It’s easy for service leaders to lose their sense of self amidst a deluge of emails, meetings, and club concerns. Focusing all of one’s attention on reaching a club milestone or implementing a new club structure can create a type of leadership “tunnel vision” where self-assessment takes the backseat in favor of more tangible goals. However, neglecting to stop and assess one’s leadership strengths and weaknesses actually weakens one’s ability to carry out meaningful club activities. In that spirit, I’ve decided to reflect upon my leadership successes and failures as a means to invigorate the Music Service Club for the duration of this semester and continue my leadership journey.

Looking back at last semester, my inability to allow failure as an instructive tool proved to weaken the overall independence of club officers. If any officer appeared as though they were faltering, I usually attempted to solve the problem in the hopes of avoiding a “larger” issue in the future. Of course, I now know that refusing to let officers learn hard lessons only serves to deprive them of learning meaningful skills that imitation alone cannot teach. I also struggled to find ways to make the club’s officers feel as though their weekly tasks (although they may have seemed small) were actually make-or-break components of the club’s service goals. Discussions from Council about officer empowerment will prove extremely useful this semester as I seek to tie each officers’ duties to the overall execution of our musical service performances.

Despite these shortcomings, I felt as though my overall attitude toward the daily challenges of leadership improved immensely over the last semester. In past semesters, I would remain preoccupied about club concerns even as I sought to balance my life with other hobbies and adventures. I find that I’m getting better each day at keeping club concerns in their proper place as well as maintaining a more stable, positive outlook toward leadership challenges. The Council discussion that Amy led about balance and stress management continues to make a lasting impact as I improve the way in which I allocate mental energy and time to different portions of my life. I’m also proud of the way in which I have worked with Michelle to find creative solutions to some of the club’s most trying leadership tests. In the face of poor officer performance and strained communication, we designed a new, hierarchical officer structure. So far, this structure has brought out the best in some of our more dependable officers and appears to motivate our struggling officers.  Recommendations from more established Council clubs played a huge role in convincing us of the necessity of making this big change. Furthermore, this new structure should set up our club for a more sustainable future, a goal that Philip and Amy have impressed upon us from our first Council meeting.

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