The vice presidents’ first role is that of a manager, overseeing the committee system. Once all retreats have been executed, the internal and external vice presidents will monitor their respective cabinets. It’s important to remember to lead by example. In this role, you should never publicly criticize a member. Doing so lowers morale and weakens the respect of the chapter for the vice president. If necessary, the member not fulfilling his duties should be addressed privately. Conversely, praise should be done publicly and given often for good work.
“Success doesn’t carry a dollar sign… Success isn’t something that just happens. Success is learned. Success is practiced. And then it’s shared.” – Sparky Anderson
One of the principle roles of the vice president is that of a motivator. The vice presidents ensure the committees continue to run and function efficiently. As the committee chairmen monitor and evaluate their committee members, the vice president is responsible for his chairmen. In an effort to keep these individuals motivated, one should remember the following points:
- Posted/Distributed lists. Following weekly cabinet meetings, the vice presidents could either post or distribute a list, detailing what each committee will be working on for the coming week. The list will help hold the chairmen accountable for meeting their weekly expectations.
- Advance planning. Prior to each term following the chapter goal setting retreat, the executive council should prepare a tentative schedule of chapter events. Each vice president, working with his chairmen, could then develop and update a detailed schedule of the coming two weeks. This schedule could be posted or distributed at weekly meetings. This advance planning will help increase attendance to chapter events and avoid time conflicts between members.
- Weekly committee and cabinet meetings. Committee chairmen should meet weekly with their committees prior to the weekly cabinet. These meetings will help the chairman keep his committee focused on the goal for that week. Just as the vice president rewards his chairmen, so should the chairmen reward their committee members. This could be accomplished by varying the meeting location and activities at the meeting (i.e. having pizza at the meetings, member of the week, etc.) By holding the committee chairmen accountable, the vice president ensures the committees stay on task.
- Written committee reports. After meeting with his committee, the chairman should prepare a brief report outlining the meeting for the vice president each week. By doing this on a regular basis, the chairmen hold a vested interest in the committee’s progress.
- Recognition, recognition, recognition. It cannot be stressed enough. Both the chairmen and the committee members need public displays of recognition. Motivating these individuals becomes one of the major roles of a vice president. Remember: criticize in private; praise in public. You cannot give too many awards. For example, the vice president could establish a plaque for chairman of the month or year or hold an annual dinner for his cabinet.
“A person always doing his best becomes a natural leader, just by example.” – Joe DiMaggio
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” – Vince Lombardi
“In order to be a leader, you have to know your job. You have to make people want to follow you, and nobody wants to follow somebody who doesn’t know where he’s going.” – Joe Namath
“Contrary to the opinion of many people, leaders are not born. Leaders are made, and they are made by effort and hard work.” – Vince Lombardi
As an elected leader in the chapter, each vice president will be faced with many tough decisions. It is expected that you do the right thing, even if it is unpopular. It should be noted that brotherhood and chapter unity should never be used as an excuse for failure to execute chapter policy. You may have to make difficult choices in an effort to keep the chapter moving in the right direction.
It is important that each vice president encourages the maximum results from all of his chairmen. It is the ultimate responsibility of the vice presidents that the work assigned to each committee is accomplished according to the goals set by the chapter.