How to Win: Options for Action

How to Win: Options for Action

Success comes from rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty in the daily life of campus. But that is not the only thing you can do to succeed and contribute to a mentally healthy campus.  “Win” in this situation is about successfully achieving the desired outcomes, and not about beating an opponent.

Do not fall for the trap of inaction because you feel that you cannot make a difference, given such a grand challenge. Winning is more than just doing it all yourself. Here are 15 ways of taking action and contributing.

  1. Doing – Take action on your own. Plan and run your own programs.
  2. Partnering – Work in collaboration with others. You may have a lead role, or you may support your collaborators as they lead.
  3. Supporting – You may provide social, financial, reputational, moral, or other supports for a project or program, even if you are not directly responsible for any of it.
  4. Endorsing – You may lend your reputation by vouching for someone or something.
  5. Challenging – You may question, critique, and help refine a course of action.
  6. Informing – You may provide your expertise, experience, and insights to mitigate risk and improve outcomes.
  7. Celebrating – You may encourage, find joy, and strengthen others as they succeed. (Perhaps you may do this even more so when they fail, having worked hard in a good cause).
  8. Amplifying – You may increase something through increasing awareness, adding your voice, and reaching new audiences.
  9. Modeling – You may demonstrate for others what good looks like.
  10. Delegating – You may identify necessary actions and find people who have the abilities and strengths required.  You may delegate those actions to those who will do them best or learn the most from doing them.
  11. Guiding – You may provide advice, direction, and input to improve both decision-making and actual project activities.
  12. Funding – You may provide full or partial financial support. This can become stronger especially through finding money from multiple sources, and then directing it to specific programs or portfolios.
  13. Governing – You may sit on a board or other body that provides oversight and governance to a specific set of initiatives.
  14. Evaluating and Learning – You may determine outputs and outcomes from a specific project or program, and then use that information to improve your own programs or those of others.  Learning as you go helps you improve your processes of designing, planning, delivering and evaluating.
  15. Validating – You may confirm or approve a concept, policy, or implementation.

There are many other kinds of contributions beyond these. The key is to understand that there is more to getting work done than simply doing it all yourself. Success comes from a blend of these actions. Student leaders can make valuable contributions within the overall campus community in many ways. Some of these contributions may be small, while others may be expanded and built on for the future.

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