Hot of the Press: President's Guide!

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Being president of your Israel group can often be a thankless, difficult job.  However, it can also be extremely rewarding and a great learning experience if you make the best of your presidency (and it has to be more enjoyable than being president of United States during a shutdown).  When I was president of my sorority there were many things that I learned along the way that I wish I had known from the beginning. That’s why we created a President’s Guide full of tips and tricks to help you the best leader you can be. Below is a list of 10 effective habits that all presidents should implement.

1.  Set Mission & Vision Statement  

All groups need a mission as well as a vision to guide their work on campus. Bring your team together to write out both a vision and mission statement. These statements serve to motivate members and prioritize their responsibilities.

2.  Set Organizational Structure

It is important that you establish an effective organizational structure that reflects your mission. Ideally, the president oversees a small board which, in turn, manages different committees. See organizational structure guide.

 3.  Delegate Responsibilities

Assigning a project or activity to someone else and sharing the responsibility for its outcome will make your work  easier and help you build a strong organization. You may be reluctant to give up control at first,  but the benefits of delegation outweigh the disadvantages. Delegating allows others to develop skills, takes stress off of the you and allows many people to focus on doing a few tasks very well rather than one person having to do many tasks less effectively.

4. Communicate Clearly & Listen Actively

A good leader communicates clearly and on a regular basis. Communicate at least 50 percent more than you think is necessary. Good communication also requires active listening. You should be checking in with your executive board on a regular basis.

5.  Cultivate New Leaders

Your ability to recruit and invest in new leaders is critical to the sustainability of your organization. Once someone shows interest in your group, you have to find ways to get them involved. The easiest way to do this is by giving them responsibility and showing them that they have an important place in your group.

6.  Represent Your Group

You are the spokesperson for your group to the campus community. You may be called upon to give a statement in the campus media or liaise with other campus leaders and administrators. In such instances it is important that you represent your group in a positive and professional manner.

7.  Run Meetings and Set Agendas

Meetings are an opportunity for you to make sure that everyone is on the same page and working together. They are also an opportunity for board members to receive feedback and for general members to feel included in the process.

8.  Ask for Help

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It takes vision to know where you and your organization are struggling and maturity to seek advice.

9.  Celebrate Successes

Find ways to recognize members when they succeed. Identifying success can come verbally, publicly, personally, or electronically. People feel good when they are recognized for their efforts. Always remember to praise publicly and criticize privately.

10.  Make Tough Decisions

The president is responsible for everything that happens in the organization - good or bad; therefore, you have final say. However, you are not alone. When facing a tough decision consult your board members, Israel Fellow and other key constituents for their opinions and be willing to stand by your decision.

For more details  and other tips and tricks of how to be the most effective president you can be, check out our President’s Guide.

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