When I was at LC training, we were asked to create a goal that we wanted to work toward this year. It could have been anything; it didn’t even have to relate to the LC position. I have a lot of goals that I want to work towards in the next few years. I want to get into graduate school. I want to retake the GRE. I want to pay off some of my student loans. But, I decided that I wanted to create a new goal that I could fully work on during my time as an LC.
I started to think about what the LC job was going to bring me in the next year and that is when I thought about my goal. This position is so unique and it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most, so I decided that my goal was to be more reflective in everything that I do. What I meant by this was that I would take time after each day to think about what had happened in the past 24 hours. I would then take time to think about how that would impact me in the future. I would think about how my experiences as a consultant would get me into graduate school. I would think about how my experiences as a consultant would land me a job in a few years. I even try to relate my consultant experience to everyday life, and how being an LC is making me a better and more well-rounded individual.
I have been on the road for about a month and I think that it is important to share some of my large takeaway moments thus far. If you are considering being a leadership consultant, I hope you can take something away from these lessons. These experiences show you that being an LC is more than working for our organization, but it can truly change you for the better in all areas of your life.
You will not always get to do the things you love. In college, you have a lot of freedom to decide what you want to do with your day, but I have realized that this is not always the case when you are working. I love being a consultant because I love chapter operations. I love leadership development. I love making sure rules, policies and procedures are being followed. I love challenging the process with chapters and thinking outside of the box. One thing that does not make me excited is recruitment. I have just never had a huge love for it. Although this may be the case, recruitment is a large part of my job and I have come to peace with my recruitment feelings. LC life has challenged me to see recruitment in a new light and to see all the benefits it brings. Without recruitment, I would never get to do the things I love.
Relationship building is key. I am at a new school every five days. Each school I go to, I have to start by building a relationship. I have learned that people open up to you when you make a connection with them. Members are more willing to open up to change if they trust me and if I create that positive connection. I think that this is just how people are in general. We want to feel that connection before we open up.
Routines. Routines. Routines. Being a traveling consultant, there is not much room in my life for consistency. I am in a new city every five days, in a new bed every visit, and seeing new faces at every chapter. I have realized that it is hard for humans to live like this. We are so used to everyday routines that, when we get them taken away, it is difficult for us to function throughout our day. I found a few things that I could control and keep constant in my ever-changing world. I have breakfast every morning before I start my day. I watch an episode of Friends every night to end my day.
Expect the unexpected. I love following a plan and checking things off of my to-do list. But life does not follow a to-do list and I have become really great at going with the flow. In LC world, things do not always go as planned. Sometimes a hurricane will hit and stop you from leaving a chapter. Sometimes your plane is delayed and you have to rework a whole chapter visit. Sometimes you get a cold and have to put a smile on anyway. Life is about working through the challenges, and going with the flow has not been as bad as I thought. I am starting to live without my constant to-do list mentality.
If I could summarize this last three months into two words it would be: personal growth. This position has challenged me to think about things differently and has pushed me to try new things. I never believed people when they said this job would challenge you in ways you never imagined, but those people were so right. I am looking forward to seeing everything this position has to offer. I will continue to reflect and adapt to my new job and lifestyle post-undergrad.
I challenge each of you to take time at the end of your day to think about how the things you did that day will benefit you in the future. You can reflect by writing in your journal, writing on a blog or even just taking some time to think about your day. If you are filling your life with meaningless activities, are you really becoming a better person? Make everything you do meaningful because if it doesn’t have meaning, is it really worth your precious time? Reflect on today and reflect every day.