Leadership comes in many different forms. Some lead by example and some lead by encouraging others. For me, leadership is about taking initiative and working to achieve the things you want.
Blakeleigh and her Kappa Delta sisters.
Kappa Delta gave me a platform to begin building my leadership skills. I learned so much about what it means to be a leader during my four years as a collegiate member. My chapter gave me the opportunity to use my abilities at a higher capacity while serving on chapter council, which prepared me for my future leadership roles outside of college.
Here are five tips for any young woman hoping to develop her leadership skills.
- Communication is key. I have gained a whole new perspective on the importance of communication thanks to Kappa Delta. Whether it be verbal or non-verbal, in a professional setting or more informal conversations, clear communication is essential to being a good leader. Communication is essentially transferring information from one party to the next, and leaders must find methods that work effectively. When setting a goal for your chapter, whether it be raising philanthropy dollars, putting on an incredible recruitment or upping the chapter grade point average, you must communicate the tasks that lead to achieving that goal. Staying on top of the goal by communicating with your chapter will result in major success.
Blakeleigh and other members of Zeta Omega participating in a KD event.
- Don’t be afraid to take a risk. During college, I served Kappa Delta as an officer several times. I started at an appointed officer level, then served on council and now, as a junior, I am leading as chapter president. These positions taught me that if you want something you should go after it. Taking the initiative to strive for the things you want is the first step to becoming a successful leader. I would have never imagined that by my junior year of college I would be leading as president, and I’m so proud that I went for it.
- You will likely face adversity. When leading a chapter, whether your role is big or small, I can guarantee you will face failure at some point. In each of my leadership positions, I have experienced hardships, faced opposition and realized that every officer faces some adversity. I set very high expectations for my chapter, and with high expectations often comes disappointment. But I believe the way you handle those failures and hardships and how you overcome that adversity is what shapes a great leader — and a great chapter.
An exciting event is made even more special with sisters by your side.,
- Time management will make or break you as a leader. From council meetings, chapter meetings, philanthropy events, sisterhood events, activities on campus and Panhellenic gatherings, you will be incredibly busy as a chapter leader. There are many responsibilities, and one person can only do so much. As chapter president, I had to learn to prioritize my time and delegate items on my to-do list when I became too busy. If I had too many tasks but not enough time, I knew my team of sisters would come together to help me.
- Dress the part. Kappa Delta not only taught me how to behave like a leader but how to dress like one. Dressing appropriately for the occasion makes you both feel and look more confident! I have turned my entire closet from a wardrobe of leggings and T-shirts to dress pants and dresses. What you wear says a lot about you and looking professional in an officer position will help others to see you as a leader.
The biggest reason I wanted to serve in a leadership role in my chapter was because of all the amazing Kappa Delta leaders that I admire. I am so lucky to be surrounded by incredible advisors, council members and sisters who hold me accountable and shape me into a better leader each day.
Zeta Omega – University of Memphis
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