions of the area council
Division Directors
  • Any documentation (e.g., minutes) and actions of the division council

Finance Manager

  • District budget and all monthly variance reports
  • District assets (e.g., anything the district purchased during the year)
  • District Accounting System

Public Relations Manager

  • Contact information for local media and any media relationships built during the year

It is beneficial to start thinking about the transition; the incoming leadership team will need to focus on learning all aspects of their respective roles from the outgoing leaders. Look for opportunities for your incoming and outgoing district teams to work collaboratively to ensure a smooth transition.

As the incoming leadership team learns their roles, they may be able to identify items they feel would be beneficial for future teams to know.

Make transition planning part of every district year. Set the stage now and put a process in place that will be long-standing and effective for continued success.

Quick Links

Celebrate 93 years of transforming lives

Show your support by making a donation to the Ralph C. Smedley Memorial Fund.®

Donate Today

Just for Members

Stay current with the latest announcements and updates.

Member News

Connect With Us

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube for exciting updates, inspiration and more.

Connect