Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Leadership Skills I Learned From Being In A Sorority Part 2

Check out part one here.

I'm loving reminiscing down memory lane.  I'm back with 5 more essential leadership lessons I learned from my beloved ZTA college days.

6.  Never undervalue how much rituals, secrets and traditions bond people together.  Honestly, in college, I thought most of our sorority rituals were cheesy and pointless.  I was totally missing the big picture.  We were making memories and sharing experiences that only the other girls in our sorority would understand.  The funny thing is, that same principle is carried over to the workplace.  If everyone on your team at work has the same memory, experience or shared sentiment, it forms a bond that can only be shared by that team.

7.  Recruiting doesn't stop at pref night.  Learning a 60 second elevator speech about Breast Cancer Awareness, practicing bump rotation to learn to work a room, and finding commonalities between potential new members and your organization are all key life skills.  Not only in corporate America are we constantly recruiting new talent to join our organizations, I constantly use these skills to build relationships and get buy in for a cause.

8.  You will always have competitors and rivals, but keeping the competitive spirit focused on other groups and not internal to yours is key to building a strong team.  This is a new work lesson for me.  Internal competition often creates unnecessary tension.  Competition can be a strong driver, just make sure that competitive energy is focused outward, not inward.

9.  Know your strengths, find a position to exploit them.  Know your weaknesses, surround yourself with people that excel in those areas.

Emily was a marketing major, Sarah studied accounting and I focused on science and engineering.
Emily kept up with the keys, I lost the keys and Sarah had better things to do than think about keys.
Emily was eager to share, I was eager to learn and Sarah was game for anything.
Emily was the peacekeeper, Sarah was the free spirit and I could be a bit dramatic.
Emily would plan the party, Sarah would invite the baseball team, and I would try to show up between studying and lab experiments.
Emily was the president, Sarah the new member educator and I was recruitment chair.

This friendship was not built on the fact that we are all so different, but I started to learn the value of diversity through these girls.  Now, I'm very aware of my strengths and pick projects to showcase them and am also very aware of my shortcomings and I make sure I have team members that I can rely on to get those jobs done as well.

10.  When you know better, you do better.  We are all growing and learning everyday.  Don't be so critical of people walking the same path you are...we live and we learn and then we make better decisions next time.

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