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That time of the year is here!

December 5, 2012

By: Cory Stopka, Educational and Leadership Consultant

Finals and the holiday season have quickly approached.

One thing that we cannot forget during this chaotic time of the year is to conduct officer transitions.

These transitions are crucial in creating an understanding of purpose for individuals and the chapter in the upcoming term.

We’ve all heard, “All I got was a folder with outdated and disorganized papers.” A transition is not a binder or flash drive.

Now is your time to create a lasting impact on your chapter by conducting transitions, creating and implementing meaningful goals, communicating to the rest of the chapter your expectations, and allowing for feedback on what your position should be doing to benefit the chapter.

Here are some action items to conduct transitions and create a meaningful impact:

  • Start early. Seek out others that you feel would be successful in your position and create a plan of succession. Delegate tasks, have regular communication about duties, ask for volunteers to help with projects. This could be done formally with committees or informally as you desire. Select more than one person in case circumstances don’t allow for them to be elected into your position.
  • Keep notes. Just as you would in class, keep track of what you’ve learned and accomplished. There are many things you’ll forget you did so keep a list of “behind the scenes” tasks you perform to better prepare the next person for the unexpected.
  • Maintain focus. Transitions need to be planned for – not an afterthought. Plan your elections prior to the last meeting and create a calendar with transitions as a main focus.
  • Meet individually. No, not in passing or for only a few minutes. Truly meet with a purpose to discuss the duties, responsibilities, resources, tools, failures, successes, reasons why “something” happened, and to set SMART goals. Talk about what worked well, or didn’t, and why. You’re the teacher/trainer.
  • Meet as an Executive Committee. You’re a unit of leaders with formal authority. Act (i.e. lead) accordingly. Bring your individual goals (2 or 3 each) to communicate to the rest of the group so there is an understanding of your purpose as an officer. Create goals and initiatives (reach chapter of excellence, raise at least $1000 this semester, send at least 25% of the chapter/pledges to LEAD/GCC, etc.)  to bring back to the chapter.
  • Ask for feedback. Bring your goals to the chapter and ask them for their ideas and add them to the list. Make sure to prioritize as necessary.
  • Take action. Show that you’ve done more than talk. Involve others in your implementation.
  • Involve others. Invite your advisor, District Director, RVP and other volunteer leaders to help your process. Great perspective can be brought from an outside source.
  • Communicate. Peer accountability, anyone? Always report on the progress of your goals at each meeting. Show that measures are being taken to accomplish what you set out to do as a chapter with your leadership.

Think of the experience you’ll gain by following these professional development tools.

Share your best practices with others in the comments section or through social media.

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