Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Leading by serving others

Carole Jones
2017-19 NPC Chairman

Just as the seasons cycle, so does change happen — in the world, in our lives and within our College Panhellenics and the National Panhellenic Conference. Each new generation brings excitement and potential to sorority life, and each older generation leaves a legacy. As sorority women of all ages, one of the greatest opportunities we have is to serve others. Shar McBee, author of “To Lead Is to Serve: How to Attract Volunteers and Keep Them,” writes that “In order to lead people, we must learn to serve them.” Following are six of her 12 steps toward servant leadership that I try to follow and ways you can incorporate these principles into your life:

First, be welcoming. People feel happiest when they belong. Everyone wants to be included. Think about how you can be more welcoming to all. Remember: First impressions are lasting impressions. 

Second, show appreciation. Gratitude attracts support; appreciation creates success. Express your appreciation often. Oprah Winfrey has stated that the two most important words are “thank you.” Most of us keep a daily “to do” list. How about adding a “thank you” section to your list?

Third, listen. John F. Kennedy said, “One way to judge our effectiveness as a leader is by the amount of honest feedback we get.” The only way to get honest feedback is to listen. Taking time to listen can be our greatest contribution. Listening makes people feel valued. When we listen, we learn . Sometimes it is difficult to listen to people who don’t agree with us or share our viewpoint, but if we are open to suggestions, the whole organization can benefit.

Fourth, sacrifice. Are you willing to do more than you ask others to do? The word sacrifice means “to make sacred.” People often think of sacrifice as having to give up something; that’s not really what it’s all about. It can actually be noble to sacrifice. When something is given up, it can make room for something better to evolve. Helen Keller once said, “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” What she meant is sacrifice doesn’t have to be large to be noble. By helping each other daily, we can achieve greatness.

Fifth, inspire and inform. Inspiration creates energy, and energy creates action and results by others. Give information freely; people like to be informed, especially about their own work. Inspire and inform others by sharing your favorite experience as a sorority woman, telling an uplifting story or reading a letter of appreciation. In addition, leaders have a duty to replace themselves. In developing future leaders, we must inform them of our duties and responsibilities and inspire them to carry out those duties.  

And sixth, have fun every day. This is my personal favorite. Humor does many wonderful things for our body, mind and spirit. Be careful about taking yourself too seriously. If we take ourselves too seriously, chances are we have a huge ego, which will shatter sooner or later. Think about those times when you’ve had fun with your Panhellenic sisters. When we do some tasks in a playful manner, they become much easier and we get more cooperation.

We all have many opportunities to make an impact this year as we focus on creating the cultures we aspire to build everywhere. As leaders, it starts with us to be role models for servant leadership and listen and learn as we work toward the advancement of the sorority experience.   

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Meet the #Academy18 Team - The Talks

One of the most highly anticipated parts of College Panhellenic Academy each year is "The Talks" in which NPC invites guest speakers to share words of empowerment and inspiration. Much like the style of TED talks, our idea behind "The Talks" is to highlight how our experiences and stories can teach a lesson to future leaders. Here are the #Academy18 presenters:

Cori Wallace -- For more than a decade, Cori Gilbert Wallace served as a member of Delta Gamma Fraternity’s Cabinet and Council, first as vice president: communications, and later as vice president: alumnae. Her interfraternal experience includes serving as collegiate development consultant for Delta Gamma Fraternity, and lead facilitator for North-American Interfraternity Conference leadership programs UIFI and IMPACT. She currently serves as the director of experiential marketing for OmegaFi. She lives by the credo “Seek first to understand, rather than to be understood,” and she is so proud to "Do Good" - every day, in many ways, for those who believe fraternity membership is powerful and allows for really meaningful relationships. She resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband David and dog Mason.

Elisabeth Logan -- Elisabeth currently serves the sorority world by traveling as a leadership consultant for Sigma Kappa Sorority. In this capacity, she visits various colleges and universities to discuss leadership development and day-to-day chapter operations, while empowering sorority women to leave a positive impact in their communities. Elisabeth loves to talk about Myers-Briggs personality types, dogs and the world of higher education. Elisabeth is an alumna of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she served as the College Panhellenic president and earned her degree in classics. She is planning to attend law school.

Lindsay Boccardo -- Lindsay is a nationally recognized millennial expert, working with young talent and the organizations that employ them. She provides education and training to organizations through one-to-one programs, group coaching and seminars to facilitate top talent development. She has partnered with organizations such as, Intern Bridge, the Indiana Supreme Court and numerous fraternities and sororities to help them create opportunities for millennials to make powerful contributions. Lindsay is committed to bringing generations of workers together to build strong companies.

Rebecca Ramos -- Originally from Seattle, Becca recently graduated from Harvard University, where she majored in psychology and government while pursuing her love for learning Spanish and Portuguese. At Harvard, she found her home in Delta Gamma, and she quickly became highly involved as the director of recruitment and vice president of social standards as a sophomore and junior. During her senior year, while serving as president of her chapter, Becca collaborated with the Panhellenic community at Harvard to protest the sanctions imposed upon fraternity/sorority members. This year, Becca is teaching a global perspectives course to tenth grade students at the Culver Academies in Indiana, where she also coaches soccer, swimming and lacrosse and supervises a dorm of high school girls.