Monday, January 26, 2009

Smooth transitions

Watching last week's presidential inauguration reminded me how important "transitions" are for Student Governments. Very few SGs transition well, and this means that new officers come into office knowing very little of what their jobs entail or what has been tried or done before them. They spend a lot of needless time "reinventing the wheel" as a result.

Love him or hate him, it appears that former President Bush and his team did an admirable job of making the transition to President Obama and his team go as smoothly as possible. I haven't read of any juvenile actions that haunted the Clinton administration when they handed over the White House to W. There were stories that implied that some members of the outgoing team made it harder for the new workers.

I hope as your term of office nears, you'll be getting materials, information, and records ready to help your successor, even if you think that person is a know-nothing jerk. Keep notes on all that you do, the progress you've made, the work you've accomplished. Keep notes of who lilkes youo and who hates you on campus. Who has helped you wade through the school bureaucracy?

All of this information will help your successor take on her role with the knowledge needed to be successful. You'll leave the position better off than when you began. That should be one of your top goals as your term of office draws to a close.