Rationality and Compromises

When you’re a leader, you may be approached by and put in situations that you didn’t prepare yourself for.

When facing these situations, it’s easy to panic or get upset about it, but that won’t solve any of your problems. The best thing you can do in any situation is to think rationally and make compromises.

So someone comes to you and blames you and your club for something you didn’t know about. What do you do? You may have the urge to get angry and annoyed, blame someone else, and storm out of the room. RESIST.

The following steps are some suggestions for handling surprises:

Take responsibility for what may have been the fault of your club, even if you are not personally responsible for it.

Apologize for the confusion/disorganization/mistake/etc.

Rationally think about what options you have to fix the problem. Think about what is best for EVERYONE involved, not just for your side.

Discuss options with the opposing side of the conflict. What are they looking for in a resolution? What kind of compromise is okay with them?

Decide on a compromise and follow through.

Apologize again.

Make a note to yourself and your officers of what happened and why so that it can be avoided in the future.


Advertising: go big or go home

So you have this event coming up for your club, and you’re totally engrossed in picking a host, sending in all of the paperwork, contacting all the right people for permission, buying decorations, and the list goes on and on. It’s so easy to get caught up in the brunt of the work to forget what may be the pass or fail of your event: ADVERTISING.

If you don’t assign someone to be in charge of advertisements and “getting the word out” about your club, it won’t happen. Though you may get lucky and have an advertising-conscious member of your board, there is a pretty large chance that if you forget about it – everyone else will too.

Advertising for an event takes time and planning. Make posters, get approval, hang posters, send emails, and etc. If you don’t advertise for your event, no one will know about it. If no one knows about it the only people at your event will be those of you who planned it. A failed event may mean a monetary loss – which is most likely the opposite of the event’s original purpose.

And the best way to advertise, is EARLY. The longer you advertise, the more opportunities people have to find out about your event.

With successful advertising, you get numbers. Event population is important and not to be forgotten.

An Idea Gone Awesome

It all starts with an idea. A thought, if you will, of something you enjoy. That idea/thought is something you think about doing. Then you think “It’s too much work”, “No one will like it” or “It is simply impossible.” Then, one day as you are talking to a friend you bring up this thought/idea that you have been thinking about. That friend becomes interested and likes that idea and begins discussing this thought/idea in more detail with you.

Now you’re really thinking: if you and your friend like this idea, then there is a great chance that there are others that would be interested and like the same idea!

So you have a choice:
A) Ignore this potential awesome idea and move on with your life.
B) Pursue the idea and see you where it takes you.

I hope you do not hesitate to answer. The answer is indeed B!

Everything that is awesome has started with an idea.

Take Walt Disney for example.

Disney had the idea of a cartoon mouse and pursued his idea. It took planning and hard work but Mickey Mouse was introduced to society and is the most recognized mouse on the planet.

Pursue your idea for a club, event or activity. At times, it may seem hard, stressful or even out of reach, but trust me: you can do it. And who knows, maybe this idea can go down in history.

For a CHC example:  Two students, who were music-education majors, had the idea of having a student-run musical. With the help of friends, teachers, and many hours of hard work,  they directed the first ever student-run musical “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” This idea has been carried on for 4 years now and continues to be a great addition to campus life.

I encourage you to pursue your ideas because it will improve upon your leadership skills, help you see the “behind the scenes” in events, and meet new people.

Conclusion: explore your ideas, they will take you places.


“Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” – William Shakespeare

Whether or not you’re a Shakespeare fan you must admit that good old Billy knew one thing: Leadership may be something you have inside of you, something you work hard to earn, or something you find yourself doing without ever realizing you picked it. And no matter how you come to leadership, you have an equal chance of success.

Although you may find yourself in a leadership position with no idea how you got there, chances are that you worked your way up to it first. If you want to become a leader in a club or activity, here’s my advice on getting there.

  • First, become an active club member.

If you never go to any meetings and you don’t show up to events who is going to think you even like the club? And while you’re at events and meetings – do your part. Offer ideas, help with set up and clean up; show that you’re interested and that you care.

  • Second, ask officers if they need extra help with anything – a little job you can do to show some of your capabilities. If they are desperate for help, they will really appreciate it.
  • Third – Be on time. If you are consistently late for things then people will think that (A) you don’t care that much and (B) you’re irresponsible. If you are late – even by a minute – be sure to apologize sincerely.

If the time for new officer elections comes around and you haven’t already been asked to run or been nominated – tell people you want to run. Don’t be too shy about it and lose the opportunity.

If from here you don’t succeed, try and try again. Eventually, all of your hard work will pay off.

Leadership begins with you, but ends with team work.

Leadership begins with you, but ends with team work. Being a leader isn’t about doing everything yourself.

As a leader, having the feeling that nothing will get done right unless you do it yourself is not uncommon. What you have to realize, however, is that you can’t do everything yourself and you’re going to have to depend on others. Trusting others with tasks that you are responsible for can be difficult, so here’s my advice on what to do.

1.       Surround yourself with people who seem to have it together. As you must rely on this team – do what you can to pick capable people that you can trust. Even if you love someone as your friend, thinking about who is best for the job is most important. Unfortunately, if this is an executive board of a club, you may not have a choice. Regardless, move on to suggestion number two.

2.       Assign sizable jobs that one person (or a small group) can definitely handle, and give them MORE THAN adequate time to complete the job. This way if they procrastinate (which they probably will) you can still get it done by the deadline.

3.       Once you give someone a job – remind them about it often. They may call you annoying, but if the job gets done then you properly followed through. Plus, we’re all human and we forget things from time to time –which brings me to suggestion number four.

4.       We’re all humans and we all make mistakes. This, for me, is the hardest part. Giving second chances. People make mistakes, and although it is frustrating, giving them a second chance to be responsible and prove you wrong can be rewarding. On the other hand, if they’ve gone past the second chance – they may not be future leadership material at all, and should not be considered when suggestion number 1 comes around again.

With these suggestions, it is much easier to handle all of the trials and tribulations of being a leader with grace.

~CHC Student Leader