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Service & Evolving leadership in the University, Community and Profession

Service & Evolving leadership in the University, Community and Profession

Who you know tops who knows you in level of importance when considering the impact of relationships for leaders in professional organization, university and community. Leaders in professional organizations seek out like-minded people as they work to implement a shared mission and vision. “Likeminded” is not synonymous with “cookie cutter” thinking, but rather represents thought which is harmonious albeit diverse. Diversity in thinking brings to the table innovation which is critical to positive change and thereby the success of professional organizations. Content experts that are involved in the community can complement and improve the efficacy and effectiveness of the organizations, working together to identify stakeholders who can identify community strengths, share tools that target the gaps, provide interventions and evaluation strategies.

An invitation to lead in a professional organization is highly tailored to organizational needs and the content expertise you bring to the table: content expertise that has the potential of translating to high quality within the organization based on your past track record of involvement. Being an invisible, silent contributor will not get you an invitation to the table. Active engagement, breadth of serving, consulting and pragmatic implementation with a team approach can get your work noticed and result in an invitation to serve in a leadership role. The following checklist can serve as a beginning spot to get you moving toward securing leadership roles within community, university, and professional organizations:  

  • Collaborate and actively serve where you desire to one day lead.
  • Seize opportunities to mix and work with the organization leaders.
  • Share your unique ideas on committees and work teams to demonstrate your expertise and passion for the work of the organization.
  • Exhibit enthusiasm for the mission and vision of the organization.
  • Learn to become more strategic with social media.
  • Develop meaningful professional relationships that support your goals to lead.
  • Begin to establish yourself as a content expert and thought leader in an area through your work and scholarship.

Keep on the radar a desire to protect the health and safety of the university, community and professional organization. As a final note, as you begin to engage in professional organizations, remember to encourage those around you as you work to help drive the mission, which is a WIN-WIN for all involved! 

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