After we elect and select students for our student leadership positions, we gather them together and give them name-tags and t-shirts and bestow upon them the title of student leader.
Yet I am always quick to tell them that the title comes with an asterisk (*)…
You may bear the title of student leader, but you aren’t a student leader until you actually lead.
I like to make the following distinction (in simplistic terms):
You are a student worker if your focus is getting everything done by yourself.
You are a student facilitator if your focus is getting everything done with the help of other people.
You are a student leader if your focus is on helping other people in the process of getting everything done.
Once again, my hope is that students who step in to fill a student leadership position will then begin to step up to the role of student leader. This leads us to the third priority.
The third priority is to gather your team.
I can hear you pushing back a little bit against this one already. You are probably reading this on a monitor and saying to your screen, “But I was elected/selected to serve ON a team. I don’t get to GATHER a team.” Like I said, I hear you.
When you consider the opportunity to serve in a student leadership position, you begin to imagine all of the things you could do in that position. You see yourself in it.
Now that you’ve been elected or selected, you need to take the next step. It’s time to decide. Out of all of those things you could do, what are you going to do?
The second priority is to set your vision.
Take a deep breath. Vision is not a scary word. In fact, it is as simple as painting a mental picture of an ideal future.
If a student leader starts out well, it increases his or her chances of having a great year. There’s a lot to learn as we go along, but preparation on the front end will pay off big during the harder parts of the year.
This is the first in a series of posts called, Just Starting Out! 7 Priorities For New Student Leaders.
In this series, I want to focus on seven important actions a new student leader needs to take to start well. I’ve seen a lot of student leaders struggle right out of the gate because they didn’t take the time to establish themselves and make these priorities…a priority. At the beginning, they often wonder what types of things they should be working on. They know the tasks that go along with the position, but they want to know what actions go into becoming a leader. This series will offer seven ways to answer those types of questions.
The first priority is to learn your position.
It seems obvious doesn’t it?
Note: Today’s post is dedicated to mindless fun. If you came here looking for practical tools and tips to guide you in your leadership efforts…come back tomorrow.
When I’m perusing the App Store on my iPhone, I’m typically looking for two things: an app that will assist with my productivity and an app that will entertain me.
Tiny Wings is my new favorite. It does a horrible job in the area of productivity. Yet the tradeoff in entertainment value is well worth it.
Tiny Wings is a very, very simple game. The only controls you have to worry about is touching the screen. You can touch the screen anywhere. But you can’t touch it anytime. When…not where is the key to this game. It’s simple…and addicting…and very fun.
I’ve been blogging since January 12, 2005. I wrote my first post entitled, Making A Difference on my first blog (studentlinc.net). The site is now an archived home for my first few years in blogging.
I switched over to this site, timmilburn.com a year ago. Since that time, I’ve written about 150 posts.
As you may have noticed, most of my posts don’t really have much to do with me. I write a lot about leadership, a bit about technology, and a little on culture and productivity.
I was recently inspired by John of Tentblogger with the following questions as an inspiration for writing a blog post:
How do I come up with ideas? What does it look like?
So I took a few moments to jot down some of the ways I determine what I write about.
“Don’t ever question the value of volunteers. Noah’s Ark was built by volunteers; the Titanic was built by professionals.”
– Dave Gynn, Coleman Professional Services
If you’ve recently been selected to serve in a student leadership position… Congratulations!
Now it’s time to get to work. One of the chief characteristics of a student leader is the knack to get others involved. A student leader manages tasks and leads people. That means it’s time to put your team together. And that means – recruiting.
Recruiting is the process of attracting and inviting people to consider being involved with your organization or cause. You can’t do everything by yourself (otherwise you wouldn’t be leading!). You need to put a team together.
Science has proven that the most effective responses to behavior, those that will make the most impact, are immediate and certain.
The opposite of that is true as well – people are confused by responses that are delayed and uncertain.
If you serve in some type of leadership capacity there are people who are waiting, watching, and wanting to hear your response.
As a leader is confronted by the situations, the crisis, and the performances that surround him or her, there are typically four responses he or she can make…
“When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.” – Author Unknown
It’s hard to get any type of momentum going when you’re riding a dead horse.
Dead horses don’t move.
Dead Horse Point State Park is located near Moab, Utah
The term dead horse, is a metaphor for whatever project, system, or strategy you’re using to move you or your team forward. But it’s stopped working. At some point, the “horse” you were riding not only stopped…it died. You can try to keep moving with it, but now all you’re doing is dragging your dead horse instead of riding it.