20 Powerful Lessons Learned as a State Officer

Being a DECA State Officer is an incredibly unique experience because you get the chance to help others flourish in so many different ways. Throughout your DECA journey as an officer, many important lessons will be learned, but the top twenty are...

1) Stay Organized: Planners are your best friends! Write everything down, because chances are you're going to need it later.

2) Dress Like a Professional: Professional dress wasn't professional until DECA showed me the right way.

3) Seek Clarity: The worst you can do is be dumbfounded by a project handed to you. You control the information you know. So, if you don't know enough to do the project well, make sure to seek clarity.

4) Stay Connected: Social media can be such a great way to connect with other members. Use it to its fullest potential!

5) The Correct Way to Run a Meeting: Having everything organized prior to a meeting is key. Agendas keep things running well and make the meeting as efficient as possible.

6) Be a Professional: "Act like an adult and you shall be treated like an adult," my mother always said. Same thing goes for DECA, "Act like a professional and you shall be treated like one."

7) Give Your All to Anything and Everything You Do: Your work is a representation of who you are. Always put out your best work so you can how people the best side of you.

8) You Are Always on Stage: Everyone's eyes are always on you. You serve as a role model for other potential DECA members. Don't do things that you wouldn't do if you were on stage.

9) Always be on "DECA Time": Early is on time, on time is late, and late is left behind. As an officer, I've learned to make sure you're where you're supposed to be at least 10-15 minutes early!

10) Find the Opportunity to Take Initiative: Show people that you are willing to take ordinary work to an extraordinary level.

11) Communication is Key: Share all your amazing ideas and solutions! Without communication, it's nearly impossible to be a leader. Leaders must be both loud and quiet leaders. This means if you're currently a loud leader, listen to others around you. If you're a quiet leader, make your voice heard!

12) Give and Take Feedback: Feedback isn't meant to bring a person down. Be considerate of the person you are giving feedback to and when receiving feedback try to use it as a way to improve.

13) Look at the Positive Side of a Situation: Don't forget to let people know that today is a great day. The reason why it's a great day is up to you!

14) Be Constructive, NOT Destructive: Shut down the negative vibes and separate yourself from negative situations.

15) Know Your Limits: Don't take on many projects if you know you won't give your full and undivided attention to all of those projects.

16) Think Before you Act: People are consistently counting on you. Don't try to play the system, because excuses only satisfy those who make them.

17) Be Prepared for the Worst (Even if it won't Happen): Expect the unexpected. Life can throw some crazy curve balls at you. So take this quote into consideration, "You can't control the curve balls life throws you, so you have to learn how to control yourself and change quickly to make sure the curve ball doesn't knock you out." - Mark Edwards

18) Showcase the Qualities of Leadership: Those qualities are the ones that will help improve you as a member, your chapter, and DECA overall.

19) Be an Exemplary Leader: "Model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart." - Student Leadership Challenge

20) Always Represent the Blue blazer to the Best of your Ability: This is something you should do with and without your blazer on. People will recognize you as a DECA member without a doubt, so make sure you represent it in the most positive way possible.    

Written by: Melissa Paz, Vice President of Southern Region