by Chantel McCormick Schieffer, International Vice President
Now more than ever, leadership matters. I don’t know how many times I’ve read or said those words over the last two years, but it has become so frequent in my vocabulary that sometimes I forget what those words really mean.
In its simplest definition, leadership is the ability of an individual or a group of individuals to guide and influence members of an organization, company, or community.
In my professional life, I guide people to grow and strengthen their leadership skills. I also help teams work better together. The best leaders that I know all believe that there is always room to grow and we should strive to be better each day.
Right now, we are navigating increasingly challenging times with the pandemic, social and political unrest, and divides that seem to grow everyday. Leading in this time is increasingly more challenging, and we need all of us guiding and influencing our organizations. It does not matter where you are on the organizational chart, you have an opportunity and obligation to lead.
Leadership doesn’t necessarily just mean those that are “in charge”. We can lead from wherever we are, and the best leaders that I know believe in and inspire those around them to lead greatly. Even if you aren’t currently serving in a leadership capacity in your chapter, organization or company, you can still guide and influence those around you by showing up with empathy, curiosity, courage, and kindness.
This is important because the team is important. No great organization, AOII chapter, local community, or international company is strong because of only one person. It takes an entire team of people working together in collaboration to make an organization successful.
I believe that in this particularly challenging time, we have learned more about the value of the team and teamwork. None of us can do important work alone and we shouldn’t have to. We have learned to rely on each other in ways that we have never really had to before this global pandemic. We’ve had to learn that it’s alright and actually necessary to focus on ourselves, and in order to do that we have to be able to rely on other people to pick up where we might have to leave off.
In chapters across our fraternity right now, leaders are being elected to positions of authority for your chapters. We congratulate and appreciate you for taking on this formal role. For those that are leading from different positions within the fraternity, remember that you too have an important role to play in the success of our organization. Remember that great leaders lead from wherever they are.