4 Ways to Build Leaders and Boost Student Organization Effectiveness

Why Clubs and Orgs?

Clubs and organizations are the gateway to student involvement on campus. From day one, student leaders are competing for the attention of all the fresh faces settling into their new home.

Student orgs play a couple critical roles on campus. For one, the students who participate are more likely to complete their degree at the same institution. Students who are frequently bored on campus are those most likely to transfer to another school.

The value of engagement to the students’ education cannot be overlooked either. The chance to organize groups, complete projects, and practice leadership outside of the classroom gives students a much more meaningful college experience.

Inclusive Leadership Means Creating Opportunities for Others

Including members is different than simply inviting them to the meeting. Build genuine commitment by establishing shared goals that relate to the values you all have in common. Encourage and expect them to participate in discussion. Guide them towards leadership opportunities. If ‘positions’ are unavailable within the organization, carve out new roles and appoint members to increase retention. There are really effective complements to traditional positions like President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Immediately spread leadership and enhance effectiveness by adding these four roles to your organization:

  1. Facilitator

Any group that convenes meetings is familiar with the need for facilitation. The meetings that stick out and energize students occur because of inclusive facilitation. Moderating discussion that it is respectful, constructive, and stays on topic does not just happen- it takes focus and practice. The facilitator is responsible for setting a comfortable and inclusive tone for the meeting, while synthesizing ideas, and guiding the group towards action.

  1. Project Manager

Organizations that delegate tasks and accomplish goals on a project-by-project basis need project managers. Think of committee chairs or department directors. Project managers should have some time at each meeting to review the project goals, update on progress, identify next steps, and assign tasks.

If you ever feel like you go to meetings just to meet, join the club. We’ve all been to the meeting where it was clear nothing got done and nothing will get done as a result of our time together. Always, always, ALWAYS end a meeting by assigning specific tasks to individuals. Everybody leaves with homework.

  1. Communications Coordinator

Think of the communications coordinator as an updated version of the traditional secretary. In addition to posting the meeting minutes and sending out notices, this role can include social media management, blogging and press engagement.

  1. Outreach Coordinator

Organizations that focus on outreach are more likely to grow and thrive. Think of outreach in two perspectives. First, we want more students to join our organization. Second, we need partners in the community to help us complete our projects and accomplish our goals.

Identifying students who share interests with your groups mission requires consistent and sincere outreach. Similarly, identifying groups or individuals in the community that may benefit from or help you with your organizations goals needs to happen. The best outreach strategies focus on cultivating genuine networks of relationships built of common interests and shared goals.

More Leadership, More Action

Providing others with leadership opportunities proves to them you’re genuinely interested in their personal development as well as the growth of the group as a whole. These opportunities will build others into more proactive individuals while expanding your organization’s network and influence. After all, the best thing an effective leader can do is cultivate leadership in others.

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