By Latisha Ellison
A few weeks ago, I traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona to attend Leadership Rally hosted by PRSSA National. The weekend-long leadership training session is for Chapter Presidents and Student Run Firm Directors to network with each other and learn valuable skills to implement in their respective Chapters and Firms.
Leadership Rally is different from National Conference because I was by myself, and I didn’t have my PRSSA Kent safety net. Luckily, we’re PR majors, so we know how to talk! I met students from across the country and we shared best practices, problems, solutions and much more. Every Chapter is different and there’s no one way to run a Chapter, so it was great to listen and learn from other people in my position.
The weekend focused on leadership styles and best practices for being a Chapter President or Firm Director. Here are a few key takeaways from the weekend:
Different situations call for different leaders
Gary McCormick, APR, Fellow PRSA, talked about eight different leadership styles including: charismatic, innovative, transformative, pacesetter, command and control, situational, laissez-faire and servant. McCormick suggests that there will be problems that arise that will require you to change your leadership style when approaching the situation. For example, even though you are typically a laissez-faire leader, sometimes you will need to switch gears to become a command and control leader to address the situation correctly. It’s just like understanding that not everyone communicates the same way you do, so your approach to one person might be different from the person sitting next to him.
Delegate! Delegate! Delegate!
Did someone say “Delegate,” and I didn’t listen? Yes, I sure am guilty of not delegating. Sometimes, it’s just too easy to say, “It’s fine, I can just do it,” even though I probably already have enough on my plate. We think it’s easier if we do the task ourselves, when in reality it shows our lack of trust in others. As leaders, it’s important to know our limits and know when to pass a task onto someone else. They may do it differently than how you would do it, but that’s OK. A lack of delegation can be a major downfall for any leader.
The best leaders build other leaders
A friend told me this exact quote a couple of months ago, and then it popped back up again during Leadership Rally—it’s no coincidence. I am the leader I am today because of the peers I have looked up to and the professors who have taught me the skills I use every day. They have challenged me, believed in me and helped me grow. I aim to challenge my board, believe in them and look forward to watching them grow as leaders in our Chapter.
There isn’t a networking experience quite like Leadership Rally, and I’m so thankful I got to experience it! I can’t wait to try some of the ideas from other Chapters and introduce our members to those Chapters at National Conference!