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Leaders Light the Way
Published
1999, August (February 23, 2007)
By Suzanna Laurent, Director-Sponsor, Region 5

As a new Director-Sponsor, I want to thank those of you who have already accepted positions of leadership in your chapter for next year. In STC, we know that leaders are a lot like eagles, they don't flock, and you usually find them one at a time. By accepting a position of responsibility in your chapter, you have already made an important step toward learning to soar like an eagle!

STC offers members many opportunities to practice and improve leadership skills. Whether you are guiding the chapter as an officer, serving as a committee manager, or participating in another way, you can make a difference this year! I encourage you to use this opportunity to sharpen your leadership, time management, and organizational skills. You will find it rewarding-both personally and professionally-and the experience will shine through on the job and on your resume.

A successful chapter year is the result of setting goals and developing plans for achieving them. By now I hope your chapter goals and programs are clearly defined for the coming year-if not, you need to start planning right away. Your chapter's strategic plan may dictate many of your activities, and that is as it should be. Even if you have a strategic plan, it is always helpful to analyze how well the chapter is meeting the members' needs and interests and gather ideas for improving chapter management, programs, and activities. As you plan, remember that good leaders are not restricted by the way things "have always been done." Their leadership is a continuing search for the best way to do things, not necessarily the most familiar way.

Here are some steps for developing chapter goals and planning activities to achieve them. Regardless of the circumstances, following these steps during the planning stage can help everyone achieve more.

Goals

Decide what you want to accomplish this year. Ideas gathered from a member survey can help you plan activities to strengthen the whole chapter or specific areas.

Functions

Decide who is responsible for achieving each goal. Is there a specific committee or member who will handle this responsibility? Discuss the goals and their achievement with those responsible for them.

Activities

Discuss activities that will help you reach the goals. What has been done in the past that should continue? What can be done that is new? Then, develop a list of activities to help achieve the goal. You may be able to choose these activities from the Chapter Achievement Award Guidelines-they are designed to help strengthen your chapter. If necessary, submit your list to the chapter or Administrative Council for approval.

Action plan

When will you do it? Once the activities are finalized, put them on your chapter calendar and set a specific date for their completion.

Celebrate

Don't forget to celebrate your victories and give plenty of recognition along the way!


The most successful leaders are the ones who recognize the creative potential of the people on their teams and use that potential wisely. Thanks for giving me this opportunity to serve on your national board. I am looking forward to an exciting leadership experience, visiting your chapters, and getting to know everyone better.


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