“Dear Mr. President-elect! Congratulations on your victory! I am glad that you won. Here are five practices I found helpful to keep in mind while leading.
I really don’t have to tell you a lot – you saw what I did throughout the year.
- Be a leader
- Take the initiative to make things happen
- Set goals for the year – and connect them to your mission statement.
- Make sure that all of the stuff you and your team do meets with a standard that is acceptable to God and to the administration.
- Use your resources
- Know your people’s talents and make use of them. If you need to bring in people from the outside, do it!
- Never be afraid to talk to Mr. E or Mr. F – I talked to them at least once a week for the entire year, just updating them and asking for advice. This semester I talked to one of them almost every day.
- Delegate to responsible people
- If you (or just the team of officers) try to do everything yourself, you will die – so delegate.
- Get to know who will get things done and get them to help you out – tell them exactly what you want, give them clear (preferably written) directions, and give them a deadline.
- Of course, you should supervise closely those who are not as responsible and give more freedom to those more reliable.
- Be on top of information
- This is one of the MOST IMPORTANT points.
- You should be the one initiating events and you should know everything that needs to be done at any given time – you should always have the most updated information.
- Ask the right questions. In planning, the most important thing is to ask, “What still needs to be done?” Put careful thought into this.
- Having the right information (and maybe some advice and outside opinions) is the key to making good decisions.
- Set an example
- People should look up to you as a leader.
- You should do everything that you ask your team to do.
- If you are lazy and forgetful, others will start to slack off (not that I am worried about that – you’ll do great I’m sure).”
“I have found that the best way to get things done is to get a lot of people involved and motivate them to do the work. Do what is right first and foremost. If it is really a decision that has no right or wrong choice, go with the majority opinion – you were, after all, elected by the majority and it is your job to serve them, even if you want it another way. Of course, there is a lot more involved – but that is your job to come up with. You said you want to have better communication with the students – great! I look forward to hearing about how you are an awesome president! Way to be a leader! “
Outgoing Student Council President
International Community School, Singapore
Well done, Travis! It’s been a joy to watch you learn, grow and lead well this year. Love, Dad
Lesson for us: 17-year olds can teach us some very practical lessons in solid leadership, if we’ll listen.