Yesterday I led an officer transition coaching session with the new council officers at Nebraska Wesleyan University. One of the new leaders asked how to get information from their predecessor, especially when a former officer is elusive and hard to pin down. This may come up for many new leaders, so here are the four things I shared with them:
At some point in their term, most fraternity/sorority leaders eventually become overwhelmed. Too many projects. Too many commitments. Too little time. No clear next step. And formerly grand visions that seem much more daunting now that it’s time to do the work. The single most important thing you can do in this moment is plan. Dedicate a significant block of time, and sit down to think through every little detail that needs to happen. David Allen would suggest that once you get everything out of your head and down on paper, your stress level immediately drops.
Are you stuck? Do you need an expert on a specific topic? Could you use a dose of inspiration? Wondering where to find outside help? Want to keep up on the latest in fraternity/sorority life?
If you're a chapter or council officer, you need to be ready for anything that comes your way. That means starting out by establishing a connection to all the people with whom you might work during your term. At the very least, get these people into your phone, your emai, your contact list, and your planner:
School is back in session, and it's time to get started! But how can you be sure to end your term on a high note?
There are a few basic steps that new fraternity and sorority officers often overlook when returning for Part 2 of their term. Don't let the simple things spoil your legacy - find out how to hit every goal you have for the semester!
Learning from mistakes doesn't work the way most people think.
If you do something wrong, it's wrong. When you recognize and acknowledge that it was wrong, it becomes a mistake. Repeat a thousand times, and the only thing you "learned" is one thousand mistakes not to make.
Things that require a chapter vote: Changing the bylaws Offering a bid to potential members Revoking membership Electing officers Setting the budget Changing the budget
Things that do not require a chapter vote:
I have a co-worker who can be difficult to work with. He’s not difficult in a bad way, but difficult in a way that makes you work harder to be better. He is very detail-oriented and wants to be overprepared for any scenario. Last week before a product presentation, we were reviewing all the equipment and information to make sure we had anything that our new clients might need. I hurriedly tried to reassure him that everything would be ok, but he insisted we double-check every last detail.
If you’ve ever played a serious game of euchre, you’ve heard this phrase. It means that someone played a powerful card right out of the gate, typically as a statement of confidence that they have a strong hand. Of course, there’s always a chance that this plan could backfire. Other players might have better cards, or you might make a mistake in how you play the hand. Still, this bold show of determination sends a message to other players that they should step up, pay attention, and bring their ‘A game.’
I have a dog named Snickers. She’s a 50-pound labradoodle that we adopted 4 years ago. She’s the first dog that I can remember owning. My parents had a Siberian Husky – a wrecking ball of fuzz – when I was a young child. I never really knew him, but I do remember that he ingested half of our bathroom door. I’m not sure why my parents expected more out of a dog they named “Goober.” Snickers is a lovely dog. She has her quirks and bad habits. She likes to express her jubilance at meeting new people by either (a) jumping up on them or (b) peeing on the floor. She also likes to chew up plastic hangers. A couple each day – or about a pack a week.