Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tip of the Day: Be Professional

SFL just ran it's first E-Leadership Seminar tonight (more information on this will be announced soon). For the seminar, I covered several best practices of highly successful student leaders. The first one I mentioned deserves to be put up here: Be professional.

The stereotype amongst all nonprofits and other organizations dedicated to liberty is that student groups are irresponsible and they are lucky if they can arrange any kind of event with a student group. This is a terrible reputation that groups need to recognize and fight against. If you want to get the respect and assistance of outside organizations, administrative support, and become a successful organization, professionalism must be exuded at all times. This means several things:
  • Respond to all emails in a timely manner. Do not wait a week to answer emails. Respond within 48 hours. You check your email at least 10 times a day. You can respond within 48 hours.
  • Be respectful in emails. Use proper pronunciation and check for grammatical errors.
  • Do not expect support, but be grateful when you receive it.
  • When you bring in a speaker, dress in at least business casual to introduce him/her. Have water on hand for the speaker. And invite them out for drinks afterward.
  • Treat your role in the organization as if it were a job, because it is.
Use common sense. Being professional isn't rocket science. It's fairly intuitive. It just requires you to remember to do it.

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