November 9, 2012

Collegiate Perspective: Fostering Leaders in your Chapter

Strong leadership plays an important role in the growth and development of your chapter and each chapter member. Alpha Phi has given me the honor and pleasure of holding numerous offices, and currently, I serve as the chapter president. With my term about to come to an end, I can say that I’ve learned firsthand why leadership is a vital component of your chapter.

The generic definition of leadership is “the action of leading a group of people or an organization.” But leadership isn’t solely defined as someone appointed to a position. It’s also important for those leaders to foster and develop members of their chapters to become leaders themselves. I know from personal experience that this can be done in numerous ways, a few of which are listed below.

  • Take someone under your wing. Pick a younger member in your chapter who has great potential and teach her everything you know. Be a support system for her, and better yet, a friend. Having a close and trusting relationship with someone will help foster this member into a strong leader in her own right.

  • Make all chapter members feel important and vital, even if they do not have a leadership role. Make it a point to reach out to members for advice and feedback about chapter decisions.

  • Delegate your workload and share the responsibilities of your role if it starts to feel overwhelming. Consider working on a project with a member who is not as involved in the chapter as other members. You never know the impact you may have on the course of her Alpha Phi life.

  • Praise members when they go above and beyond the minimum standards and requirements of the chapter. It is one thing to be doing what you are supposed to be doing. It is another to take it upon yourself to make sure a member know when you appreciate her for going beyond expectations. This can be a member who holds an officef position or a member who does not.

Your job as an Alpha Phi leader is to leave the chapter a better place than when you entered. This includes having your members being better than yourself. I am proud to say that one of the members I fostered is now sitting on the Panhellenic Executive board on my campus.

Nothing is more rewarding than seeing members of your chapter thrive. Alpha Phi has been one of the most incredible experiences in my life. A great amount of that is rooted in my leadership roles and helping members of the chapter understand the importance of leadership in their lives. I can only hope that I’ve had the same impact on them, so they can continue to foster the new members of our chapter.

Lindsey Skaza is a collegiate member at Indiana State (Delta Pi). Read her bio here.

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