Turning the page to a new year is exciting, and sometimes even a bit relieving. By turning the page and starting with a clean one, we have the opportunity to create from scratch, even to re-write the story. Our history, however, would tell us that following this inclination may not be the best way to truly succeed. Alpha Gamma Delta is the strong, innovative Fraternity that she is today because of the thousands of women who came before us, that helped fill the pages of her story. These women took the foundation built by our Founders and instead of throwing it out or completely starting over, they chose to continue building upon it. It is this continuation that allowed for Alpha Gamma Delta's story to grow so vast and touch so many lives. Our membership has proven that incorporating new ideas into a solid foundation, rather than reinventing Alpha Gamma Delta each year, propels us forward.
The beginning of every year marks an important time for this organization—the transition of officers. In the spirit and excitement of the newness of your office or position, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with new ideas, ready to throw out last year's plan to begin from scratch, especially if the training or transitioning you received (or didn't) was not altogether very helpful to you.
Blame it on senioritis, burnout of the officer or volunteer who held your position in the past, or simply a case of apathy; regardless, it is incredibly possible that you may feel less-than-directed as you take on your new role. So, in the spirit of "I was never really trained;" "I never received those materials;" or "I was never formally trained, I just figured it out on my own," we move forward and make our changes, sometimes filling those blank pages with ideas or assumptions rather than truth. Instead, take the time to learn about the past - what has worked and what has not - so that you can write our future story without neglecting our history.
Whether you are coming or going during this time of transition, here are a few tips for how to put your touch on this part of Alpha Gamma Delta's story without having to completely reinvent it.
Effective transitions cannot happen in a single night or weekend. It takes dedication, hard work and plenty of time to ensure the proper transition of tasks and responsibilities.
- If you are an outgoing officer or volunteer, remember that you have the opportunity to help lay the foundation for future generations of leaders in your chapter. Start by creating a checklist of items and deadlines that need to be reviewed with the incoming officer.
- If you are a new officer or volunteer, remember the person in the position before you and seek her out as a sister and mentor, just as Alpha Gamma Delta does with her Founders. She knows the history and is probably your best resource in writing the future.
- Hold fast to our history, but don't be afraid to bring new ideas to the table. Though her Purpose remains the same, the story of Alpha Gamma Delta has evolved through the years. Each year has brought her new chapters and new members, filling our story with women who continue to bring innovation to our Fraternity. Fill the pages of 2013 with plans that are firmly grounded in a healthy foundation, yet acknowledge the need for change and growth.
- If you are an outgoing officer or volunteer, share your experiences with the new officer or volunteer. Help her understand not just WHAT you did, but how and why. Also understand that she may do things differently, and that's okay too. Give her the respect and the trust to put her own stamp on this organization.
- If you are a new officer or volunteer, work with your team, outgoing officers and incoming leaders to determine which chapter processes or traditions should remain and which should be reviewed, revitalized or removed. Work together to develop check-points and collaboration opportunities throughout the year.
- Remember your impact. Remember that Alpha Gamma Delta's story was once a book of empty pages, until 11 women were brave enough to write it. Each and every member since has contributed to our story. As you write your individual story, you too are leaving a lasting impression on your chapter, your alumnae club, your team, your sisters, our Fraternity. Never underestimate the impact you may be having on an individual member's life or the life of Alpha Gamma Delta.
- If you are an outgoing officer or volunteer, thank you for your service to our Fraternity. The time, talent and treasure you put into your work for the Fraternity is so appreciated. Without dedicated sisters like you, we would never be able to move forward.
- If you are a new officer or volunteer, thank you also for your service to our Fraternity. Have faith in yourself and in the potential you have to bring about positive change. Respect the past, and put your dreams for the future into action. We can't wait to see what you accomplish!
Remember, whether you are a new member or initiated member, collegian or alumna, officer or volunteer, incoming or outgoing, that "Alpha Gamma Delta belongs to you. Where she shall stand at the end of another decade is your responsibility. Knowing her achievements and her ideals you cannot fail to give her your best, taking her best in return." -Louise Leonard, Past Grand President.