Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ready, Set, Change the World!

But first, let's focus on a few things.

By now, you’ve made it back to your campuses from the AFLV Central Fraternal Leadership Conference and National Black Greek Leadership Conference and are ready to change the world, right? Good, but let’s take it one step at a time.

Attending a student leadership conference can be a very enlightening and rewarding experience. You just spent a weekend with student leaders from across the country that share a similar passion for success and the values of your fraternal organizations. When you head back to campus, however, you are going to be surrounded by those who did not have the opportunity to attend the conference and you will be faced with the task of implementing all your new ideas and convincing others to support them.

Yup, you guessed it…this is the hard part.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a conference experience, but now that you are back on campus facing the hurdles of implementing your new found vision, let’s break it down for you. I’m a big fan of lists, so here it is:

Seven tips you need for changing the world (or at least what you need to succeed) after CFLNBGLC:

1. Process:
You got A LOT of information at CFLNBGLC and it can be like trying to drink from a firehose. You need to process and reflect on what you learned. Schedule a time that you and your fellow campus attendees can meet and sort through the information, notes, handouts, and overall experience. Share your thoughts and what you learned at the conference as well as what you would like to see implemented on campus. Having your advisor around is a good thing here; they can help you make sense of it all.

2. Prioritize:
You won’t be able to accomplish everything, you just won’t. But, you can do a lot. Make a list of the ideas and programs you would like to see implemented and start to prioritize. It is better to focus on a few new ideas and programs and deliver a quality product than try to do everything at a subpar level. Trust me, you will feel more accomplished and less frustrated in the long run.

3. Start a Group:
Use Facebook or some other social media service to create a group for your campus attendees. These are going to be your best allies throughout the year. Hopefully you were able to bond with your fellow attendees at the conference. Now use that opportunity to share thoughts, successes and frustrations throughout the year. 

4. Meet Regularly:
All too often, conference attendees bring their ideas back to campus, begin implementing them, and when they face their first roadblock they stop or get burnt out. Keep your motivation level up by meeting with your campus delegation regularly. This doesn’t need to be a formal meeting, but just a way to reconnect and share your stories. Your campus delegation will be your best motivation when you get home. Go out for coffee, meet for dinner, or schedule a camping trip. The important thing here is that you are supporting each other and building ongoing interfraternal relations.  

5. Follow Up:
Hopefully you took full advantage of the opportunity to meet new people, if not,you missed out! Find your new friends on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, connect with them on LinkedIn. Be sure that you take the opportunity to follow up with anyone you met at the conference, including your interfraternal brothers and sisters, presenters, and vendors. Mention how much you enjoyed meeting them, ask questions that may be your mind, and reach out to them throughout the years to come. This is called networking. Get use to it, you’ll need this skill throughout your life.

6. Share Your Experience:
Not everyone can experience the awesome opportunity to attend a conference like CFLNBGLC, so share it! If your university, council, or chapter manages a blog, consider writing a reflection on the experience you had at the conference. Take this opportunity to publicly thank anyone who may have funded your trip or perhaps your advisor who encouraged you to go. Write about what you learned by attending the conference. Not only will this give you some practice at writing, it is an excellent opportunity to share your experience with you chapter(s), campus, and even prospective students.

7. Find Your Allies:
Change is hard. We know. However, you do not need to go at it alone. You need to find your allies in your chapter and in your council. Sit down with those individuals and share your experience and what ideas you would like to implement. Paint the picture of how great things will be and inspire a shared vision for the future. Your allies don’t necessarily need to implement your new ideas, they just need to help support them when you present to larger audience.

I know you want to make a huge impact on the world and that is awesome, but your campus needs you now and you have the resources to make an impact at home!

Written by guest blogger, Kevin Bazner, Midwestern University.

No comments: