January 22, 2018

Making smooth transitions in leadership

You can build your campus club or organization for future years by planning an effective officer transition for your next set of leaders. Once new officers are elected there should be at least one more step before the previous officers and board heads for the hills – or that summer internship. Well, actually it could be considered two more things, but the first one you should try to get done early.

Dave Kelly - Making smooth transitions in leadership

Create a notebook binder – Using tabbed dividers use this to keep all of your primary club documents in one place. I hope I’m not too late in the year telling you this, we’re getting started just in time or that you’ve already done it. In order to effectively run your organization you have to commit to documentation. If you haven’t kept records during the year, this is a good place to start. Do your best to go back through they year and recreate the following items to be included in your notebook binder.

  1. Club or organization by-laws.
  2. Sample meeting agendas.
  3. A sample annual budget.
  4. A calendar of the year’s activities.
  5. A list of who to contact.

Provide an orientation – Set up a formal date and time to meet with your successors once they are elected. You’ll be turning over the notebook binder to them, along with any other records and answering any questions they may have. If this wasn’t done for you when you became an officer you may be creating a new tradition on your campus. If this wasn’t done for you I’m sure you can imagine how nice it would have been. If it was done for you then you know how helpful it can be.

Running a great campus organization doesn’t just happen and taking on a leadership role is a brave and important step. Don’t be afraid to step it up and make your new officer transition a really big deal… because it is!


Leadership consists of a set of skills, methodologies and ideas that can be taught.

Campus Organization Leadership Training (COLT) by Dave Kelly

Essential and Comprehensive Training for Student Government Associations; Student Leadership Programs; Greek Organizations; Recreational Clubs and Organizations; Academic Clubs and Organizations; Business Clubs and Organizations; International Student Organizations; and every Club, Organization and Student Leader on your Campus! (get more info…)

Series Navigation<< 5 Things to do Once You’re Elected to Student Leadership14 Elements for a great club meeting >>
About the Author: Dave "Gonzo" Kelly (64 Posts)

Dave Kelly is the leading authority on student leadership and community service on college campuses today. As a professional trainer, motivator, and servant leader, Dave is an expert on all aspects of running and leading campus organizations and developing the character of a servant leader. Dave has 20+ years training leaders and advisors from student government associations, campus activities boards and campus clubs of every kind on organizational leadership and community service projects. He has trained students and advisors at more than 150 different colleges and universities and is the national coordinator for the APCA Serves! Initiative by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities.

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