November 4, 2015

Collegiate Perspective: Balancing Being a Leader and Friend

With elections right around the corner for most chapters, we’re approaching the time of the year where a new executive board is stepping in. While we try our best to make transitions run smoothly, it’s hard to perfect these adjustments. One of the most difficult things to balance when holding a leadership role in your chapter is how to remain not only a good and dependent friend, but a strong leader as well. 

I’ve learned just from my experience with my chapter that the decisions you are required to make are not always easy ones. In the professional world or other organizations on campus, people are able to more easily put aside their differences and work together toward a common goal since their relationship didn’t originate from a friendship. Leading your sisters can be a different experience; as you step into your new role, they may forget that ‘friend’ is not the only role you play for them. 

So how do you do it then? 

The answer is that there is no right or wrong way to find the perfect balance. Everyone has a different perspective of how to do it successfully. Here is what some of the leaders of the Omicron chapter at Missouri had to say about it:

“I’ve had to make decisions that I didn’t want to make. But sometimes that’s what my job entails. At times you wonder if people are going to be upset with you as a result of them, but you know that every choice you make is in the best interest of the chapter.” –Ragin Dillon, Chapter President 

“I’ve learned that it helps to talk to my friends about the fact that  there is no exception to the rules right off the bat, that way they understand the impact of their actions… They should support me in what I’m doing.” – Gina Fasolo, VP of Campus Affairs 

“Your tone has a lot to do with it; you can be serious without being rude. The way you approach a situation is what makes the difference.”- Ashtyn Scruggs

If you catch yourself in a conflicted place while making a tough decision, all you have to do is the best you can, and learn how to balance your personal relationships with the responsibilities of your position. Remember to confide in your team when you’re struggling to find that balance. Sometimes all you need is the support of others while you are making the most of your leadership position.

Katelyn Pulio is a collegiate member at Missouri (Omicron). Learn more about Katelyn by clicking here.

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