What NHS taught me about leadership and community
I joined my high school's National Honor Society chapter in 2012 and served as the chapter's secretary for a year.
I had a great time - I highly recommend any high school student to join it - and I learned some things that still impact my life today.
Here are three of the best lessons I learned during my time in the National Honor Society.
1 Care About Your Community
The National Honor Society requires its members to complete a certain number of community service hours each year.
While I didn't expect to get much out of community service, I actually had some great experiences.
I helped plant new trees in Waldo Canyon just over a year after my family had to evacuate the fire that damaged that area.
A year after that, when the fire's damage and other conditions created flash flooding, I worked with the same organization to make sandbags.
I made breakfast for homeless people and discovered many of them were smart and fairly decent.
These experiences taught me to see the value in people I normally don't associate with and that communities working together can create healing and rebirth.
2 If You Want to Lead People, Be Personal
When I started helping preside over meeting as my chapter's secretary, I noticed that some members were underperforming.
Inevitably, there were people who wouldn't respond to requests, people who wouldn't pay attention during meetings and people who didn't show up at meetings at all.
When I brought this up with the other officers, I suggested calling people out, asking them to be quiet.
One of the officers told me that wouldn't have much effect and I'd have much more success rate if I went up to the people after meetings and talked with them one-on-one.
I realized then that leading people isn't just about being in charge.
Leading people well means meeting people one-on-one. It means being personable and showing some empathy so people want to work with you.
3 Be Willing to Go the Extra Mile
Technically, I was only a secretary during my last year in the National Honor Society.
That meant my stated job was to record what happened at each meeting, send emails and if necessary preside over meetings.
That year though, the president and vice president for that year had tough schedules and couldn't always attend meetings.
So at times, I was the officer presiding over meetings and giving input on projects.
This situation wasn't ideal, but I had to work with it.
Like it or not, there are times where contributing to a cause mean that you have to put in extra work.
Along the way, that extra work gives you great insights.
Do you have any great NHS memories or lessons earned? Tell me about them below
This article is Copyright 2018 by Gabriel Connor Salter. Originally published by the Odyssey Online on September 10, 2018. Original URL: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/national-honor-society/