By: Alexa Wagner, Delta Psi President
“Women forget how much we can inspire one another. No one understands us like us.” -Alex Elle
A few weekends ago, I had the opportunity to attend Officer Leadership Academy for Zeta Tau Alpha in Atlanta, Georgia. Sitting in the car on my way to the hotel, I had no clue what to expect. I had just received the role of President and while I was excited, I had hundreds of questions in the back of my mind on what I needed to know, how I needed to start my role, how to properly run a chapter meeting, etc. OLA served not only as a guide for my role but gave me direction on how I can make Delta Psi better than I found it.
What is OLA?
OLA is a 3-day leadership conference filled with training, breakout sessions, ZTA games, and information we can use to take back to our chapters. Not only that, but you are surrounded with hundreds of women that love ZTA and share the same leadership roles as you!! Each person I talked to at OLA shared a small piece of their chapter with me. When I think about it, it really is one of the most amazing things ever. All of these pieces come together to create Zeta Tau Alpha, the fraternity that has made such a difference in each of our lives. I find it so amazing that each girl there has had a different experience in ZTA, but we can all come together at an event like OLA to learn more and grow from one another.
I was accompanied on this trip by our VPI, Kaley Claudepierre, our VPIII, Kylie Ballard, our risk manager, Shelby Luna, our treasurer’s assistant, Ashley Badin, and two of our amazing advisors Amanda and Jamie!
Some of my Takeaways….
Day one was based around different leadership styles. Each of us took a test called the “Noble Practices Assessment” to see what leadership style we were. The different leadership styles are…
– Self- Author
– Humble Heart
– Strategic Thinker
I learned that I was a giver while the rest of my group was something different. This activity reminded me to celebrate each other’s differences. Knowing how to work efficiently as well as make decisions with the other 11 girls on EC is crucial! The point of this activity is to learn how to communicate and make connections with different leadership styles so making those decisions is easy. In the end, we need to embrace our differences in the correct way and come together as one unit. I plan to do this activity with the rest of my EC who was not at OLA in order to start the year off with strong communication.
The ZTA Experience
On day two we covered the “ZTA experience.” ZTA has been such a light in my life and I truly believe that it has stemmed from the leadership opportunities our chapter has provided me with. Each position that I’ve held has not only helped me find myself, but it has helped me build connections with the girls I’ve had the opportunity to work with.
OLA taught me that everyone will have a different experience than me. For some, it may take time to find their place and that’s okay! But encouraging, guiding, and building connections is crucial for anyone to find their place.
During my time as president, I want to build our members up, encourage them to apply for leadership, and form real relationships with each of them. When we join any organization we want to feel welcomed, loved, and appreciated, I hope to make Delta Psi feel that this year.
Before leaving on Sunday, I wrote down my three personal goals for this semester based on all the information that was given to me.
- START OFF STRONG!!! Your sisters will feed off of you. You will be leading this chapter for a whole year. Stay positive and be a good role model.
- Establish a relationship with each member in the chapter. Connecting with members on a deeper level creates belonging, and can even inspire them to take on leadership roles in the future.
- “Be humble in success and without bitterness in defeat.” A very important line from our creed that I needed to take into this new journey with me.
Zeta Tau Alpha has impacted my life in so many ways. Of course through leadership positions and friendships, but also the opportunities we are provided with such as OLA to help us grow into the leaders we want to become.
I feel that with everything that was said during OLA, it’s almost as if Zeta had read my mind. All my questions were answered, and I felt 10 times more confident in my position. I am truly honored to be the president of the Delta Psi chapter and I cannot wait to see what this year brings for us!!!
– Alexa Wagner, Delta Psi President