Leadership is like a piece of IKEA furniture—there is some (or a lot) assembly required. Simply being elected doesn’t make you a great leader, it takes time to put all the pieces together. Some leaders may come into a position not knowing how things are done, how a leader should act or even how to address the chapter and that’s okay because leaders aren’t born, they are made. Here are three ways you can cultivate your own skills as a chapter leader:
Be patient. This first point is simple in nature, but complex in thought. You are obviously capable of being the best leader you can be, but perhaps you need time to come into your own. Be patient and breathe. Being a leader is a continuous battle of working within yourself and working towards the goal on the outside. Being able to speak in front of a few hundred, or maybe it’s just a few, may not come easily, but with time it will. Patience will never disappoint you when you treat it with care.
Borrow from the best. No position is the same and no leader will face the same exact challenges. It is easy to look at your fellow sister and think, “What am I not doing that she is doing?” or “She can command a room so well, why can’t I?” If you are feeling self-conscious about your leadership skills, take time to search within yourself and in your sisters to figure out how you can improve. If you see a sister speaking with grace in front of a group or you see a sister doing the upmost for her department, don’t think twice to ask them for help and guidance.
Look to your sisters for support. Being in charge of a large group of women for an entire year is tough and it can take a toll on your emotions, but having the loyalty and support of your sisters is one of the greatest feelings out there. When your sisters have your back, it feels like nothing in the world can bring you down. In times of self-doubt, let your sisterhood carry you through.
Remember, our Founders did not fall in the face of adversity. You can be a strong leader in Gamma Phi Beta and in your endeavors outside of the Sorority. You are stronger and more capable than you think!
Laura Hoffman (North Carolina-Asheville): Laura is a senior mass communications major and health and wellness promotion minor at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Since joining Gamma Phi Beta in the fall of 2014, Laura has held many positions in Epsilon Psi Chapter including her favorite and current position, membership vice president. Laura can be seen in the school’s gym on any given day, at any crazy hour or in the drive-thru line at Chick-fil-A. She is excited to share her knowledge of Gamma Phi Beta and how to cook a great chicken during her last year as a collegiate member.