How to Finish Strong as a CTSO Officer or Student Leader

Posted on February 15, 2015

This article is written for student leaders who are:

  • 4-H Officers
  • BPA Officers
  • DECA Officers
  • FBLA Officers
  • FCCLA Officers
  • FEA Officers
  • FFA Officers
  • HOSA Officers
  • SkillsUSA Officers
  • Student Council Officers
  • TSA Officers

What a year!

Because you are a student officer, you’ve experienced opportunities you would have never experienced otherwise. You’ve met people you would have never met otherwise. And you’ve had opportunities you would have never had otherwise.

Now as you enter the final months of your service, it’s time to focus on how to finish strong. You are not one to coast to the finish line. You want to go all out! You want to leave your organization better than you found it, and you want to make it easy for the officers who follow you to succeed. How do you do this? How do you finish strong? Follow these 4 tips.

4 Tips for Finishing Strong as a Student Leader

Tip #1 — Watch Your Attitude

Two problem attitudes can sneak up on student leaders near the end of their terms: pride and laziness. Some leaders become arrogant. They start to forget they are there to serve the organization and begin to think the organization is there to serve them. Other leaders become lazy. Because they check out too soon, they end up missing out on making their greatest contributions.

Beware of each of these tendencies. Protect yourself against pride and push through laziness.

Tip #2 — Express Gratitude

Many people have helped make this a great year for you and your organization. Advisors. Fellow officers. Chapter members. Mentors, teachers, and coaches. Your parents. Why not express your gratitude in a tangible way? Send handwritten thank you notes to anyone and everyone who has been a part of this experience. Sure it will be time-consuming, but it will be time well invested. They deserve it, and your efforts will set you apart as a first-class leader.

NOTE: Sending handwritten notes is something I do as a leader. It  is one of the most positive ways to encourage others and, as stated above, it sets me apart as a first-class leader.

Tip #3 — Equip and Encourage New Leaders

How cool would it have been if the person who held your position before you left you a note explaining 10 positive things you could do as an officer to make it the best year of your life? Or what if that person recorded a short video encouraging you with three tips to start off your term right? Why not do something like this for the person who is about to step into the leadership position you’ve held?

Tip #4 — Stay in Contact

You have met some sharp advisors and student leaders. Once you move on from your leadership position, do you plan to stay in touch with each of them? Consider sending out an update letter every year to let people know what’s going on in your life. And how about adding a birthday reminder for all of these people into your calendar so you can send them birthday cards? These little acts of kindness will help you turn your year of student leadership with these people into lifelong relationships.


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