Over the years, some of the best student leaders that I engaged with were those who cared deeply about their club’s purpose and mission, and those who were committed to the leadership development of their peers.
It is easy for students to take on a leadership position and get a title to build their resume, but leadership is so much more than that. As a leader you should see yourself as the building contractor or the person responsible for implementing the design given by the architect. In the case of clubs and organizations, the leader’s` responsibility is to implement the plans of the membership developed as a shared vision. The shared vision for the year is developed in partnership between the E-Board and the members who all have a vested interest in the organization. Members want to be a part of the planning and program design, but many times the members are left out of the vision creation and are expected to implement a vision created by the leader or E-Board members.
A good rule of thumb for leaders to remember leading others is that people join clubs and organizations because they want to participate. They may join because they believe in the mission/vision and value of the organization (e.g., Black Student Union, LGBT-Ally group, Muslim Student Association) or they want to network with people with similar values and interests. They may also join as a means for sharing their skills and strengths with the organization (e.g., organizer, artist, accounting) or for developing their skills (e.g., public speaking, writing, debating). Everyone has an opportunity to build their resume in this process.
No matter the reason, people join organizations for a reason. A good leader or team of leaders (ergo the E-Board) will make it a point to learn from each member the reason they joined, which skill sets they have to offer or which skills they want to develop, and how much time they have to contribute. Armed with this information, the leadership is more equipped to help members find their place in the organization and are better positioned to lead their organization to great success, without doing the work meant for the members.