An Open Letter to Outgoing Officers

Amy Gallagher
Amy Gallagher

Dear outgoing officer,

Congratulations! You have fulfilled your time as a dedicated member of your chapter. You have been given a chance to be a leader, to develop personally and professionally, to advance your chapter, and most importantly, to leave a lasting legacy.

It is a great thing being a part of the executive council. Your late nights of preparation and long hours of meetings have not gone unnoticed. I hope you are proud of how you used your time, and I hope you are excited to pass that honor to another sister. Here are a few pieces of advice from someone who has been in your shoes, excited to pass the reins but hesitant to let them go.

Transition your successor well. Sure, you may be around next semester and be willing to make yourself available to her. But she is excited and full of ideas. Give her all of the knowledge that it took you a year to collect so she can hit the ground running. Empower her to actually hit the ground running by preparing her with all of the information you may wish you had when you started out. Sure, she may come to you with small, detailed questions, but give her ownership in the position she has been elected for. She may not be the type to ask for help, or may not know the questions to ask. Help a sister out – set up a time to brain dump. Then, set up a second time to meet to answer all of the questions she is sure going to have once she digs through all of your knowledge.

Support her in her role. She may not be your clone. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t respect the progress you made in the role. It means she is looking to make her own. Hopefully, she isn’t repeating a misstep that you made. But if she is, maybe she needs a helpful reminder of that conversation you had in transitions about the things you tried that didn’t work so well. As you know, being an officer is a learning experience. Help her learn by being a mentor and establishing positive and regular communication with her. It will help you understand why she may be making the decisions she is making.

Remember that your legacy is still in the making. You may not be in the spotlight anymore. But you have most likely established yourself as a leader in the chapter, someone who people trust and respect. Keep that positive influence throughout your time as a member. Don’t check out. You will regret it later. Use your influence for the good of the chapter and support the new officers. They are working their tushes off, just like you did. Think of that older member you looked up to as a new initiate and why she was so great. Make that your legacy. Make it a positive one.

Most importantly, enjoy just being a member again. Stay active, be involved and offer a helping hand. If you get to know the younger members, it will make visiting the chapter that much better for that much longer. Don’t lose sight of living one heart, one way in your old age.

Sincerely,
Your friendly neighborhood leadership consultant

Traveler’s Workout

Molly Kenney
Molly Kenney

http://www.today.com/video/today/47353825

I love this workout video for a variety of reasons.

  1. It is the ideal traveler’s workout because it can be done in any location and requires no equipment.
  2. Even though I’m a residentially based consultant, which allows me a little more flexibility with working out, I HATE running outside in the cold weather. So I’m thinking this will be the perfect cold weather workout for me.
  3. The workout is short, but not so easy. With the little time commitment it requires, the excuses to not work out due to a busy holiday schedule are not valid.

Turn up the tunes and enjoy a short, challenging workout! Happy holidays!

Molly

Oh The Thinks (I) Can Think!

Gabby Della Pesca
Gabby Della Pesca

In my experience so far, being a LC has been an incredibly social experience — there are meetings, conferences and workshops galore at which you end up meeting tons of new friends and acquaintances. But as social as the job can be, it has definitely provided me with many opportunities to be alone with my thoughts…which often puts me in some very strange company.

So, without further ado:

Irrational things that I spend way too much time thinking about:

What my role would be within a group of plane crash survivors…(Spoiler alert: I would be the know-it-all lovable nerd that the other survivors keep around because of my basic knowledge of survival skills, which I learned from reading Hatchet in fifth grade.)

What I would do if the picture window in my apartment crumbled off the side of the building.

Groceries and everything related to groceries.

How tunnels that go underwater are built. I’ll save you a trip to Wikipedia: Turns out tunnels are built by scuba diving engineers as well as mermaids/mer-men.

What I would do if I was drafted into the military for some reason. You never know.

How I would put out the curtains in my apartment if they caught on fire. I have a lot of curtains, okay?

Whether or not I should buy silly things like a multi-compartment lunch box or a new spatula.

How the Internet works. People frequently try to explain this to me, but those people were not successful.

Why the wax in candles never burns evenly, forcing me to dig around with a fork to find the wick so I can light the candle again. Ugh. When the scuba diving engineers are finished building tunnels, I’m going to ask them to invent some better candles. (You’re welcome.)

P.S. A quick update for those who were wondering—Beyoncé hasn’t called me in three days… should I be worried?

Until next time,

Gabby

Oh The Places You’ll Go

Autumn Breeden
Autumn Breeden

I always knew that leadership consultants got to do cool things and see the world, but I can’t even begin to describe how true that is. Over the last semester, I’ve had the opportunity to do SO MANY cool things! So here is my list of my 10 favorite memories and lessons for the semester!

10. Inheriting the Earth!

On my latest trip to visit Theta Epsilon (UC Riverside), I had the chance to participate in a Botanical Gardens Clean Up with the chapter. Since our group was so large and was a surprise to the master gardeners, we were assigned the Tropical Orchard! This is a section of the botanical gardens that isn’t open to the public, but Theta Epsilon and I got to go inside the barbed wire fence (yes, it was that serious) and help pick up fallen fruit and weeds. We also had the freedom to pick fruit from the trees to take home with us! As you can see in the picture below, I was determined to get the perfect pomegranate!

9. Getting to catch up with old friends!

I was so excited for the opportunity to meet up with Jaynie, another Sigma Kappa leadership consultant, while we were both visiting chapters in California. Jaynie has also spent the majority of her fall semester visiting chapters in District 7. While Jaynie was visiting Cal State Fullerton (Epsilon Tau Chapter), I was visiting UC Riverside (Theta Epsilon Chapter). A very friendly Theta Epsilon named Armida volunteered to drive me to Fullerton one night of my visit. Below, you can see a picture of Armida and me outside the beautiful Sigma Kappa house!!

8. Checking more states off my list!

When I started this job, my travels were mainly confined to the East Coast, but that is not true anymore! Thank you Beta Omega (University of Nebraska Omaha) for taking me to stand in two new states at one time!! The picture below shows the states I’ve been to, with the dark purple being states that I visited for the first time since I started my leadership consultant journey.

7. Bid Days!

Who doesn’t love getting new members?! I had the opportunity to attend bid day celebrations with both Theta Omicron (Arizona State University) and Theta Epsilon (UC Riverside)!

6. Recruitment!

Some of you are probably shaking your head and saying I’m crazy now, but it’s true! I love getting to be the cheerleader during recruitment! I had the opportunity to visit Beta Omega (University of Nebraska Omaha), Theta Epsilon (UC Riverside) and Theta Omicron (Arizona State University) for recruitment this past semester!

5. Serving our community!

Just recently, Katie Couric challenged five cities to collect canned food for the holiday season. Phoenix was one of the five cities chosen! So Katie sent a special correspondent to rally the troops and collect cans for the St. Mary’s Food Bank, which is the oldest food bank in the world! The fraternity/sorority community at ASU was challenged to collect cans, and Theta Omicron (Arizona State University) did just that! In just under 24 hours, the women of Theta Omicron donated over 900 cans for this cause. They were second place in all of Greek life behind Sigma Phi Epsilon who brought in over 2,000 cans!!! Their huge donation earned them a spot on the Katie show! The show aired Nov. 18, but it still can also be viewed online! Go watch the show and look for the chapter and myself in our Sigma Kappa swag!

4. Learning about myself along the way

Coming into this job, I thought my relationship-building skills were lacking. I was worried that there was no way I’d be able to quickly make connections with the women I met. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I am better at making friends than I thought! This job has also reinforced my organization and perfection obsession. I get an unbelievable amount of satisfaction from checking things off my to-do list and from filing the emails in my inbox.

3. Exploring the West Coast!

During my first trip to California, the women of Theta Epsilon (UC Riverside) took me to Santa Monica so I could see the pier and touch the Pacific Ocean for the first time!! It was such an amazing opportunity, and it was absolutely gorgeous!!

I also had the opportunity to take some personal time to visit Las Vegas, Nev. for the first time! It was unreal how big and fancy it is! My favorite hotel was the Cosmopolitan. I even had the chance to ride on the gondolas at the Venetian! On the way to Las Vegas, I was also able to visit the Hoover Dam! It really is HUGE!

As most of you know from my previous blogs, I am a huge college football fan! So living at another huge school with lots of school spirit and athletics support has been amazing! I had the opportunity to go to an Arizona State Sundevils football game when they played the University of Southern California! Now I have two college football teams to root for!

2. Meeting new friends!

This job has allowed me to meet women and make connections with women all across the country. These are amazing women who will make a difference in not only their schools and Sigma Kappa, but in the world.

1. Making a Difference

While the results may not have come to fruition yet, I often remind myself that I am making a difference. I like to hope that being there for the collegiate women and guiding them and their chapter is making a difference in their lives and the organization. Sometimes it is hard to look at the big picture, but when I take a step back, it is definitely one of the most rewarding things about this job.

This semester has been an amazing one, and I can’t wait for the amazing things that the spring will bring. Some things I hope to do while I’m on the West Coast again are to see UCLA and USC, to explore Los Angeles, to make it up to San Francisco, see the Grand Canyon, go to Disneyland, and to continue to make amazing memories with Sigma Kappas around the country! (Looks like spring will be busy!)

xoxo, A

Stop and Smell the Roses

Francesca Gomes
Francesca Gomes

Hello, friends!

During training this summer, my teammate Erica introduced me to thoughtcatalog.com, and since then I have loved reading up on the wide variety of things people post about. I really enjoyed this one in particular titled “18 Things Everyone Should Start Making Time For Again,” by Brianna West. Feel free to browse here:

http://thoughtcatalog.com/brianna-wiest/2013/11/18-things-everyone-should-start-making-time-for-again/

Okay, so this post isn’t exactly about smelling roses. But in today’s society, it is easy to forget that there was a time when technology did not exist and people did not feel the need to constantly keep busy. As leadership consultants, we rely heavily on technology to help us with the work we do. I know personally, if I am not doing something, I feel like I’m slacking… and that’s never a good feeling for me. However, this blog reminds you that there are many simple things in life that are worthwhile in many ways.

Number one on the list is writing things by hand and is something that I can definitely relate to. I love sending handwritten cards and notes to my teammates, family, friends and collegians I meet on the road. Writing things by hand can be very personal and gives you the opportunity to think deeper about what you are saying than you would in a simple text message or email. I also love writing my schedules in my planner and being able to physically check things off of my to-do list. Believe me, it can be extremely gratifying.

A few other things mentioned include appreciating having time to do nothing, cooking just to cook, and reading hard copy books. These three things are ones that I have learned to appreciate as a LC and especially as a residential consultant this year. It’s okay to take time out of each day for yourself, to take time to cook, and to take time to read something you enjoy. It has taken some time to get used to the idea of doing such things, but I have learned that many times these things can keep me grounded and are often a highlight of my day.

When it comes down to it, don’t forget to do things for yourself in such a fast-paced world. What are some things that you find enjoyable?

xoxo,

Francesca

The World’s Grumpiest Cat

Kristin Ramey
Kristin Ramey

I’m not your typical animal lover. This could be because as a little girl, the Ramey family didn’t have any furry friends (only fish). My older sister, Meghan, is deathly allergic, and my mom always said that we would have to choose between her and a dog. Nevertheless, when I first laid eyes on the infamous Grumpy Cat, I couldn’t help but die a little on the inside.

grumpy

^^^ Look at that face!

For those of you who have seen and/or heard of Grumpy Cat, you automatically associate her with sarcasm and a frown. What I recently learned, is that Grumpy Cat is actually named Tartar Sauce. She was born on April 4, 2012 and lives in Arizona. Grumpy Cat is apparently not grumpy at all, yet suffers from feline dwarfism which causes her facial expression. Regardless of her life before the spotlight, Grumpy Cat has become a social media sensation, and the world’s grumpiest cat is actually making everyone laugh.

If you’re ever having a bad day, I challenge you to spend some time with Grumpy Cat by looking at some of her social media. I can almost guarantee that you will be laughing before you know it!

I have many favorites when it comes to Grumpy Cat, but I recently came across this on Buzzfeed.com. Two of my favorite things: Grumpy Cat and Disney. Enjoy!

7 Pictures Of Grumpy Cat As Iconic Disney Characters

Have a grumpy HAPPY day!

Kristin

P.S.- I call my older sister Grumpy Cat because I envision that if she was a cat, she would be just like this one. She is a little sassy and sometimes deserves the title (ask anyone in my family… LOVE YOU MEG). She has finally begun to embrace her new nickname!

1 Week, 7 States (of Mind)

Jacqueline Newell
Jacqueline Newell

This week has been a jammed pack week with lots of new experiences. It’s my last week on the road, and I’ve been in a perpetual state of self discovery… and confusion.

Louisville Founder's Day
Louisville Founders’ Day

Saturday, Nov. 9: Optimistic. I had the pleasure of spending Founders’ Day in Louisville, Ky. with five collegiate chapters, a handful of alumnae, and a past national president. Laura Owsley spoke at Founders’ Day and reminded me that Sigma Kappa is limitless.

In a derby daze
In a derby daze

Sunday, Nov. 10: Carefree. I had the opportunity to explore Louisville with both a new friend and an old friend. There’s nothing like enjoying America’s pastime at the Louisville Slugger Museum.

IUS Veteran's Day
IUS Veterans Day

Monday, Nov. 11: Patriotic. I attended a Veterans Day ceremony that I wouldn’t have known about if it weren’t for the president of a fraternity on campus who invited me. I heard the 11 bell rings at the 11th hour and heard veterans share their stories. The patriotism stayed with me all day.

Another Blind Date
Another Blind Date

Tuesday, Nov. 12: Courageous. The life of an LC is filled with many surprises and, as I like to call them, blind dates or encounters with new counterparts. Today, I found a new kind of blind date in the Indiana University Southeast bookstore – a blind date with a book!

It's hump day!
It’s hump day!

Wednesday, Nov. 13: Sentimental. I’m not sure what it was about today but, it became a day filled with a lot of love and talks with lots of family and friends (Happy birthday, dad!).

Coffee with a Cop
Coffee with a Cop

Thursday, Nov. 14: Grateful. I walked past the campus coffee shop today and was quickly sucked inside. Although I am not a coffee drinker, today I pretended to be one. IUS was hosting “Coffee with a Cop,” an event to meet and talk safety with the campus police officers. I learned a lot about the campus culture and, man, can those officers bake a good lemon cake!

Falling for Kentucky
Falling for Kentucky

Friday, Nov. 15: Self Discovery. My last few visits have challenged me in new and unexpected ways. I have been asked what I plan to do after being an LC, where my favorite school was, and, most importantly, what kind of music I listen to. Asking questions of others is how I learn best, but asking questions of myself is my biggest challenge. As I enter my winter hibernation, I’m sure I will continue to question myself!

See you next semester, ladies!

Dove Love, the road warriors