By Marla Williams, Director of Education
How many of you remember that first day of kindergarten? The anticipation of meeting new friends, finding out where you were going to sit, carrying a backpack and meeting your teacher? Little did you know that what you learned that day would become the foundation to be a successful leader in your chapter or association. According to Robert Fulghum, author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, “It doesn’t really matter what you believe – it only matters what you do.” As leaders, it isn’t what you say that counts—that’s not enough. What you do and the actions you take matter the most. So, what should you do to be a successful officer? You already know, because you learned it in kindergarten:
Share with Others
Whether a toy, half of a sandwich, or information, sharing always makes both parties feel better. Sharing information with members is just as important as sharing it with other officers. The more others know, the more involved they feel. Meetings are long enough without endless announcements so look for creative ways to communicate: a photo reminder on Instagram, a creative newsletter, or a mini poster taped to the bathroom stalls.
Don’t Take Things that Aren’t Yours
Don’t take credit for the work of others. One of your main jobs as an officer is to build up others to take on future leadership roles. As you delegate, guide your committee members and ask for help, but make sure to give credit and praise their work out loud to others.
Clean Up Your Own Mess
If you make a mistake, own up to it, apologize and work to fix the problem. Things don’t always go as planned and sometimes things just happen. It’s not a matter of fault; it is a matter of cleaning up the mess so that someone else isn’t left with the problem.
Get to Know Your Table Station Friends
Take the time to get to know the other officers on your team. Sit next to someone new each meeting and really get to know them. Find out what they like to do outside of Kappa. Celebrate their achievements and offer support when they are down. The better you get to know the other officers, the better you will work together as a team.
When You Go Out Into the World, Watch Out for Traffic, Hold Hands, and Stick Together
It’s not always popular being an officer. There are hard decisions that have to be made and sometimes those decisions aren’t always met with thunderous applause. Remember to stick together when a decision has been made. As officers, it is critical that you stand behind your choices as a unified group, whether you agreed with the decision or not.
Remember to find a balance between talking and listening. While it is important to share your opinion and ideas, it is also important to hear what others have to say. If you find you are talking more than listening, make a concerted effort to ask questions and sit back and really listen to the ideas of others.
Live a Balanced Life
Being an officer can be overwhelming at times, and during certain points of the year, you might feel the weight of all that there is to do. Finding a balance among your duties as an officer, studies, work, family and friends is a necessity. Make checklists, manage your time and delegate to your committees. And above all else, remember that it is important to take time out to just relax and enjoy the company of your sisters.
And finally at the end of a long day, when all your officer duties have been fulfilled, remember that warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.