#NoTitleNeeded Leadership Spotlight Sarah Lucas


Student Leadership Development wants to recognize Sarah Lucas, a senior who practices leadership without a title in choir. Thanks for sharing your inspiring words and telling others how you practice #NoTitleNeeded!

“Titles are just a formality, but contribution is tangible. When I first came to William & Mary, the organization fair was to say the least, overwhelming. There were so many older and experienced students jumping at me left and right trying to get me to follow them. I had spent the whole summer wondering what was the quality that makes  William & Mary student a William & Mary student, and during orientation, it seemed that everyone else around me was looking for the answer, too. I got my answer at the fair: everyone here has the capacity and desire to lead. It’s something that comes naturally to us. After realizing this, my new conundrum was this: how can I lead in a place where everyone else is a leader too?

     Like anyone else, I found an organization where I felt that I fit in well–choir. I loved choir, and I still do. I really looked up to the officers and wanted to lead like them from an executive position, but as a freshman that was out of the question. So I found another way to be involved. I spent the whole year participating in all of the choir’s events, even the voluntary ones. I woke up early and gave up a weekend or two to help decorate our homecoming float, carried boxes of programs to concert venues, and even willingly helped assemble and disassemble the risers. I did those things because I loved to help, and helping made things run more smoothly. In reflection, I might not have had a title that authorized me to delegate responsibility, but I was leading. I was doing more than doing nothing, and I could see what my work directly impacted. And although the fruit of the choir’s labor may just be smiles on the faces of the audience, that’s all the motivation I need, no title needed.”

#NoTitleNeeded November 2017

NoTitleNeeded Oval Sticker

It is that time of year again when Student Leadership Development promotes #NoTitleNeeded! Throughout the month of November, SLD recognizes those who practice leadership without a title and encourage others to adopt a mindset from a non-positional leadership standpoint.

This campus-wide campaign is designed to showcase and celebrate our leaders that embody the idea that leadership takes no positional title or authority.

We encourage organizations across campus to discuss this idea and encourage their members to lead, even without a title. Thank your members for their leadership and hard work! We really want to promote the idea that the titled leaders of an organization, such as the President, do not hold the only power to practice leadership. It is so important for non-positional members to have their voice heard in meetings and during events.

SLD will be working to share this idea across campus and we invite you to join us! We will be tabling outside of Swem and in the Sadler Lobby throughout November. Come see us to pick up #NoTitleNeeded swag and share with us how you practice leadership without a title. Participants will be featured on our social media and have a chance to share their leadership journey to encourage others. SLD will also be sharing blog posts from campus professionals discussing the topic and sharing advice with students

Here is our current tabling schedule, more dates may be added so keep and eye out for that. Come get some swag and tell us how you practice #NoTitleNeeded

Wednesday 11/8 1-3pm outside of Swem
Wednesday 11/15 1-3pm outside of Swem
Friday 11/17 12:30-2pm Sadler Lobby
Monday 11/20 1-2pm Sadler Lobby
Wednesday 11/29 1-3pm Sadler Lobby
We hope to see you all there! Follow our social media for more information about this campaign.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wmstudentleadership/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wmleads/?hl=en
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WMLeads

Developing Your “Hired Mindset”

Authored by Sean Schofield, Assistant Director– Cohen Career Center

“I don’t have any relevant experience,” said the downtrodden student holding a white piece of printer paper marked only with contact information and large heading labeled “Education.” The very same student who, less than five minutes into our appointment, would go on to reveal former part time employment at a restaurant, research with a faculty member, membership with a fraternity on campus, and time spent volunteering at a local Boys and Girls Clubhouse.

The most exciting part of my job is not helping students develop the transferrable skills that employers seek, it’s helping students build and share the story of the rich and diverse experiences they have taken part in… stories that speak to any potential employer. It’s helping students start to think differently about the life that they’ve led so far, and to empower them with the understanding that there are three primary components that make up what I like to call “The Hired Mindset.”

1) Understand that Organizations Hire PEOPLE, not Machines

One of the most common misconceptions that I hear when I work with students is that they do not have the requisite skills necessary to secure opportunities in a field of choice. The problem with this concept is that people like, enjoy, converse with, and ultimately hire PEOPLE. This flies in the face of what most students believe, a perception that often confuses employability with titles, language proficiencies, or the equations that we can solve. All that skills and abilities can do is tell part of a job or internship candidate’s story. Take, for example, one of the most common ways for any employer to open a job interview – “Tell me about yourself.” A simple prompt, allowing us to speak on the one area in which we are a true expert, yet this statement strikes fear into some of the most competent applicants. Tell me about yourself is one of the best opportunities to “set the stage” for interview success, and one of the only parts of a job interview that you can really practice thoroughly. Don’t waste time talking about superfluous things, but instead discuss who you are academically, talk about extracurricular involvement, and allow your goals and passions to shine through – but make them relate to the position, the organization, and the industry.

2) Some Skills and Competencies are ALWAYS Transferrable

While you, as a job/internship seeker, should be measuring your potential employer with regard to your Values, Interests and Aptitudes, the hiring official(s) will be measuring you on whether or not you will help them advance their goals, fit in with their organizational structure and culture, and represent them well when it counts. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) lists seven highly important competencies that students must demonstrate in order to get hired (www.naceweb.org), for which I offer my basic interpretation of each:

  • Critical Thinking – This is not only measured by your grades and ability to solve complex problems, but also by the creative ways you approach obstacles.
  • Communications – Not just your ability to speak or write, but also your ability to listen and follow instructions. You can successfully demonstrate communication skills by showcasing your ability to relay information, and by proving that you can listen to and interpret information.
  • Collaboration – Everyone wants a team player, and you will need to be able to work with a diverse group of people (diversity can be measured in a number of ways) to accomplish a common goal. Students are often concerned with leaving their “legacy,” which they believe to be accomplished only when operating independently from the greater group, but collaboration is what wins championships on the field and keeps residence halls running smoothly.
  • IT Application – Familiarize yourself with the technical needs of each position that you apply for, and make sure its application will not be a point that holds you back. YouTube and Lynda.com are great ways to learn technical skills that will impress potential employers.
  • Leadership – The most misunderstood of all of the competencies! We think that a chief officer of an organization leads, but true leadership lies in a person’s ability to lift up those around them, or assist others in making meaning of their experiences.
  • Professionalism – This may be tough to hear, but you are a brand. Everything that you do will either support and grow, or diminish your brand in the eyes of others. Those Facebook posts that you think are inaccessible to employers are not, what you tweet is viewable to the world, and the way that you dress and present yourself when meeting people goes a long way in demonstrating your character. Make sure you treat every day like a job interview!
  • Career Management – Develop your ability to describe your experiences and connect your past with your present and future! This is also a chance to reflect upon areas where growth and development are needed.

3) Storytelling Can Get You a Job

Let’s face it, storytelling is an effective way to get a point across. There are multi-million dollar industries based upon people’s willingness to sit and watch a good story play out on the screen, stage or television, and few people find themselves apathetic to the hero’s journey (the formula that plays itself out in nearly every classic according to Matthew Winkler’s TED-Ed Animation). Although it may seem a bit erroneous to measure your accomplishments against those of Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen or Frodo, when you speak about your experiences, frame them in the following way: you faced a conflict or challenge, you developed and implemented a solution, and the day was won. Getting hired isn’t about each individual experience you’ve had, it’s about how you weave them into a story that the hiring manager is excited to hear.

During the 2016 #NoTitleNeeded initiative, we hope you and your organization will focus on emerging contributors within your group or cause. The belief that you are capable is one of the greatest contributors to leadership efficacy. Build this leadership efficacy in your members by thanking them for the (#NoTitleNeeded) contributions they are making to your shared goals. Would you like to celebrate #NoTitleNeeded, but in need of materials? SLD is offering a #NoTitleNeeded pack complete with buttons and stickers! Sign up to receive a #NoTitleNeeded Pack here: http://bit.ly/2fvV71r

#NoTitleNeeded When Home for the Holidays

Authored by: Jennifer Leung

Next week many of us will head home to begin a season of holiday gatherings with friends and family.  One question you are sure to be asked (other than “what’s your major and what are you going to do with it after graduation?”) is “so what clubs did you join?”  Here’s a great opportunity to practice #NoTitleNeeded.

When responding to the question(s) about what you are involved in at William & Mary, try not to list off the organizations and positioned leadership titles you hold, but instead start with sharing what you care about and how that drives your involvement on campus.  Here’s how it might play out:

Aunt Martha: “It’s so good to see you William/Mary!  I hear from your mom that you are becoming quite the leader on campus, tell me about the clubs you joined and what positions you’ve been elected to.”

William/Mary: “Well Aunt Martha, since I’ve gotten to school, I’ve really learned that I care about building community and helping other students feel supported and included, so I’ve chosen seek opportunities on campus that let me do good work on campus to do just that.”

Aunt Martha: “But I thought you were an RA?  What other positions do you hold, you were always a leader as a kid.”

William/Mary: “Your right, I am an RA, but not because of the title, but because it gives me a chance to help new students in transition feel welcome and like they are a part of our William & Mary community.”

Obviously, your conversation isn’t going to be so scripted and formal, but you get the idea……lead with what you care about, rather than the position or titles you hold and you’ll be practicing #NoTitleNeeded! You might be hesitant to try this at first, like that suspicious looking side dish one of your relatives brought….but just try it, you might like it.

Join Student Leadership Development for #NoTitleNeeded November!

Join Student Leadership Development in our celebration of #NoTitleNeeded November! Staff members will continue tabling in Sadler Center on Thursday, 11/17 at 5:00PM.

If you’d like to bring the #NoTitleNeeded message to you, sign up to receive a  Student Leadership Development #NoTitleNeeded pack



Student Leadership Development’s #NoTitleNeeded November


“Great leaders don’t set out to be a leader…They set out to make a difference. It’s never about the role-always about the goal.” – Lisa Haisha

Join us this year as we celebrate #NoTitleNeeded this November!

Join us this November as we celebrate #NoTitleNeeded!

Student Leadership Development’s #NoTitleNeeded initiative exists to encourage students to recognize and celebrate where leadership and contribution take place without a reliance on position, title or role. Leadership is a process amongst all members and through #NoTitleNeeded we work to elevate the concept that it is not about the role (or title) but always about working toward a shared goal together.

During the 2016 #NoTitleNeeded initiative, we hope you and your organization will focus on emerging contributors within your group or cause. The belief that you are capable is one of the greatest contributors to leadership efficacy. Build this leadership efficacy in your members by thanking them for the (#NoTitleNeeded) contributions they are making to your shared goals.

SLD is excited to celebrate #NoTitleNeeded and we hope you’ll join us! Join us in Sadler Center on Tuesday, November 15th through Thursday, November 17th to pick up swag, participate in the photo campaign with the #NoTitleNeeded boards, and write a note card to someone who you would like to recognize.

Do you want to celebrate #NoTitleNeeded, but in need of materials? SLD is offering a #NoTitleNeeded pack complete with buttons and stickers! You can register to pick up a #NoTitleNeeded Pack here: http://bit.ly/2eJN5ic Please register by Friday, November 18th and packs will be ready for pick up in the Student Leadership Development Office (Campus Center Room 203) between Tuesday, November 15th and Tuesday, November 22nd.

Be sure to check out our handy guide here with suggestions on ways to recognize others:  #NoTitleNeeded Resource. Remember that the sky’s the limit as you recognize others!