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RockStar: The 8 Habits of Rock Star Chapters
RockStar: The 8 Habits of Rock Star Chapters
RockStar: The 8 Habits of Rock Star Chapters
RockStar: The 8 Habits of Rock Star Chapters
RockStar: The 8 Habits of Rock Star Chapters
RockStar: The 8 Habits of Rock Star Chapters
RockStar: The 8 Habits of Rock Star Chapters
RockStar: The 8 Habits of Rock Star Chapters
RockStar: The 8 Habits of Rock Star Chapters
RockStar: The 8 Habits of Rock Star Chapters
RockStar: The 8 Habits of Rock Star Chapters
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RockStar: The 8 Habits of Rock Star Chapters

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KiKi L'Italien describes the eight habits that make good chapters extraordinary.

KiKi L'Italien describes the eight habits that make good chapters extraordinary.

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  • ROCK STAR: The Eight Habits of Rock Star Chapters
    So what is a rock star chapter? Some groups stand out as ideals – these chapters enjoy large memberships, lots of activities and projects, people recognize their efforts, their communities know about them, OSA presidents rattle off the names of their presidents with ease…these groups are what I call “rock star chapters” and there are several common habits that these chapters have that make them stand apart from others. There is a secret to having a rock star chapter – 8 habits that can make an amazing difference in the outcome of your group if you are willing to develop these habits. Let’s start on the first one now!
  • Strong Leadership
    One of the best benefits you can get from participating on the student chapter program is to develop leadership skills. Strong leaders inspire their members and make room for new leaders to develop. People feel more comfortable when they know who is in charge, so taking the role as leader helps you and your group to grow.
    Chapter leaders are able to regularly work with OSA to develop their programs, invite and meet with prestigious speakers, volunteer for their professional development, and lead the members and event attendees in their regions. There is a lot of power and possibility in those activities.
    I was always fascinated by people who wanted to know what OSA expected from the chapters. I thought, “Why are you even a leader if you don’t have your own goals?” Then I realized that they were looking for a way to frame what they were doing so they could gauge their success. That was a lesson for me as a leader and it can be a lesson for you, as well. Your members and the people looking to become involved in the chapter need your communication to help them understand what their involvement means. They need to know what’s in it for them and that can only happen if you understand what’s in it for you.
    I believe in learning from mistakes – mine and others’ – and I can tell you that I used to have a problem with waiting for consensus. I didn’t want to overstep any boundaries by suggesting what I thought should happen. There is a time and place for holding back, but if you go into a meeting already knowing what it is you think should happen, others will be grateful for your leadership. A good leader can go into a room with a basic idea of what they want and if they are open to modifications and suggestions by others, then they can leave the room later knowing that everyone has the same basic plan in place. Do not be afraid to lead! You don’t have to be mean to lead, you just need to be organized.
    Explore OSA’s benefits for student chapters, the grants and awards available, actually look at the chapter handbook and then allow yourself to think beyond what is in the handbook and what has been done before and start to think of what you can do to maximize the tools available to you through the OSA Student Chapter Program. The program is the framework and there is room for imagination and growth. Share this potential with your leaders and membership.
    Strong chapters always have clear leaders who are able to keep the chapter’s goals in focus.
  • Established Goals
    Why do you have a chapter? If you can’t answer that question relatively quickly, then there is a problem. What are your chapter’s goals? Don’t have any? Then stop right now and meet with the other officers in your group and discuss.
    Seriously, goals are an important part for being a rock star chapter. Your goals can be a combination of the group’s goals and OSA’s mission. You can also include your personal goals in the equation. You chapter is an outpost of OSA. It represents OSA to OSA members in your region and helps to share information about the science of light to your community. In addition to that, your chapter might also see inspiring kids about science as one of its goals. You might see development, preparation, and support for chapter members’ talks and presentations as a goal. Each chapter has its own personality and so your group will need to identify its primary goals, if it hasn’t already, and move on from there.
  • Brand Awareness
    This picture on the slide behind me is from a world famous fresh fish company in Pike Place Seattle where fishmongers throw fish and visitors have fun. What makes this fish company successful is the way the fishmongers have fun with visitors and make a visit near them an experience. The business model has been so successful that people travel to go to seminars to learn how this company did it. They have brand awareness, an excitement around what they do, a live fish cam that lets online visitors watch the store interactions during the day…their ability to excite their customers and spread news about their brand beyond the market and beyond Seattle by Word of Mouth, by creating something exceptional is what makes them a rock star example.
    The owner of the Pikes Place Fish Market says the following about their philosophy:
    “Your success isn't in doing what we do; it's in discovering your own way. Don't do what we do - we made it all up...do what inspires you...make it up! You just have to be (yourself...what inspires you). And it means commit yourself to who you say you are: act like it, think like it, look like it, feel like it, speak it...be it! You will create your own way by just being yourself, doing what inspires you. The secret to our secret lies in our commitment to being who we say we are.
    JUST BE IT. Your challenge is to ‘just be' who you want to be...for free...just because you said so.”
  • Brand Awareness
    This picture on the slide behind me is from a world famous fresh fish company in Pike Place Seattle where fishmongers throw fish and visitors have fun. What makes this fish company successful is the way the fishmongers have fun with visitors and make a visit near them an experience. The business model has been so successful that people travel to go to seminars to learn how this company did it. They have brand awareness, an excitement around what they do, a live fish cam that lets online visitors watch the store interactions during the day…their ability to excite their customers and spread news about their brand beyond the market and beyond Seattle by Word of Mouth, by creating something exceptional is what makes them a rock star example.
    The owner of the Pikes Place Fish Market says the following about their philosophy:
    “Your success isn't in doing what we do; it's in discovering your own way. Don't do what we do - we made it all up...do what inspires you...make it up! You just have to be (yourself...what inspires you). And it means commit yourself to who you say you are: act like it, think like it, look like it, feel like it, speak it...be it! You will create your own way by just being yourself, doing what inspires you. The secret to our secret lies in our commitment to being who we say we are.
    JUST BE IT. Your challenge is to ‘just be' who you want to be...for free...just because you said so.”
  • Passionate Members
    Building on the Pikes Place example, providing your members with an experience will go far in creating passion in them for your group. Quality, well-organized content – consistently good opportunities and interactions will enforce goodwill toward your cause.
  • Stopping to evaluate is critical. I am five years older than my sister and as we were growing up I would periodically tell her that she should stop, take a day and reflect on what she’d learned and think about what she wanted to do next. It was important for her to recognize how she’d learned and grown from the positives and negatives that took place.
    I was the founder of a literary group on my university’s campus. We were not a rock star group and I broke almost every single tip discussed so far. It would have helped for me to stop and reflect on what was working and what was not. The group lasted as long as I was on campus and died straight after. I still feel guilty about that, but since that time I have learned. Rock star chapters take time to make sure they are still aware of their goals and that they are achieving the kinds of things they wish to achieve.
  • Quality Meetings
    Failing to plan your meetings is planning to fail.
    How much work do you put into your meeting planning? Let me tell you from personal experience that no matter how much you think you think you’ve done everything you need to do to prepare for an event, you almost always forget something. Here’s a hint: Make a checklist for yourself to make sure you’ve done all of the basic tasks you need to do in order to have a successful meeting.
    Holding relevant meetings can be critical for helping to expose your chapter in a positive light to influential people on your campus and in your community. These meetings are also a service to your core membership who should be able to look to your chapter as leaders and representatives for them on their campus. You earn that expectation every time you deliver a quality event.
  • Collaborative Events
    Great chapters know how to work with other groups to maximize their impact. Chapters can collaborate with great success on events that allow them to reach out to new audiences. Collaboration can also help with additional funding sometimes. For example, OSA has a grant set aside especially for collaborative events. A chapter can apply for this grant whenever they hold a meeting with another scientific society. A good example would be when an OSA Chapter decides to work with an IEEE and SPIE Chapter on their campus…not only will that chapter reach more people, but the groups will also be able to combine resources to create an even bigger and better event.
  • Succession Planning
    Succession planning is the way you secure your legacy as a quality leader. Great leaders leave things so that their projects and groups are successful even after they are gone. Your first act as a chapter leader should be to secure a volunteer who can take over your role when you are gone. Incidentally, it isn’t enough to find just one. The rule is to identify 4 possible replacements with the following reasoning: The first one will have something unexpected happen, the second will turn you down, the third will disappoint you, and the fourth will come through. You never know what life holds, so it is best to prepare the best that you can.

    Summary
    My overall message is this: You already have all the ingredients for making a successful chapter. There are representatives of what I would call “rock star chapters” in this room right now. But there isn’t a big mystery surrounding what works. There is an amazing energy surrounding passionate leaders with a goal in mind. If each one of you sits down with other leaders of your chapter and talk about what’s possible, how you can make great things happen with the basic resources you’ve been given as chapter leaders, then you can really begin to achieve great things.
  • Transcript

    • 1. ROCK STAR 8 Habits of Rock Star Chapters KiKi
L’Italien,
The
Optical
Society
    • 2. Strong
Leadership
    • 3. Established
Goals
    • 4. Brand
Awareness
    • 5. Passionate
 
 


Members
    • 6. Strategy
Meetings
    • 7. Quality
Meetings
    • 8. Collaborative
Events
    • 9. Succession
Planning
    • 10. KiKi
L’Italien Chapters
&
Sections The
Optical
Society
(OSA) klital@osa.org Skype:
kiki_litalien Twitter:
@kikilitalien

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