Shin Tip: Episode #8 – The Importance of Assistant Shins

Shin Tip: Episode #8 – The Importance of Assistant Shins

Now that you are getting a handle on what it takes to manage a fire group, we thought we’d take a moment and talk about Assistant Shins, and their role within your group and the Conclave as a whole.

The role of “Shin” can be very difficult, especially if you are a larger group nearing the 50 person max mark. As we outlined in Shin Tip # 5 – Managing 101, there is a lot to be responsible for. What we would like you to realize is that although as Shin you are responsible to make all these things happen, you are not expected to do them all yourselves. This is where the “Assistant Shin” position can come in very handy.

Clarifying the Role of the Assistant Shin:

There are no set rules for being an official Assistant Shin, other than they must conduct themselves with integrity. That being said, this means it’s up to you (the Shin) to define the role of your Assistant Shin. We suggest that you establish and define their position and responsibilities early on, so as not to be disappointed down the road. 

Some of the areas in which Assistant Shins can be highly effective are:

  • Acting as Shin when you are unavailable to manage practices, etc.
  • Accompanying you to Meetings and Shin Summits 
  • Reminding you of important deadlines!
  • Taking role and managing absences
  • Collecting dues or helping coordinate fundraisers
  • Scheduling practices and coordinating filming dates
  • Cat-wrangling (both on and off-playa)

Assistant Shins can also help out with Choreography, Costuming or Prop-Making if you are short on help, but be careful to keep their role defined and try not to blur roles or overload them. 

Choosing an Assistant Shin:

Assistant Shins are oftentimes people who think they are ready to step up to being the Shin of their own group, and use this position to get some hands-on experience and a clear picture of what being a Shin entails. In other cases, existing Shins are contemplating stepping down, and choose a person as Assistant Shin whom they feel would make a good replacement Shin in the following year. In most cases, Shins just need help managing larger groups. Whatever your reason for deciding to utilize an Assistant Shin, make sure you choose a person who is both capable and reliable. This person is there to assist you in your endeavors, lead in your absence, and learn from your expertise. They should be making things easier for you to do your job, and not be contributing to your problems. 

Introductions, Restrictions and Limitations:

The Shin Assist is there to  support the Shin with activities in an effort to lessen their burden/workload. However, keep in mind that it’s the Shin who is required to fulfill all duties and meet deadlines. It’s important that the Shin, if choosing to utilize an Assistant Shin, introduces them via email to the FC Council. This way when they ask to join Discord we will have a record of them.

There are a few responsibilities that Assistant Shins cannot do:

  • The FC Council does not accept monthly reports from Shin Assists. We only accept monthly progress reports and updates directly from the Shin. The Shin Assist may communicate with the FC Council on the Shin’s behalf under limited circumstances. If for some reason the Shin cannot submit the monthly report, they must let the FC Council know that the Shin Assist will be communicating with us on their behalf. They must also CC: the Shin on the email or it will not be considered a valid report.
  • The Assistant Shin is not permitted to submit and/or sign off on the Group’s Ticket list (typically submitted mid-end July). Only the Shin is given access to this spreadsheet, and is held responsible for the information therein.
  • Assistant Shins are permitted to look at your group’s check-in book at Fire Convergence, but only Shins can request a name being crossed off the check-in book.
  • Assistant Shins cannot give final approval for their group numbers on-playa or pick up their group’s GCAPS (however, they are welcome at the Shin Forum and Shin Dig!).

Remember, Shin Assistants are there to support you, and if managed correctly could go on to be Shins of their own one day. 

Be a mentor. Not a dictator.

The Fire Conclave Council,
Crimson, Tabasco, Wrangler, Scorch and Natalie

Photo Credit: EspressoBuzz