Leadership Lifehacks: 3 Ways to be a Great Leader

Leadership Lifehacks


Before you read too much into this, I’m just going to throw this out there: writing about yourself is weird. My inner narcissist is ecstatic, but the everyday, typical college kid inside of me is screaming “DON’T DO THIS.” Maybe I just question if I’ve got the right stuff to make this writing interesting.

Regardless, I’ve been asked to write a blog. So doggone-it, I’m gonna.

Let’s start with introductions. For those of you I haven’t met yet, my name is Rachael Vruggink. I’m a junior in the Advertising and Public Relations major with an emphasis in Advertising. This year I’ve had the honor of being el presidente of the GVSU Advertising Club and I’m currently a social media and marketing intern for a startup company called OXX Beyond Rugged. Other fun facts: I sell bread on the weekends for a bakery in Allendale, I drink more coffee than I probably should, and I am a big flea market junkie.

I was a finalist for the Immediate Impact Award for leadership. That award nomination (which I did not win by-the-by) is not what I want to talk about. Instead, let’s talk about something more applicable to you. Like how to be a leader. After giving it some thought, I came up with 3 lifehacks for being a great leader that could apply to your student project groups, RSOs, or your job. Here’s what I got:

  1. Good leaders have great mentors. Before starting my role this year as president, I first looked to personal and professional connections for guidance. Having a leadership mentor or role model can keep you grounded. If anything, the greatest advantage of having a mentor is that they’re outside of your organization or group, and they can help you see the big picture.
  1. Good leaders seek feedback. In a leadership role, you should always be looking for ways to improve how you and your organization operate. Try to get feedback from everyone in the group, including all the shy-guys. It’s your job to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard. Once you’ve heard from everyone, take that feedback and act on it.
  1. Good leaders admit when they’re wrong. Screw-ups are going to happen. When that time comes, don’t try to justify or defend, just apologize. Look for forgiveness and be humble, then take whatever it is you learned and move on. In return, when someone in your group makes a mistake, be forgiving and don’t hold it over their head. Team relationships are give-and-take, and keep in mind that nobody’s perfect.



Post by: Rachael Vruggink

Rachael V
Rachael Vruggink is a junior at Grand Valley State University studying Advertising and Public Relations. Rachael is currently serving as the president of the GVSU Advertising Club and is an active member of the American Advertising Federation of West Michigan. Her professional experiences in the for-profit and non-profit sectors have complemented her education as she pursues her Bachelor of Science. Rachael is currently working as a social media and marketing team member for OXX Beyond Rugged and a freelance copywriter. Rachael can be contacted by email at vruggira@mail.gvsu.edu.

One thought on “Leadership Lifehacks: 3 Ways to be a Great Leader

  1. Ahh, now I get why I’m not a great leader. I’m going to have to arrange to be wrong sometime so I can admit it. 🙂 Just kidding – nice opening take, Rachael.


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