Last week I did a post about tips for getting involved in school; this week I wanted to continue with that theme with tips for being a club leader. I entered leadership my junior year in my school's Beta Club and Key Club and in that one year I learned a lot about being an effective leader and helping make the club the best it can be. I am by no means an expert at leadership, but being an officer is one of the best things I have done and while it makes you nervous at first, it is really meaningful and hopefully these tips will help ease your fears. If you are interested in leadership or are already in leadership these tips are for you!
1) Be an Equal: Never hold yourself at a higher level than the members. Do everything that they are doing; don't just think you get to skip out and talk to your friends. Be an example for everyone in the club and definitely get to know the members.
2) Always Over Plan: I think you should leave nothing up to surprise when you are a leader. Everyone is counting on you, so give extra specific directions to a location and account for what you will do in certain situations, such as not having enough things to do. Obviously you can't plan for everything, but the better prepared you are the better all club activities will go.
3) Do your Job: Do what you are in charge of, hold your weight. Build reliability, so that when someone needs something done they can come to you and be confident you will accomplish it. But be careful that you are not doing everything. Everyone should be doing their assigned job, but that doesn't always happen. You may have to pick up some other people's slack, but don't be afraid to ask for help from other officers or even the teacher sponsors.
4) Get Suggestions: Always, always, always communicate with members and find out what they want and like to do. Happy members equals a happy club, so make sure you are doing activities the majority likes not just activities you like. This doesn't just pertain to types of activities, but times, dates, and locations as well.
5) Try Something New: Don't be afraid to try something different. The club may have a long standing tradition of helping a particular organization every year, but don't be afraid to start your own traditions. Keep helping that organization, but also host a field day once a year. Change things up so members don't get bored.
6) Go to Everything: Well go to as many things as you can. You again need to be an example. If the leadership of the club is only meeting minimum requirements, the club members will think that is all they have to do. Plus you work so hard planning things, I would hope you would want to be there to lead and participate in them.
7) Be Passionate: Make sure you actually care about the club, and that you are not just doing it as a resume builder. Without passion the club will mean nothing to you and you won't work as hard. Also, make sure you have time for it. Leadership takes a lot of time and if you are already bogged down with countless activities, it is probably not the best thing for you.
8) Be Kind/Caring: Be open and easy to talk to for members. Make them feel welcome in the club, so that they want to come to events and invest their time in the club. A passionate and excited leader will most likely result in the members feeling passionate and excited too.
9) Make it Fun: Plan the events that pertain to your club, but also plan some activities that allow members and officers to get to know each other. This could be in the form of holiday parties, icebreakers at meetings, or just adding some fun music to your event. Make the members a family.
10) Plan in Advance: Never wait to the last minute for things, because you will not have good turn outs. You need to plan things way in advance, so that members can have a chance to plan. Don't schedule a meeting the night before, because many people won't be able to make it. I always try to plan at least a month in advance of possible. Also it is a good idea to set meeting dates for the whole year in the beginning of the year, so members can get it in their calendar.
11) Communication is Key: This is probably the most important one. Don't keep your members in the dark. Send out frequent emails or social media posts with the newsletter, hour log, and reminders, so that they know what is going on. The more you communicate the more active people will be and the more they will feel connected to the club.
I hope this was helpful!
Thanks for Reading,