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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Leadership Puzzle ... and You

A main reason Delta Kappa Gamma was founded is still valid: women teachers need the support of each other. Chapters provide a haven of support and encouragement for women educators. Helping each other to build confidence, to feel the strength of combined voices, and to develop courage to speak out to and for each other is essential. DKG chapter leaders must feel the support of their members.  

When chapter members do not support each other to develop as educators, community members, and leaders, the chapter is weakened. That makes me wonder how it happens that a chapter with 24 members dissolves because no one wants to be the president? How can a chapter with six members continue? What is the difference? I think the difference is mindsets such as I’ve-been-there-and-done-that-and-it’s-not-my-problem and I’ve-been-there-and-done-that-and-it’s-my-opportunity-to-foster-the-potential-of-another leader-AND-of-my-chapter. Both mindsets are valid and likely result from several factors that affect the chapter culture. 

Consider your chapter: 
  1. Do members encourage each other? OR do members create cliques and wait for others to do what they see needs to be done (enliven programs, make personal contact, explore the chapter relationship to the state organization and international)? 
  1. Do members support the officers and each other with attention and courtesy? OR do members criticize the officers and each other in private and in public?  
  1. Do chapter leaders foster potential personal and professional growth of members? OR do chapter leaders “possess” their positions and keep them long term as they fail to encourage and train others to test and practice their skills?  
  1. Do members really listen to each other about what they want from chapter membership? OR do a few members make all the decisions ignoring time constraints and other responsibilities of the others? 

Do you do all you can to help others? Of course, you do: that’s what educators do. We chose to be and continue to be educators because we know we can help others develop their potential and to experience accomplishment. YOUR chapter needs your positive attitude to lead the way for leaders and followers. 

As chapters consider the election of their 2018-2020 officers, YOUR understanding of “leadership” is crucial. Is yours a chapter that successfully fills each office with someone who seeks the challenge of her responsibility? OR is yours a chapter that hears the discouragement—stagnation—of “I’ve been president twice. Nobody wants to be president, and so I guess we’ll have to dissolve.” Those words, that sentiment, are not rare. Why is that? What circumstances lead to this giving up on something that you value? 

Is the responsibility of inviting new members—growing new leaders—overwhelming? Are you wary of taking a leadership role?  I encourage you to set a personal goal to enrich your chapter. YOU can lead small to lead large when you use the best in you to enhance the best in a budding educator and in a veteran educator. What “safer” place is there to do that than in your DKG chapter? Who can do this better than you? 


  1. Hi! I am a State Organization President, and your article is exactly what I would like to say to my members. Would it be ok if I share the article in my State President's Newsletter? (Giving credit, of course).

  2. Hi Karen, Yes! Just give credit to this blog.

  3. Karen, I just read your blog and would love to share a small part of it in our CT State Organization newsletter (The Keynote)
    Thank you, Carol Beam CTSO Editor


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