I honestly can’t believe my senior year of college has come so suddenly. I figured by now I would be ready to say goodbye; but to be honest, it’s the complete opposite. My heart hurts when I think about all I’ll be leaving behind come May. Yes, I am excited for a new journey and chapter of my life, but letting go of something I’ve known for the past four years will be anything but easy.
In my time at WCU, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of an amazing sisterhood. As I wrote in my previous post, I joined Alpha Xi Delta in the fall of 2010. If you had asked me then if I saw myself being the president of my organization, I would have told you that you were crazy! Leading 55 plus girls? No way!
I became president this time last year and I must say, I have learned more about being a leader this past year than I ever have in my entire life! Here’s a few of my suggestions for being a better leader:
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
One of my biggest resources during my term was the former president and my chapter advisers. If it hadn’t been for them, I would have been extremely lost when making big decisions. Asking for help when you don’t know what to do is so much better than acting out of impulse and finding out you did the wrong thing.
2. Adjust to Personalities
Leading 57 women, all of which have different personalities, was definitely a huge lesson for me. No one is the same. You have to find a way to change how you speak to people based on their personalities. One person might take something you say more personally then another person would. Learn your followers and adjust your communication style based on them.
3. Think before you speak
You can’t please everyone, but you also don’t want to turn everyone against you. Be aware of how something you say can effect those around you. As a leader, people are listening closely to what you say and saying the wrong thing can lead to disaster.
4. Be present
If you make an event mandatory for an entire group, be there. If you aren’t, you are telling the group of people you are leading that you want the power, but don’t want to put in the work.
Remember that your ideas are not the only good ones. Allow those you are leading to have their input heard so they can feel as though they are contributing to the betterment of the organization/ business as a whole. When people feel like they are actually making a contribution, they are much more likely to play an active role.
“Leadership is influence.”
-John C. Maxwell