Leadership. It’s something employers look for and everyone wishes they had. Some people are admittedly followers, I know I used to be. It is easy to go with the flow and keep your mouth shut, but sometimes in a leadership position you need to speak up! This semester I took on the role of President for YCP PRSSA, and I’ve realized that followers don’t lead very well. I’ve had to experience many different things, from running meetings to planning events and even coordinating with professionals. It takes leadership skills to get things done, and as any PR major (or student of Chad Perry) will tell you, we are in the business if getting things done! Here are my top 3 tips on how to become a better leader.
1. Delegate! Have you ever been in a group project where one person does all the work? Is that person usually you? It’s okay to take a step back and give others their own parts to work on. Sure, you need to stay on top of what is getting done (and this can be done by creating weekly check-ins for the group), but ultimately one person should not be doing all of the work. This goes for a ton of situations: group projects, executive board positions, sports teams, etc.
2. Make an agenda! Meetings are something that all clubs on campus have. Being in charge means that you need to respect everyone’s time and get your business done efficiently. Before the meeting, start thinking about your agenda. What do you need to accomplish at this meeting? What are our upcoming events that we need to begin planning for? Write it all down so that you don’t miss something at the actual meeting. In my experience, this has cut my meeting times down tremendously! Even if you’re not in charge, you can still be a leader by emailing the president ahead of time with things you would like to discuss at the meeting.
3. Listen to your group! If you are the president of a club and your members aren’t happy, something is wrong. It is important to treat your members as your equals. Clubs and organizations are not dictatorships! If someone in your club isn’t happy with how something is going, be a leader and hear her out! One tiny change in the way you run things could be the difference between gaining 5 members or losing 10. And if you’re not happy in your group, don’t be afraid to speak up! Like I mentioned before, it’s easy to go along and keep your mouth shut, but if you aren’t enjoying a club that you dedicate time to, it’s time for a change!
All in all, being a leader is about respecting the rest of the group. Sometimes the president does need to take charge and make executive decisions, but most decisions should involve input from other members. I know I would be nothing without my executive board, and every decision I make involves their input and suggestions. Remember, don’t take on all the work for yourself. You have a whole group, and it’s okay to delegate the tasks to other members.
For more tips on how to be a better leader, check out YCP’s ExCEL Events