Influence with Informal Leadership

September 8, 2020

Being a leader isn’t just reserved for DECA officers. While you may not have an official leadership title, you still have the ability to help take your chapter to the #NextLevel with your informal leadership influence. Read on to learn more about informal leadership and how you can use it to make this year a success for you and your chapter.

What is “Informal Leadership”?

Informal leadership is the ability to lead and influence others without having a formal title or position of authority. Rather than having a title that tells everyone you’re a leader, informal leadership relies on your actions to show everyone the leader you are. These types of leaders often lead by example and have strong relationships with their peers.

Ways to Influence with Informal Leadership in Your DECA Chapter

Whether you’re new to DECA, hoping to become a chapter officer in the future or simply want to lead without an official position, you can start influencing with informal leadership today. Check out these three ways to get started:

Show Up (and Bring Friends)

DECA officers put a lot of work into planning socials, info sessions and other events (virtual or in-person) to engage current and prospective members. But they’re only successful when people actually show up and engage. As an informal leader, be the member your chapter’s officers can count on to always show up to these events, bring others and participate with enthusiasm!

Find an Untapped Opportunity

So much of leadership is identifying unmet needs in your organization and figuring out how to fill them. As an informal leader, look for opportunities where your chapter could use some additional support and volunteer your unique skill set to make it happen. Maybe your chapter needs some help in the graphic design department? Volunteer your Photoshop or Canva skills. Are chapter leaders struggling to engage underclassmen? Offer to organize an informal meetup for younger students to chat with active DECA upperclassmen. Your officers will be grateful to have the extra support!

Connect to Your Advisor

DECA advisors rely heavily on their chapter officers to plan and execute activities for the year, but they need informal leaders like you to make it all work. Find some time to talk to your advisor one-on-one and let them know how passionate you are about DECA! You may also find they could use your informal leadership in a few places, like sharing your awesome written event with new members or helping build your chapter’s network of professional members. Plus, if you have your sights on more formal DECA leadership positions in the future, a strong relationship with your advisor is a great place to start!


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