This piece was written by Rayna Rose Exelbierd, the amazing student who put together the Future Leaders for Israel Conference, sponsored in part by CAMERA. Rayna is the president of Owls for Israel, a CCAP (CAMERA supported) group at Florida Atlantic University. She wished to share her leadership discoveries with anyone who needed some help.
When I sat down to write this article about directing the Future Leaders for Israel conference, I had a hard time deciding just how to start. How does one accurately describe six months of planning? How exactly does one narrate months of personal growth in a way outsiders can understand? While I have embarked on many challenges in my life, directing a conference has, by far, been the most difficult undertaking. Inspired by my Chabad Sinai Scholars class, I have created a set of 10 commandments inspired by the most important lessons learned through my FLI experiences.
- Thou Shalt not Complain
People who complain the most do the least work. Just like a group project in school, sometimes people are unable to pull their weight. Do not let any conflict of work ethic prevent a successful initiative from happening. If something isn’t done, pick up the extra slack and acknowledge that some people need an extra hand. A committed leader must also have a solid understanding of necessary tasks and obligations required to execute. Delegation is extremely important, but it is not an excuse to be negligent.
2. Thou Shalt GET IT IN WRITING
This is applicable to anything that requires another person or business to do something needed in the future. Most people have good intentions, but can forget things for a variety of reasons. Written communication may be effectively used as a reference and a reminder, thus preventing any major dispute.
3. Thou Shalt Create Lists
Lists can serve as a variety of amazing outlets. Outside the obvious of staying on task, they are extremely important in measuring success. Sometimes an anticipated work schedule can be turned upside down for differing circumstances. Thus, it is important to identify and invest time in the more urgent tasks. The added challenge is not letting anything slip under the rug.
4. Thou Shalt Foster Effective Communication
Communication in social situations is entirely separate from communication in leadership roles. Even if a leader is super friendly with their team members, lack of effective communication can ruin a project. As a group leader, one must remember to check in with all team members; remember, a group is only as strong as its weakest member.
5. Thou Shalt Work With Others
Once a team has solid communication, any dream is obtainable. Group activities outside of the planning process are really helpful at bringing a team closer together. The closer members feel to each other, the more accountable they will feel with their responsibilities. The more a leader knows what makes their team feel fulfilled, the more likely success will prevail—no matter what challenges arise.
6. Thou Shalt Manage Time
While plans may sometimes be broken, an overall schedule of deadlines is essential for group morale.
7. Thou Shalt Not Freak Out
Time management aside, solid teamwork and stress management is crucial. Do not waste precious conversation venting about difficulties with another individual unless the person can help remedy the situation. There is a huge difference between being stressed out and freaking out.
8. Thou Shalt Manage School Well
If possible, work ahead. However, if that simply isn’t possible, speak to professors and trusted advisors in order to keep up with schoolwork. No matter what else is on one’s plate, schoolwork must be close to or at the top.
9. Thou Shalt Take Action
There is never a “perfect time” to do something. As soon as you have an idea, write it down, lock down a date, and contact the necessary people in whichever order is necessary to get rolling.
10. Thou Shalt Remember: “If you will it, it is no dream”
Believe in yourself and your project no matter what life throws at you; never doubt that you’ve got this. Our biggest challenges end up being our biggest blessings, and those challenges will make you a better leader.