Stepping into a leadership position

What does it mean to be a leader? It’s the age old question that many folks have made a buck or two on by writing a book on the subject. But at the end of the day, does anyone really know?

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In college I’ve learned there are those who like to lead and those who like to be told what to do. And there’s nothing wrong with either. Personally, I’d rather be in the drivers seat. I like to have control of any situation.

I decided to run for president of my sorority last year when I disagreed with what the current leadership was doing. We had conflicting opinions on what service meant. The girls in charged viewed it as monetary donations, whereas I felt that service should be donated time and a helping hand.

I’ve been president for two short months, but I’ve learned a great deal about leadership. Being president and a leader doesn’t mean what I initially thought of planning activities and telling others what to do. It’s also not trying to please everyone, which I quickly learned is impossible. Rather being a leader is delegating responsibilities in a way that makes everyone feel involved.

I’m in a class called Media Management and Policy where we talk a lot about how to manage people. We discussed at length how people are much more likely to contribute to something if they feel they have a personal investment. Money is not the leading motivation in people, it’s actually recognition. People are more motivated by feeling like they are on the inside and in the know. In the Hawthorne factory experiment, people’s work ethic didn’t approve with better working conditions, but when their manager showed them attention and sincere interest. 

This is the method I’m trying my best at implementing. My sorority consists of 40 girls. As a smaller group, everyone should feel involved. In the past the president often made all the decisions and reiterated then to the group. I believe that everyone should have an input in the decision making process. Often I miss something or someone has a great idea or an easy solution to a problem I’ve been thinking about for days.

People are the best resource and as a leader it’s important to utilize others to make everyone feel important, and insure the organization functions as best as possible.

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