Friday, January 8, 2010

Thoughts on Leadership

As I dive into my last quarter of AKPsi (by that I mean, my last quarter as President, not my last quarter ever), one of my largest struggles is once again, "leadership" and how to put that into practice. Following our first general business meeting of the new quarter, I had a conversation with one of our oldest and, in my opinion, a wise member, regarding the upcoming officer election for the position of VP of Membership, specifically in regards to a specific member. I felt strongly that the member-in-question was not ready for the position, although her heart was in the right place and the passion was there. Based on what I saw and have heard from the membership at large, this specific member seeking position lacks respect from her peers, and an inability to command respect from her peers. A leader without followers is just a guy on a walk.

We then debated whether this could be remedied. In essence, could leadership be taught? AKPsi, like many other organizations, attempts to facilitate opportunities to come in contact with and to put into practice, all with the goal of teaching those elusive leadership abilities. This member seeking the position was assisting the outgoing VP of Membership, who ideally would have mentored her and trained her to be the next VP of Membership. But talented people are not necessarily the best teachers, and this member is still not ready to lead. Who's role is it to mold those with passion and love for our chapter, into those that will go on to lead the chapter to do great things?

Related to that, how do you harness passion? Make it productive? Foster it, and not let it die? Having just had the largest pledge class in recent history initiated into full membership, how do we turn their passion & excitement into putting our initiatives into action?

Is a leader without followers merely an innovator? Somebody with the ideas, but the inability to get others to stand behind it and make it happen.

How do you change the world? Innovation is not enough. A leader must be realized.

I'll consider that food for thought, as I spend tonight finalizing everything for our retreat this weekend. Sunday, I shall do a bit of research into advertising and document my thoughts on that.


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