During my college days I was able to lead three student organizations, two of which where I became the President and the other one as Vice President. It was both challenging and fulfilling as only few students can have have that opportunity.
For almost four years of being in student organizations I was able to learn lessons that was not taught in the classroom. Lessons of leadership, team work, cooperation, giving and sharing and as well as management and marketing. And I would like to share some weird thoughts I learned as a Student Leader.
You lead to serve.
Leaders are called to act as changers of the society for good. They are problem solvers, makers of solutions. But most of all, they are servants. They don't just plan and manage, but they do the act as well. If someone is going to lay the first step, it must be you.
You are a manager.
You are your own secretary. You should be able to organize the group to maximize full potential of each members. You are prompt and punctual. You must know how to delegate and able to chop down big events to tasks and committees.
You are a marketer.
If someone will ask you what your organization does, will you be able to answer in detail and with confidence? You are the brand. You represent the organization and should live up to its values and mission.
You are young, commit all mistakes.
In investment, being young is an advantage because when time comes you lose, there's still time to regain it back. Same thing with committing mistakes, you will still have time to correct it.
Have a mentor.
Being young has also a disadvantage - you don't know everything (at least not yet). Having a mentor is like having a Big Brother (a Kuya) that will guide you along the way. Mentors are usually found free. You learn from them, they learn from you.
You don't need followers, you need friends.
As leaders, you don't want members who will do something you told them to do just because you are the leader. And those kind of leaderships don't last long. Create a circle of friends within a group - a BIG circle and not small circles. Friends support you, followers, well, just follows.
Listen first before you speak.
You should have a bigger ear than a bigger mouth. Learn the art of listening with your ears and with your heart. Don't disregards one's opinion. You can still be authoritarian (if that's your style of leadership) while listening to all your friends.
Be as open as possible.
Leaders are perfect because they are imperfect. Let you imperfection be your strength. Be an empty glass. You can't learn unless you unlearn. Discover and share.
Have fun. Make time for play.
All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy. Celebrate small winnings. Learn your common hobby and every once in a while, do it. Having fun doesn't makes you tired but instead it re-energize you for the next upcoming activities.
Leave a legacy.
Leave a footprint in every people and places you visit. Make a mark as a group or as an individual. Let them remember you for the things that you did. Create your monument.
Today I will be attending a team building of my first ever student organization, the Academic Scholars Alliance of Adamson University. This same tips will be shared to our new set of student leaders but feel free to share this to your group as well. Remember, leaders are followers: followers of what they believe is right and what they believe is beneficial to people around him.
Good luck to all new student leaders!!!