As you get involved in more campus organizations, you will evolve from a general member to a potential leader. Your organization will trust you to complete assignments, communicate with the general assembly, and represent the group in a positive way. As you emerge as a leader, it can be difficult to find your voice in a sea of people. With this in mind, here are four tips to benefit your performance as a campus leader:
1. Take advantage of on-campus opportunities.
Along with a mandatory leadership seminar class that is required for all majors, Gannon also offers conferences and workshops to better student leaders. These workshops will often focus on a specific problem that is common throughout most organizations, such as time management, and then brainstorm how to solve the problem. The workshops use interactive audience participation to clarify the issue.
One such workshop that the university recently held was the annual GOLD conference. At the GOLD conference, student leaders attended different lectures that pertained to their particular leadership position and organization.
2. Be true to yourself.
Socrates said it best: “Know thyself.” It’s important to understand yourself and how you interact with others before you become a leader.
When you think of a strong leader, you typically think of a “people” person. If you are a more introverted individual, do not shy away from leadership positions. Surprisingly, some of the best leaders identified themselves as introverts, such as former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Introverts carefully analyze situations thoroughly before making decisions, a common quality among strong leaders. Just because you do not fit the stereotypical mold of a leader does not determine your success. It’s important to be confident with yourself before you lead others.
3. Work on your communication.
One of the most common problems leaders face is communicating information to members of the general assembly. Messages are often misconstrued (or simply not received) between the executive board and regular members.
One way to solve this problem is by implementing a “phone tree” system, in which messages from the executive board are forwarded and sent to the general assembly. This eliminates the “telephone game” aspect between the e-board and other members—the message came straight from the horse’s mouth.
Another way to communicate information is to hold weekly meetings with the entire organization. This way, everybody is caught up on current events and questions can be asked in case of any confusion.
4. Be mindful of how you present yourself.
As a student leader, you are representing your organization. Do you think anyone will take you seriously if you show up to meetings disheveled, still in your pajamas, with coffee stains littering your shirt?
On the other hand, if you address your organization while slouching over, crossing your arms and looking down at the floor, do you think anyone will actually listen to what you have to say?
The way you present yourself can either make or break how your message is received. If you look like you command authority, people will hear your words. It’s as simple as that.
Whether you’re hoping to climb the corporate ladder, or simply looking to excel at the leadership position you already possess, these tips can help you better yourself as a student leader. With spring elections coming up for many campus organizations, hopefully you keep these tips in mind when running for office.