Club leaders require a new vision
My name is Jesse Kummer. I am the former captain and current treasurer for the ultimate Frisbee team at Carnegie Mellon. I want to discuss leadership.
Having been on the team for five years, I have seen many different personalities in charge. We have all run the team differently. Through this, I have learned that the dynamic of any team can be partially predicted by the actions of the person in charge of said team. I strongly believe that a person in charge should be someone who has been focused toward the organization’s achievements for quite some time.
First of all, a leader has to be someone who is willing to take on the role. It should not be someone who is thrust into the role due to outside shenanigans. The president or captain of an organization must express that desire to other members of the group.
Once that has been accomplished, a potential leader should outline a definitive set of goals he or she hopes to accomplish while in office. Without a definitive set of goals, there cannot be a system of checks upon that leader. Everything that a leader does needs to be checked alongside his or her goals for the organization. If something does not match up, a member should be able to call the leader out and know why he or she is doing a certain thing.
Having open communication is an integral part of any group dynamic. Anyone should be able to speak to the leader or some sort of adviser or coach and add his or her own thoughts on what the organization should be doing. Without outside checks and balances, an organization may run amok and focus more on holding steady instead of rising up and accomplishing new goals.
Leadership is more than just wanting some organization to succeed. It is wanting to rise up and soar to new heights. Regardless of what group you are in, there is always some vision you have yet to achieve. I believe it is the charge of any leader to figure out the best way to improve either the talent or the visibility of his or her organization.
A leader cannot be simply a holdover for the next person. It cannot be just a title that is passed down. There needs to be a vision; it could be something as simple as improving alumni relations or as deep as changing the entire team dynamic. The point is that there needs to be something unique being brought to the team. If that is not happening, then there needs to be a discussion about what the organization needs at that point in time.
Electing a new leader is a huge issue for any organization. It can end up being a boom or a bust. It is imperative that the organization understands this beforehand and forces those who wish to lead to come up with a plan of action. If this is not done, I fear that a group will stagnate and accomplish little in the upcoming year.
Good luck to every organization that will be experiencing a change in leadership this coming semester. I hope you have passionate individuals looking to take the reins.