February 25, 2014

On the Road: Realizing Potential

Something I learned early in my undergraduate career is that I loved to help and serve people. At Georgia Tech, I had several positions where I had the capacity to help others strive for their greatest potential. My first experience was serving as a teaching assistant for Georgia Tech’s freshman seminar program. I had a great time mentoring first-semester freshman (some of whom I then recruited to become Alpha Phis!) on a myriad of topics ranging from what classes to take to how to get involved on campus with their interests. I realized the potential to help others also could be done within my Alpha Phi experience.

During my time in the chapter, I served as director of continuous open bidding, director of formal recruitment and chapter president. However, aside from my various assigned duties, I also made it a point to seek out members with budding leadership potential and encourage them to get involved. That included encouraging certain members to apply for ELI, encouraging women who had concerns in the chapter to get involved to help make a change and even sitting down one-on-one with many members before elections to figure out what positions to apply and run for. Through those conversations, many began to think about taking on positions they would have never thought of doing before. Some of these women went on to serve in positions and others went on to serve in other leadership capacities on campus.

A few of my favorite moments on the road have been when I saw the spark in the eyes of members who I thought had great leadership potential. When almost an entire new member class wanted to call a meeting with me so that they could understand how recruitment works and how individually they could become more involved within their chapter by taking on leadership positions. When I reached out to a few individuals to run for Panhellenic positions, because they I saw the potential for them to reach a wider audience and have a profound impact on their entire Greek community. When I would sit in the common areas of houses and have random conversations with chapter members passing by who threw ideas at me and just wanted to talk them through.

I encourage you to reach out to the women in your own chapter or a chapter you advise and mentoring them to realize their potential. Sometimes all that is needed for someone to succeed is that extra push from someone else—that someone else who believes they can contribute and help make a significant difference. Even if we are encouraging women to reach for opportunities that are not Alpha Phi-related, we are helping them to develop and that, in essence, will help our Fraternity grow.
We always say that recruitment is the life blood of the Fraternity –which it absolutely is. And it’s the leaders and motivators in the chapter who help make the chapter the best it can be. So for those of you who have attended Leadership Conferences (and even if those who haven’t!) and made note of all the amazing ideas you want to implement within your chapter, be sure to also keep in mind those women in you believe to have the potential to leave the chapter better than where you left it. After all, that’s what will help us to not just be around for another 142 years, but to continue to be the best organization we can be and produce future leaders of the world!

Stephanie Savitz (Iota Mu-Georgia Tech) is a second year Educational Leadership Consultant.

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