Thank you for asking this insightful question.
From my perspective, there are a number of key facets of an approach of bringing a concept from an idea to actual fruition. A key element is communication; airing an idea is often a multi-faceted process and I tend to 'bounce' ideas around so it's no longer 'my' idea, but the 'team' idea shared amongst peers, and measured against the yardstick of the overall objectives of PASS. This can help bring people along a journey with you, since they're already invested their energy in a shared idea. In this way, I am more of a 'quiet leader' since it means that you start to dissolve conflict at the micro level, in the early stages. I'm also humble enough to recognise that other people have great ideas, and giving people a sounding board can lead to the 'best' idea,not just the idea of a particular individual. Discussing ideas isn't always simply a creative process; it can be a conflict resolution process too, I believe. Strongly held views are welcome, and a way forward amongst peers, with a common end goal, can be found.
Empowering peers and volunteers is so important to delivering an idea effectively. Helping people to see the 'big picture' can be hard, but it is worthwhile in bringing people along with you. I also think that documentation != planning and a lot of documentation does not necessitate a lot of planning! I believe that plans are a vital part of explaining the big picture as well as the micro-steps along the way in order to obtain the ideas and buy-in from peers on the Board. Volunteers need nurturing but they also need direction, and the sharing of common project vocabulary such as project plans, deliverable documents etc will help people to have transparency around the decision making process and the goals to get there.
I think a 'back to basics' approach is needed to help volunteers to deliver their events and help that they need, and I'd like to see a volunteer support program whereby people help one another. For example, we already hold webinars that dissemiinate SQL knowledge; why not hold them to disseminate community knowledge? I'd love to see a webinar series on 'how to organise a SQLSaturday' or 'how to get your user group up and running' whereby more experienced volunteers can help to impart knowledge to help facilitate the enthusiasm of more inexperienced volunteers. I'd hope to put structures like this in place, so that the likelihood of success can be maximised.
To get ideas implemented, I think it is always worth bringing people along the journey with you and empowerment is essential to this process. I believe it is two-way; and a 'fail fast' methodology is important. For example, if the indicators are that a particular idea isn't working, it is important to recognise it quickly and take difficult decisions where necessary.
I also believe in honesty, and the importance of speaking plainly whilst not being disrespectful. This is particularly important where conflict arises. Sometimes, to deliver an idea, you have to 'give a bit' to 'get a bit' so you might need to take a step back yourself, to then take two steps forward with your eye on meeting the long-term goal, not the short-term goal.
To answer the second part of your question: what leadership qualities would I bring? In his work the Republic, Plato had the idea of a Philosopher-King. The fundamental concept is that the people who want power, shouldn't have it. Another way of expressing this is to say that the people who want the most power, are the ones who shouldn't have it. We see the transverse of this in the native American 'giving away' tradition, where you give and share, and it is the 'giver' who receives the greatest blessing. In this way, the people with the most power are the ones who give it away, for the good of the community or the people around them. I know it is not a traditional academic leadership theory but I believe in the simplicity and respect that this perspective embodies.
I tend to think that respect, politeness and a willing ear and a focus on delivery and the long-term view can help to earn the trust of peers on the Board. The objective is to deliver, and derive the best from volunteers and your peers, who are pretty special people in the first place and deserve every respect. Saying 'Thank You' is so important. I dislike it when I see volunteers not always treating each other with the respect that each of them deserve, simply because the communication has broken down and everyone has lost sight of the end goal in the process; helping the community. I believe that matching volunteers to activities is also very important; there are plenty of talented people in the SQL community and it is important to look for it, and nurture it where possible.
Therefore the qualities that I bring may not be the most obvious ones, but I'd bring what I believe in: communication, openness, a belief and a passion for the end goal, humility and also a tenacity for delivery. Taking responsibility for failures but also giving credit to others for successes.
Thank you for reading this far
For those of you who are interested in reading more about me, please visit http://jenstirrupforsqlfamily.wordpress.com/