ADVICE TO INCOMING EXECUTIVE COUNCIL FROM A SISTER ONCE IN YOUR SHOES
The following post was written by Allison Sentz, Delta–University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Congrats, girl—your chapter just elected you to serve on Executive Council! Get ready for one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of your life. After serving my term as Vice President–Recruitment for my chapter, my fellow council members and I jotted down some tips we wish we would have had known going into our term.
Use Your Resources
Alpha Gam Access will be your best friend during your term. You’ll find everything you need from officer handbooks to recruitment songs (I would highly recommend checking out the bop “College Girl” if you need a good laugh). But, seriously, most questions I had about my position were quickly answered by looking in my officer handbook—so read it thoroughly!
Also, lean on your advisors. She has most likely been in your shoes and can offer advice that will make your term 100 percent more successful. My advisor was there for me as a jumping off point for ideas, to offer valuable outside perspectives and provided imperative emotional support (which you will need at some point). I could not have made it through my term without her.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Delegate, delegate, delegate. I know you’re a driven, strong and independent woman—you wouldn’t have been elected if you weren’t! But you have directors and committees for a reason. Every office on Executive Council is a huge job and you are one person, don’t go at it alone, sis. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness—it’s a sign of a good leader. It is also a valuable skill to learn for your future career!
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you will make mistakes while in office—and that’s okay! Be real with your sisters, acknowledge and own your mistakes and, most importantly, apologize for your mistakes. I fully believe an apology can go miles in resolving conflict. A sincere apology shows your sisters you hear them and their concerns. Doing so will show you respect them and, hopefully, they will show you more respect in return. This is perhaps one of the most important and valuable lessons I took away from my time in office.
Remember: You are HUMAN.
Finally, and most importantly, you are a human, not just an Executive Council officer. You are not an “emotional punching bag” just because you hold a leadership position in your chapter. Take time for yourself away from the stress of school and the chapter, as well as anything else you’re involved in (because, girl, I know you are a busy queen). If you’re not feeling 100 percent, you won’t give your office and chapter 100 percent. I look back on my year on Executive Council with a smile because I practiced self-care.
I’m going to repeat it again because it’s so important: you are human, not just an Executive Council officer.
That’s everything I have for you ladies! I know you might be a little intimidated by the big task ahead of you this coming year; but know you have so many people behind you supporting and rooting for you. (I know I am!) Best of luck this coming year, I know you’ll be simply amazing 🙂