“I’ve been elected as what?!”
Leadership involves the same general characteristics regardless of the organization or position held. What’s different, are the challenges and goals of the group that you are serving. Being elected to a leadership position is first and foremost, an honor. It’s says that your peers felt you were the best person to represent them for a specific role or function. Knowing the responsibilities of your position is critical. Don’t be a placeholder, but rather a proactive representative for your organization.
In a fraternity or sorority, it’s very important to know the principles of the organization. If primarily a service organization, it’s important that you as an elected leader be willing to lead by example. Don’t ask others to do what you would not do yourself. Many fraternities and sororities are chartered as both service and social organizations. Make sure that as an elected leader, ethical behavior is at the front of your mind. When you are in a leadership position, you no longer simply represent yourself, but represent the entire organization as well. You become a face for the organization, and should be willing to hold yourself to a higher standard. If you aren’t willing to do this, you should rethink your willingness to accept a leadership position.
A leader should expect that those whom they represent will rise to just under the character and work standards established by the leadership. If this is the case, make certain that you set the bar very high, so others can rise to meet the standard you set. Above all else though, remember that being elected, as a leader, is a responsibility and an honor. Take it seriously, regardless of how large or small the position may seem. People will be looking to you and you now represent something larger than yourself.