Chapters
Professional and Alumni
Students
Home

Leadership Academy

Leadership: 102

Orientation for Chapter Presidents

By Dorothy I. Mitstifer - © 2000 by Kappa Omicron Nu. All rights reserved. Permission granted to KON chapters and members to use with appropriate credit.

bar

Directions: Read the text and complete the activity. Then choose a mentor to discuss your work. The mentor could be the chapter adviser or a leader that you respect, the chair of your Department, or the Dean of your College-That's your choice. If you need help finding a mentor, contact info@kon.org. Best wishes for a successful presidency!

Overview: This orientation program is intended to prepare presidents for modeling leadership through personal example and dedicated execution of the role.

Titles are granted and bestowed, but It's not your title that wins you respect. Your behavior does. You should never ask anyone to do anything that you're not willing to do first. . . . [Leaders] set an example and build commitment through simple, daily acts that create progress and momentum. (Kouzes & Posner, 1999, p. 39)

To model leadership, you must be clear about your principles. Deeds express consistency of words and action. And actions express the values that are a foundation of that action. In order to show progress and momentum, leaders need operational plans that are distinguished by relentless effort, steadfastness, competence, and attention to detail.

The following guidelines indicate strategies for setting the example of leadership and achieving small wins:

  1. Open a dialogue about personal and shared values.
  2. Examine your actions for consistency with words and values.
  3. Make a plan.
  4. Ask for volunteers.
  5. Sell the benefits, benefits, benefits.

Activity: Stop and Think

Imagine that It's one year after your presidency is concluded. You overhear several people talking about the legacy of your presidency. What two or three things do you hope to hear them say?

What do you need to start doing?

Values underlie your priorities and guide your decisions. The mission of Kappa Omicron Nu is empowered leaders through scholarship, research, and leadership development. As president you will need to combine your personal values with the values that underlie Kappa Omicron Nu. Which values are most important to the successful outcomes of your presidency? Identify five values that you feel are most important for a successful chapter (Kouzes & Posner, 1999, p. 43). (Values may be added in the blank lines.)

___

achievement

___

freedom

___

responsibility

___

caring

___

fun

___

risk

___

caution

___

growth

___

security

___

challenge

___

honesty & integrity

___

speed

___

communication

___

human relationships

___

task focus

___

competition

___

individualism

___

teamwork

___

cooperation

___

innovation

___

uniqueness

___

creativity

___

involvement

___

winning

___

curiosity

___

learning

___

 

___

customer focus

___

organization

___

 

___

determination

___

productivity

___

 

___

diversity

___

profitability

___

 

___

fairness

___

quality

___

 

___

family time

___

quantity

___

 

___

flexibility

___

respect

___

 

For your selected values to be meaningful, you need to communicate them and model them. Clarify for yourself, in the space below, what the values look like in implementation. When you embrace the values, what do you do?

Value
What it looks like in action

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  

What can you do as the leader to demonstrate the importance of these values?

Values
Actions I'll take as leader

In order to achieve small wins the leader needs to create a map of milestones and target dates to indicate progress. (Milestones are simply your vision of how you could break down your plan for leading the chapter to make decisions about the program and activities during your presidency.)

Milestone
Target Date

Summary

The climb to the top is arduous and long. People become exhausted, frustrated, and disenchanted. They're often tempted to give up. Leaders encourage the heart so that their constituents carry on. If people observe a charlatan making noisy pretenses, they turn away. But seeing genuine acts of caring uplifts the spirit and draws people forward. (Kouzes & Posner, 1999, p. 51)

Reference:

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (1999). The leadership challenge planner: An action guide to achieving your personal best. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.