Top 10 Tips for Being a Successful Sorority Officer
Congrats ~ you’ve just been elected chapter president or an officer on your sorority's executive board! Now what? How do you launch your important position and make your time in office the most effective? Check out these sorority sugar tips for being an influential leader.
Top 10 Tips for Successful Sorority Leadership
- Transition: If possible, transition with the sister who held your position before you. A face to face meeting is needed to go over your job description, review what worked, what didn’t work and to talk about your position. An email or text just doesn’t cut it. Ideally you should speak in person.
- Notebook study: Make sure you get all the relevant binders, notes and paperwork relevant to your office. Take time to study up on all the material. By reviewing what's happened in the past, you will learn so much about what you should and shouldn’t do during your term. Do not consider those notebooks as irrelevant history! They are your guidebooks to the future.
- Never speak negatively of your predecessor: Even if the girl before you totally bombed at her job, or the event she planned was a total failure, don’t bad-mouth past performance. Always thank the sister who served before you. When you introduce changes and improvements, make sure it’s building on what the previous girl did, not replacing it. Present your new ideas in a way that is not a slap in the face to any of your older sisters.
- Be diplomatic: When presenting your new goals, do not steamroll over everybody else. Learn how to smoothly get the exec board and the chapter to buy into your vision. This happens when you are patient, positive, part salesman and part best friend. Learn to woo your sisters by speaking their language. Be politely persuasive ~ not a bull in a china shop.
- Miss manners: As a top leader, it’s up to you to set the tone. always consider the opinions of others, say thank you, don’t hog all the credit, know everyone’s name, write notes, communicate with the chapter, solicit input, listen to advice, delegate-delegate, be on time, be organized, go the extra mile, lead by example, and keep an even temperament. You are the face of the chapter. Make sure it’s a positive one.
- No martyrdom! Have faith in your team. If you think your e-board, or the active sisters, are a bunch of incompetents, it will show! You must believe they can do it and allow them to shine. You should be motivating the group to greatness. Your job is not to do everything yourself and become a martyr. This is a common leadership pitfall ~ the “If you want something done right, do it yourself” syndrome. You will end up exhausted, resentful and an ineffective officer. Help others help you.
- Lead by example: The opposite of the martyr is the leader who does nothing! The girl who doesn’t lift a finger, but bosses everyone else around. This behavior gains no respect from your sisters and generates a lot of resentment. You should be in the trenches working just as hard on bid day or the sisterhood retreat. You were not elected queen. Work in a team with your sisters and they will work hard for you.
- Be a greek ambassador: As the president, or top board member, you are the #1 representatives of your chapter. Make a point to establish good relations with the other sororities in your panhellenic, the fraternities on campus and the university community at large. Don’t cancel events at the last minute, never gossip about other greeks, and hold up your end of all greek partnerships. Your chapter’s reputation is riding on your actions.
- Involve your alums & advisors: Be respectful of those who have gone before you. Don’t dismiss advise from your elders. Instead, take advantage of their wisdom and experience. Honor your older sisters and make sure they are treated with love and attention throughout the year.
- Make your mark! You want to plan at least one unique accomplishment during your term. Revamp the way your chapter meetings are run, launch a new fundraiser, establish a new volunteer activity, implement new recruitment ideas, raise the chapter GPA, host the best semi-formal ever, etc… See what areas could use a little ‘sprucing up’ and gracefully plan your steps to improve them. “Making a difference” will help your sisterhood and give you great satisfaction too!