With the ever increasing competition, it is important to expand your skills and abilities beyond the classroom. One way to do this is to participate in extracurricular activities where you can find other people similar interests! However, it is also important to be a leader in your activities. Who is an effective leader and how do you become one?
As someone who learned the ropes of leadership by herself, I found out that leadership cannot really be taught directly. However, you can learn from example and experience, so here I am to share a few tips with you on how to be a great leader.
Being a leader requires that you are familiar with the mission, structure, and the dynamics of club. In high school, most often the method to attain a leadership positions is by showing commitment to an activity as a member. That’s up to you to do! Do you really care about singing or helping the animals in the shelter? Or are you just in the club because you need that position on your resume?
As an active member, talk to the current officers frequently to learn more about how the club is run and what types of activities the club is involved with. Nothing shows your commitment more than taking the initiative to tell your leadership board that you want to start a new event with the club or you want to help set up for the show.
One more really important note I want to add is that being a leader does not mean the same thing as having an officer position. There are great leaders disguised as members in the intrinsic way they interact and show initiative. There also exist lazy “secretaries” or “event coordinators” who care more about the title than actually stepping up to lead. Stated simply, if you have a will, there is a way. If you want to lead, go for it! You don’t need a position.
Testing the Waters
Once you’re familiar with the club, you can easily run in the election, usually held toward the end of the year. Needlessly to say, put work in developing your platform and publicity if it is an election or work hard on your application. Think about what you want to change as an officer and convey that to the public or current officers. Brainstorm and suggest new projects.
As a new officer, you should make an effort to get to know the fellow officers well. Get their contact information because communication is essential to a working group. Be sure you understand your position well. What will your role be within the club? Do you have a checklist of tasks to do? During the first officer meeting, as a group, you should decide on general and specific goals for the upcoming year and decide on the projects that the club will take on to reach the goals.
What’s next you ask? Before long, you will be working alongside your new officers to plan your first project. You will discover that there are a lot more to leadership than you originally thought. Eventually, through experience, you will discover your leadership style, whether it is more authoritative, coercive or democratic. Jillian Pak’s article shares great information on how to be an effective officer. Similarly, if you are stuck on events planning, Benjamin Din shares his tips on that as well.
No matter what, being a leader is hard. The best leaders are involved, and involved leaders often stumble upon numerous obstacles. But hey! That’s what you are there for, right? Take a breathe and tackle it. There will be a point in your leadership career when you doubt your abilities seriously. No one is listening to you or the group is falling apart. It happens. However, when it does, don’t panic. Seek guidance from online resources. Step back away from the problem for a short while. Rethink from a different perspective and work it out. Everything will be okay at the end. By the end of an obstacle, you will have learned much more about leadership. These challenges and obstacles that make you sleepless with worry are the sources of experience and knowledge about leadership. Never, never give up!