Nobody likes to listen to someone who ignores the opinions of their team members… Student clubs in general are intended to be a fun way to express your ideas and see them turn into actions; they’re not intended to be stressful dictatorships. We’re also not motivated by unorganized leaders who do not come fully prepared. We’re all students in this institution, and our time (and GPA) matters to us. These traits of being able to organize and prioritize the agenda while respecting team members will help to make you a more effective and respected leader.
When you go to a meeting unaware of what needs to be done, you will ultimately achieve nothing in the limited time you have with your team. Obviously, this is a huge waste of everyone’s time; time that could be better spent binge-watching Netflix or sleeping. When listing all the things that need to be done, a leader must be effective in delegating enough responsibility to team members so that one person is not overwhelmed with tasks while other members feel like they are not a vital member of the group. The executive team and general members join the group for a reason: they want to be involved in its initiatives. If you’re not able to delegate, there is literally no point to even having the other members… Like, literally no point at all. Organization is key because only this way can you lead effectively and ensure your team that you are responsible and have a plan of action.
You are called a leader for a reason: you set the agenda, you may delegate responsibilities, and you yourself are prone to more pressure as opposed to your team members. However, there are limitations to your power. You’re not Beyoncé, you don’t run the world. As a leader it is vital that you take into consideration your member’s opinions or suggestions. If you feel that a suggestion may not work out, don’t shut it down completely. Try to find alternatives, build upon the idea, or offer reasons as to why the suggestion may not work at that point but thank them for their input. If a team member is involved and cares enough to offer suggestions, they respect the agenda and the goals of the team. That respect should be reciprocated, not disregarded.
In the end, the most important quality for a leader to have is the ability to bring out the leadership capabilities in others. A leader can be outgoing or reserved, task or people oriented, foolish or serious, but in all cases, they can influence and motivate others to make a positive difference. And that positive difference starts with you; take the simple effort of organizing yourself before meetings and appreciating your team members by respecting them. It goes a long way of being an effective leader!