“A leader’s lasting value is measured by succession.” John Maxwell, leadership expert, believes that a leader’s success is measured by how well their people and the organization do after they’ve left. Officer transitions are important to the health and success of your chapter. They are a way to ensure that your hard work from the past year becomes the foundation for the next wave of chapter leadership to build something even better.
Effective officer transitions are a 365-day process and involve the participation of outgoing officers, incoming officers and Gamma Phi Beta volunteers. Here are three ways outgoing and incoming officers can seamlessly transition chapter leadership.
1) Organize your working notebook before handing it to your incoming officer. Take some time to make sure that documents are easy to find and complete any unfinished paperwork. Print important emails, invoices or forms that the incoming officer may need to reference. Include any information you wish you had when you were a new officer.
2) Enlist the help of your advisor or another Gamma Phi Beta volunteer. Your advisor, specialty advisors, your RC or SC-NC can all talk with you one-on-one about preparing for the transition. They may also be available to facilitate a workshop for both outgoing and incoming officers.
3) Be available. During the first few weeks of the incoming officer’s term you will be her best resource. Remember what it was like to be elected to a new position and be open and patient if she comes to you for questions or support.
1) Prepare a list of questions. There will be lots of new information during your first weeks and months as a chapter officer, which can be overwhelming. Create a list of questions to ask your outgoing officer during the transition. Be ready to use any one-on-one time wisely by clarifying job responsibilities, asking about resources or discussing chapter goals.
2) Update your working notebook regularly throughout year. Your working notebook provides a written account of your time as an officer. You should be keeping important documents, notes and invoices related to your job responsibilities. Consider scheduling time every month to dedicate to updating your notes or after major events. For example, your Philanthropy Chairwoman may want to carve out time after your Moonball tournament to update her notebook while event details are still fresh in her mind.
3) Familiarize yourself with officer specific documents. Take the time before you transition to review and familiarize yourself with position-specific resources. The Gamma Phi Beta website is a great place to start. Open each document and review the contents. Every officer can benefit from reviewing the COM and bookmarking important policies and procedures. You may want to add this to your list of questions for the outgoing officer. She can help point out resources she used on a regular basis.