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When your vision transcends boundaries, anything is possible. The world is changing. But most business schools are not. Hult is different. At Hult, you will do more than learn the fundamentals of business and earn your Bachelor degree. You will learn to see the world differently. Find out more










Publisher Frank Peterson Managing Editor Hayley Petty Advertising Cindy Allen, Megan Balkovic Design Shawna Hession


DECA EXECUTIVE OFFICERS President Andrew Weatherman North Atlantic Region Vice President Rachel Lynch Central Region Vice President Nick Matthews Southern Region Vice President Dylan Heneghan Western Region Vice President Jonathan Wilson

COLLEGIATE EXECUTIVE OFFICERS Vice President Allison Brown Vice President Jack Evans Vice President Andy Stebbins Vice President Dennis Williams President Jacklyn Schiller President-Elect Curtis Haley Secretary Dave Wait Treasurer Olga Plagianakos Members Shannon Aaron, Ginger Hill, Mary Peres, John Stiles National Advisory Board Chair M. Andy Chaves Ex-Officio Members Frank Peterson, Richard Faulkner

EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE DECA Direct Magazine 1908 Association Drive Reston, Virginia 20191-1594

DECA Direct (ISSN 1080-0476) is published four times each year—September/ October, November/December, January/ February and March/April. Copyright ©2019 by the Distributive Education Clubs of America, Inc., 1908 Association Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191-1594. All rights reserved. Annual non-member subscription rate is $5.00. Periodicals postage paid at Herndon, Virginia and additional mailing offices. $1.00 of membership fee goes toward subscription to DECA Direct, a publication of DECA, (USPS 566-200), Volume 7, Number 3. Postmaster—Send form 3579 for change of address to: DECA Direct, 1908 Association Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191-1594.



4 Steps to Resolve Any Team Conflict














This issue of DECA Direct includes instructional content focused on the following performance indicators from National Curriculum Standards: •

Implement teamwork techniques to accomplish goals

Use conflict-resolution skills

Explain the nature of effective verbal communications

Leverage personality types in business situations

Enlist others in working toward a shared vision

Utilize resources that can contribute to professional development





Virtual Business Challenge Round 2 begins



FIDM Corporate Challenge Due





School-based Enterprise certification documentation due

Student scholarship applications due online Virtual Business Challenge Round 2 ends


DECA Idea Challenge global winners announced


Outstanding New DECA Chapter Advisor Award recipients due Outstanding DECA Chapter Advisor Award recipients due


DECA Emerging Leader Honor Award applications deadline

Entertainment Marketing Conference Orlando, FL

Piper Jaffray Taking Stock with Teens Spring Survey begins

Teamwork makes the dream work, but have you ever wondered how some work groups exhibit effective teamwork and others remain dysfunctional for the life of the team? Effective teamwork is both profoundly simple and difficult at the same time. This is why so many teams struggle to get the relationships, the interaction and the task execution right. No matter the team or its reason for existing, humans are in the mix, and each team member brings along all of their baggage—for good and for ill. So, diverse people with different life experiences, different work experiences, and varying degrees of success working with former teams and the accomplishment of prior team missions converge around a new mission. DECA is no different. Whether it’s a leadership team, your group for a team event, or your chapter as a whole – teamwork is essential to have a great DECA experience. Throughout this issue, you’ll find tips, tricks and stories of great teams to help guide you through the remainder of this year. I encourage you to use this issue as a resource for both team tips and as you plan for Career and Technical Education Month! Kicking off in February, #CTEMonth is a time to share, advocate, and generally tell the world why DECA (and Career and Technical Education) are so great. Work together with your chapter to strategize with the best ways to share with your school. Utilize the tips provided by Alma DECA to plan ways to take advocacy to the next level in your chapter!




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Student scholarship applications due


DECA Idea Challenge Global winners announced



Intent to Run for Executive Office Form due


Stock Market Game begins—Round 2


Collegiate DECA membership submission and dues deadline for ICDC event competitors Collegiate DECA Academic Honor Award applications due Leadership Passport Award submission deadline Chapter Leadership Award submission deadline Community Service Award submission deadline


Membership Campaign Goal—membership increase submitted

Teamwork can be seen all across the globe and is necessary for businesses in the world to be successful. From a young age, children are exposed to teamwork; they are placed on teams for class projects, sports or other activities. In DECA, teams begin at the local level at school for competition, continuing to competitions at both the association and the international levels. Some of my most enjoyable moments in DECA have occurred during team exercises, planning committees, working with my competition teams. Taking on leadership roles and sharing information while working towards a common goal is a great way to practice skills for your future career. In my experience, one of the biggest issues while working on teams, and you see it in business all the time, is miscommunication. If the main goal is not communicated clearly and effectively throughout an organization, the strategic plan may not work well to accomplish that goal. With CTE Month coming up in February, I had the opportunity to attend the Rethink CTE Summit in Washington D.C. I experienced a lot about how teams come together and how effective communication can make a huge difference. At this event, there were 16 members from different Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs). Although many of us were there with our individual teams, we were able to recognize that we were there to accomplish a common goal: to spread awareness of CTE. Once we were able to negate the silo effect, discussions took place and we were able to discuss how our organizations have changed our lives. Coming together to form this larger team for the day was made even more exciting and beneficial when we had the opportunity to meet with business leaders, policy makers and staffers whose goal was to rethink CTE programs. The summit led to many more innovative ideas and ways to implement the way we share information. These key ideas would have not been brought up if we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to merge teams from all over and work together to discuss CTE and how it affects each and every one of us. Hellen Keller once emphasized the importance of teamwork and by saying, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” This quote speaks volumes to what we can do as DECA members, advisors and parents. We can work together to share what CTE and CTSO’s are all about and help to set students up for a great future.





A GREAT INTRODUCTION It is important to grab the judge’s attention at the beginning of the presentation. Do or say something memorable that will make the judge think of your presentation even after your presentation is over.

ASK THE JUDGE QUESTIONS Another useful strategy to engage the judge is to ask them questions that lead to your presentation’s key points. For example, if your chapter conducts a community service project to raise awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society, you can ask the judge if they have ever known anyone that had cancer.

GIVE THE PROJECT AN IDENTITY Put a face to your project to help connect with the judge. If your project is designed to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant a wish for a child in your community, be sure to tell the judge about the child and how your project helped make his/her wish come true.

DECA’s Chapter Team Events provide opportunities to engage chapter members in projects that have a lasting impact on the school and community. Each year, thousands of DECA chapters conduct projects to inform the community of the dangers of texting while driving, raise money for charities, train middle school students to be financially literate and educate community members about the benefits of entrepreneurism. After the projects have been conducted and analyzed, it is time to get ready for competition by writing the manual and preparing an oral presentation. There are no right or wrong ways to showcase a chapter project, however, this article will provide some general tips and pointers to consider when preparing the oral presentation.

OUT OF THE BOX STRATEGIES The more unique the project, the more likely the judge will remember your project and presentation. Throughout the presentation be sure to highlight the innovative, out-of-thebox strategies you used. For example, many chapters conduct traditional fundraisers for charities by selling products or hosting a special event. An out-of-the-box strategy that would stand out is to collect funds through a text messaging campaign.

TELL A STORY THAT IS EASY TO FOLLOW When presenting to a judge, try to tell a story instead of presenting only facts and figures. Stories are easy to follow along with and will help you give the project an identity. Additionally, if structured properly, telling a story can help you by providing an introduction and a summary for the judge.





STRUCTURE AND CLARITY: An individual’s understanding of what’s expected of them, the process for fulfilling these expectations, and the consequences of one’s performance are important for team effectiveness. Goals can be set at the individual or group level, and must be specific, challenging and attainable.

They began by reviewing a half-century of academic studies looking at how teams worked. Were the best teams made up of people with similar interests? Or did it matter more whether everyone was motivated by the same kinds of rewards? Based on those studies, the researchers scrutinized the composition of groups inside Google: How often did teammates socialize outside the office? Did they have the same hobbies? Were their educational backgrounds similar? Was it better for all teammates to be outgoing or for all of them to be shy?

Before they can create great work, a team needs to be on the same page. As a team, they must define what their ideal outcome is, what it will take to get there, and establish each individual’s role in getting there.

Then they hit a wall. There were very few trends to be found. One of the most successful teams, for example, was made up of best friends who spent all their time together outside of the office. Another equally successful team was comprised of complete strangers. The takeaway? Any team can be successful. There is no secret sauce.

Each person on a great team knows his/her own “why.” Individuals have their own purpose that drives them to work hard. That might be a passion for the charity that your chapter is fundraising for, or it could be the desire to hear his/her name called at ICDC. The “why” is important because it’s what gets individuals through the hard days. It’s what motivates them to get up early or make sacrifices for the good of the team’s goal. Everyone in the group should take the time to really dig deep and determine their meaning. Then, assuming they are comfortable, each group member should share that with the rest of the team.

It is a common misconception that the best teams will be made up of the best players. Wrong. One player cannot make a team great. In fact, a team full of incredibly smart, talented individuals could still fail. What really matters is how the team works together. Here’s what they discovered:

DYNAMICS OF EFFECTIVE TEAMS PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY: Psychological safety refers to an individual’s perception of the consequences of taking an interpersonal risk or a belief that a team is safe for risk taking in the face of being seen as ignorant, incompetent, negative or disruptive. In a team with high psychological safety, teammates feel safe to take risks around their team members. They feel confident that no one on the team will embarrass or punish anyone else for admitting a mistake, asking a question or offering a new idea. We've all been in group meetings and, due to the fear of seeming incompetent, have held back questions or ideas. It's unnerving to feel like you're in an environment where everything you do or say is under a microscope. But imagine a different setting – a situation in which everyone is safe to take risks, voice their opinions and ask judgment-free questions. That's psychological safety. DEPENDABILITY: On dependable teams, members reliably complete quality work on time. Dependability creates a level of trust that allows your team to move forward. Think about the worst group project you’ve ever turned in. What made it bad? We’ve all had that feeling before – “I’d rather just do this on my own. Other people aren’t pulling their weight. I need to do this person’s part because I don’t think they’re going to get it done or do it well.” A strong team is made up of dependable people. Team members trust that others will do their best work in the timeline they’ve set forth.

MEANING: Finding a sense of purpose in either the work itself or the output is important for team effectiveness. The meaning of work is personal and can vary: financial security, supporting family, helping the team succeed or self-expression for each individual, for example.

IMPACT: The results of one’s work, the subjective judgement that your work is making a difference, is important for teams. Seeing that one’s work is contributing to a larger goal can help reveal impact. The best teams believe their work is purposeful and positively impacts the greater good. This is more obvious for some groups than others, but it’s important to take the time to determine the impact your group hopes to have. What will your group’s success mean for your school, your community or the larger organization of DECA?

One player cannot make a team great. In fact, a team full of incredibly smart, talented individuals could still fail. What really matters is how the team works together. CHECK OUT THE FULL REPORT AND ADDITIONAL GUIDES AT RE WORK .WITHGOOGLE.COM



2012, Google embarked on an initiative — codenamed Project Aristotle — to study hundreds of Google’s teams and figure out why some stumbled while others soared. They gathered some of the company’s best statisticians, organizational psychologists, sociologists, engineers and researchers.



Use the following checkpoints and guiding questions to determine where your team falls in each of the five dynamics.



Signs that your team needs to improve psychological safety:

Signs that your team needs to improve meaning:

Fear of asking for or giving constructive feedback

Hesitance around expressing divergent ideas and asking “silly” questions

Questions to ask yourself: • •

Do all team members feel comfortable brainstorming in front of each other? Do all team members feel they can fail openly, or will they feel shunned?

Work assignments based solely on ability, expertise, workload; little consideration for individual development needs and interests

Lack of regular recognition for achievements or milestones

Questions to ask yourself: •

Does the work give team members a sense of personal and professional fulfillment?

Is work matched to team members based on both skills/ability and interest?



Signs that your team needs to improve dependability:

Signs that your team needs to improve impact:

Team has poor visibility into project priorities or progress

Framing work as “treading water”

Diffusion of responsibility and no clear owners for tasks or problems

Too many goals, limiting ability to make meaningful progress

Questions to ask yourself:

Questions to ask yourself: •

When team members say they'll get something done, do they?

Do team members see their work as creating change for the better?

Do team members proactively communicate with each other about delays and assume responsibility?

Do team members feel their work matters for a higher-order goal?

How are current team processes affecting well-being/ burnout?

STRUCTURE AND CLARITY Signs that your team needs to improve structure and clarity: •

Lack of clarity about who is responsible for what

Unclear decision-making process, owners or rationale

Questions to ask yourself: •

Do team members know what the team and project goals are and how to get there?

Do team members feel like they have autonomy, ownership and discrete projects?

READY TO TAKE ACTION? ESTABLISH A COMMON VOCABULARY Define the team behaviors and norms you want to foster in your organization. CREATE A FORUM TO DISCUSS TEAM DYNAMICS Allow for teams to talk about subtle issues in safe, constructive ways.


COMMIT LEADERS TO REINFORCING AND IMPROVING Get leadership onboard to model and seek continuous improvement. 11


2017 DECA Glass winner, 3-time ICDC (DECAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s International Career Development Conference) finalist, former Wyoming DECA State President, current Yale sophomore. As a resident expert on the topic, Ryley agreed to chat with Andrew Weatherman to share some of his tips and insights for those looking to grab some DECA Glass of their own.


My name is Ryley Constable. You might know me as the 2016– 2017 Wyoming DECA State President. I’ve also been a chapter president. I competed at ICDC three times. I made finals and top 10 all three times, which culminated in winning third place in Sports and Entertainment Marketing Series in 2017. Since then, I’ve kind of laid low from DECA, but I’m excited to be back to share a little about my experience.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST MISTAKE THAT COMPETITORS MAKE WHEN THEY’RE AT ICDC? Gimmicks gotta go. The biggest mistake the average first-time competitor — or even veteran competitor — makes is focusing too much on gimmicks. The judges at ICDC are no-nonsense. They will listen to your plan — they don’t want something boring — but if your entire idea is centered around a gimmick, they will not be amused. In fact, they are going to take you less seriously as a result. Focus instead on engaging with a serious idea in a way that’s creative but isn’t over the top.

WHAT’S THE MOST OVERLOOKED ASPECT OF COMPETING? Prepare…strategically. It’s all in the preparation. If you win at your association competition, you know you are talented. What really separates the Glass winners from everyone else lies in the month between winning at your association conference and competing at ICDC. Use that time to think through possible scenarios and responses. This isn’t to say you develop a cookie-cutter plan for every stage of competition, but you can begin strategizing. For example, one marketing research case may require multiple sources of information gathering, whereas one may require pulling data from very obscure places. If you’re doing a promotional case and you don’t draw a promotional mix, you probably won’t get a medal or make finals based on that case. If you’re doing a marketing research case and don’t talk about ways to incentivize, then your judge is probably going to wonder how you’re going to get any data. Make it real. The other piece is having some sort of real-world grounding for your case problems. The best thing you can do is find a mentor in the field. They can give you this perspective on everything that an industry professional, which your judge will be, would know to account for, but you might not think of as a high school student. That’s something that will really impress your judges.

Use the blueprints. I hate to sound like a broken record, but preparation is key once again. You should know the composition of your test fairly well. Take a look at the exam blueprints on the DECA website and find the most heavily tested topics within your cluster. This way, you won’t be surprised by anything when you see the makeup of the exam. Plus, you know how to best allocated your time while studying. Be an active test taker. If you know a question for sure, put a big circle around the answer. When you know a choice is incorrect, draw a big X through it. When you’re unsure, put a big circle around the question, so you know to check for it again. Use the entire time. Use all 90 minutes. I can’t stress that enough. They give you the time for a reason. The 90 minutes is meant for you to be absolutely sure of your answers. If you’re not using every last second, then you’re wasting time that is going to a Finalist.

MANY PEOPLE STRUGGLE WITH HOW TO EFFECTIVELY TAKE NOTES DURING THAT PRECIOUS 10-MINUTE WINDOW FOR INDIVIDUAL SERIES EVENTS. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR THAT? Practice. Practice. Practice. If you have time, do two to three cases a week. If you want to take it more seriously, shoot for one a day. Get yourself used to working in that 10-minute timeframe. Keep it simple. Make it visual. If you don’t have the luxury of having a ton of practice cases or you don’t have a ton of time remaining until ICDC, you can still use that time effectively. Draw out your visuals. Write out your competencies . From there, if it’s a promotional case, draw a promotional mix. If it’s a marketing case, draw a marketing mix. If it’s a marketing research plan, write out the steps for it. In the meantime, think of exactly what details you want to put into your presentation that make it pop. I would say use three minutes to draw out your visuals and use the remaining seven to write notes. Map out your intro. A good introduction isn’t one that’s super wild and entertaining; it’s one that gives your judge —  an industry professional — a little taste of exactly what you’re going to tell them about. For example, if you’re in a marketing research case, and the main issue is where you will get data, then cite specifically where you will get that data in the introduction. Really give them a morsel of your competence and your ability to think creatively in that first few sentences. If you don’t, the judges won’t take you seriously for the rest of the case. First impressions are huge keys for doing well in these cases.





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HOW DID IT FEEL TO WIN THE COVETED DECA GLASS, AND WHAT WAS THE FIRST THOUGHT THAT WENT THROUGH YOUR MIND? I feel the need to provide a little background information here. I didn’t just walk into my first ICDC, master my competition and walk out with DECA Glass. I had a two-year span of getting seventh. My senior year, I remember sitting in the convention center in Anaheim thinking, ‘Anything but seventh place. Give me eighth or first, but just do not give me seventh again.’ When I got called up for top 10, I actually almost missed my name. I met a sophomore earlier that day while entering the competition hall. He was a finalist and I was super proud of him for making top 10 as a sophomore. We bumped knuckles, and then I heard ‘In third place, from Wyoming…Ryley Constable!’ I was so excited I couldn’t even think. I remember hoisting that trophy above my head until they told me to get off. It was the proudest I’d been in a while. It felt like a good way to go out.

UNFORTUNATELY, NOT EVERYONE THAT GOES TO ICDC CAN WIN GLASS OR A MEDAL. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR THEM TO GET BACK INTO COMPETITION MODE FOR THE NEXT YEAR? Use the experience to improve. I can’t remember if this quote is from the Wu-Tang Clan or Winston Churchill but I think it says it all. “Success is not final and failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” [Editor’s Note: It was Winston Churchill.] Getting seventh for a second year in a row disappointed me a lot. So, I think getting seventh that year was the best thing that could have happened to me. For the next year, every time I looked at a DECA case or exam, I said, ‘Okay. The last thing I want to do is stay complacent and get seventh again.’

Transcripts = Golden Ticket Use your competitive event transcripts. DECA provides them for free after ICDC. They reveal very concrete areas for improvement. This is great for identifying your weak points and getting real about your own abilities. I was very overconfident, and I think everyone is at some point. I fooled myself into thinking I was a lot better at a lot more aspects of competition than I really was. Getting my test transcript back opened my eyes to areas I needed to work on. At ICDC you either get a lesson or DECA Glass, and in some cases, it’s better to get the former. Find people who will be honest with you. Practice as many cases as you can and absolutely perfect them. Present them to the toughest grader on your team and your toughest advisor until they have zero inhibitions towards giving you a 100 on that case. My advisor has been teaching this for 35 years, so she knew exactly what presentation to look for. The judges don’t know you and they won’t hold back. Find the people who care enough about you to be just as tough. Don’t cloud your view. You just traveled to Orlando with some of your best friends. You had a blast, met new people, had a ton of new experiences – and you also competed. If you don’t win, don’t take all of the other positives away from yourself. This is easier said than done but it’s a practice that will serve you well for the rest of your life if you can begin to master it now. ANDREW WEATHERMAN | President, High School Division

LETâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S BE REAL.

There will be a point in your life when you must work in a team. Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a school group project, an association officer team, or a department assignment at a future job, it is imperative that you are equipped with the knowledge on how to deal with team conflict. Your best friend may be on that team, but so may your worst enemy. No matter what, a team must unite to achieve its common goal. Although teams have the potential to accomplish influential things, conflict is inevitable. By following these four easy steps, you and your team members will be able to resolve any conflict that comes your way.


THE BEST WAY TO WORK ON “US” IS TO START WITH “ME” When we get into disagreements with teammates, our motives can shift very quickly without realizing it. Sometimes, we approach a conversation with a certain set of motives, but the other person’s response or actions incite emotions that offend or hurt us. Judgement is then clouded by this emotion and we react without regard for our original intentions. For example, you might enter the conversation trying to solve a problem, but wind up focusing on attacking, embarrassing or trying to win the argument instead on fixing the problem. When preparing to talk to a teammate about an important issue, be sure to keep your goals in view. Your goal is never to “win” the disagreement. Think about your true end goal and then think about what you hope to get out of the conversation.


REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE MORE THAN TWO OUTCOMES Often in team situations, we encounter difficult decisions that seem to have nothing to offer but negative outcomes or that it’s one person’s opinion vs. another. It’s very easy to assume that when faced with two options, there are only two possible outcomes. For example, your group leader is about to make a decision that could negatively impact the group. You could assume that you have two options. Option 1: You speak with your team leader. They reverse their decision but get angry at you and hold a grudge. Option 2: You don’t say anything and deal with the negative effects of a poor decision. In reality, there are an infinite number of outcomes, positive and negative. There is rarely a concrete “right” or “wrong.” The only way to get to the possible outcomes, though, is to open up an honest, respective discussion. As leaders, it’s our job to seek out the best possible situations for our groups and for ourselves.


MAKE IT SAFE Establish a positive space so both sides will feel comfortable to share their ideas and perspectives without being scared to be harshly shutdown or belittled. In order to have a constructive conversation, people generally need to feel that they are in a "safe space," – a space where they can take the risks involved in honest communication about meaningful issues. You can accomplish this by asking questions to show that you’re genuinely concerned with their point of view. Your intent should be genuine in seeking to understand the other person’s point of view. Be ready to respond with compassion. Be interested in how the other person sees the situation differently than you do. Your goal should be to spend more time listening than talking.


MASTER YOUR STORY Carefully analyze your stance and be sure to avoid making assumptions. Nine times out of 10, the real conflict is about feelings, not facts. You can argue about facts all day, but everyone has a right to his or her own feelings. Owning your own feelings, and caring about others', is key to talking about conflict. Our minds jump to conclusions about why people act a certain way instead of focusing why their action is causing a conflict. For example, a group member may get upset with a statement another member made, not because of the statement itself, but because of the perceived intentions behind the statement. This is why it is essential to be true to yourself about what exactly is bothering you before questioning and discussing with a fellow team member. Own up. Take responsibility for your part in the conflict. Do a little self-reflection before talking it out with the other party. Whether you enjoy it or not, teamwork truly does make the dream work. A group of inspired individuals who share a similar goal can solve just about any problem thrown their way. Although conflict may seem unavoidable, it does not have to be negative! Approach each new situation not as a battle, but as an opportunity to learn and grow from each other. JONATHAN WILSON | Western Region Vice President RACHEL LYNCH | North Atlantic Region Vice President







obody likes to work on a mismanaged project, and you should not want to lead one. A venture is only as successful as the team behind it, which is why effective leadership and delegation are crucial. Delegation is the art of prioritization, designation and trust. By implementing the following five pieces of advice, you will be equipped to lead larger, more complex projects, which will produce higher quality outcomes.

2. COMMUNICATE Leaving your team in the dark is a common mistake made by many leaders. The more you inform your team, the better they will be able to carry out their responsibilities. By correctly sharing your vision and goals, the group will know what they should strive to accomplish. Along with presenting an initial plan, it is essential to update the team along the way and to keep track of their progress. If something is not going as planned, it is imperative that the leader knows so they can take appropriate action.

3. CATEGORIZE WORK 1. ASSIGN ROLES For delegation to succeed, you need clear-cut roles. Each member of your team should be assigned a function based on their strengths and skill level. Roles help a leader understand what tasks to assign different people. Also, do not forget to document and articulate the responsibilities of each position. Roles will help divide the obligations within a project. 18

A considerable portion of delegation is deciding who should do what work. A helpful method to aid in this decision-making process is dividing the work up into four categories. Base these categories on skill level and effort. For example, high-skill/higheffort, high-skill/low-effort, low-skill/high-effort, and low-skill/ low-effort. Tasks that require high skill should be taken on by you or another specialized team member. The leader should almost always hand off low-skill but high-effort assignments because they are time-consuming and do not require significant experience; your time could be better used working on more intricate, but less time-consuming undertakings.



One of the most detrimental mistakes a leader can make in a project is micromanagement. When someone takes control, it completely negates the efforts of the delegation, which is intended to distribute the workload. The act of taking over the project's burden puts all of that responsibility back on the leader, which will result in endless amounts of stress and frustration. If you are the type of leader who often finds themselves micromanaging, the best thing you can do is learn to let go. When you delegate a task to a team member, trust them to complete it. If needed, be there to help them through the process, and do not be afraid to teach someone new skills. By letting go and trusting team members to get their job done, the project's workflow will become much more efficient compared to the leader doing all the work themselves.

A project leader's worst nightmare is discovering an incomplete task at the last minute. To prevent a situation like this, make sure that you are verifying your team's work along the project's timeline. It is the leader's job to make sure everyone has completed their delegated tasks, and the quality meets the expectations. Never save this for the last minute, or you could risk missing an important deadline.


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WHAT IS CTE? CTE stands for Career and Technical Education. CTE is specifically directed toward students that are pursuing high-wage, high-demand careers. CTE involves education from the classroom, certification learning and work-based learning outside of the classroom.

HOW IS CTE RELATED TO DECA? DECA’s primary goal is explicitly shown in our mission statement: “prepares emerging leaders…” This is exactly what CTE is all about! CTE is about preparing students for life after school; readying them for that dream job and equipping them with the skills to be the most qualified person for the position. CTE isn’t limited to just DECA, but the connection is direct and very important.

WHAT AND WHEN IS CTE MONTH? CTE Month® is a public awareness campaign that takes place each February to celebrate the value of CTE and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country.


Using DECA’s Advocacy Campaign as the North Star, the Alma DECA chapter crafted their advocacy plan for CTE Month (and beyond.) The Alma DECA Advocacy Campaign follows the categories outlined by DECA: community outreach, school outreach and public policy. The Alma DECA chapter has seen great success in their advocacy efforts. They shared their Advocacy Guide with DECA Direct, complete with tips, strategies and examples you can use to shape your chapter’s CTE Month Advocacy Campaign plan.


Download CTE Month graphics and tools

Draft a CTE Month article for local publications

Engage local business partners


Use morning announcements to get the word out Pro tip: include trivia or prizes to grab their attention

Hang posters with CTE information or stories of marketing students

Visit 8th grade classrooms to discuss CTE


CTE Month Proclamation by the Alma Mayor

Work with other CTSOs to get CTE Month Proclamation by the Arkansas Governor

Email elected officials about the impact of CTE


Social Media Posts •

Use relevant hashtags: #CTEMonth #CTEWorks #CTE

Advisors, look out for the #DECAAdvisor Twitter chat on advocacy.

Tag @DECAInc, @CTEWorks, @ACTEOnline, your chartered association, your state’s CTE department, your school.

Find resources and use them! •

Research prior year’s advocacy efforts on DECA and DECA Direct Online.

Utilize the Advocacy Tools on Advance CTE’s website.

Take part in the ACTE Thunderclap.


Promote the CTE Month logo •

Hide printed logos around your school for a scavenger hunt.

• •

Project the logo on the screen at sporting events.

Partner with other CTSOs •

Host a luncheon for the community.

Visit your local school board or other elected officials.




Visit local middle schools to inform them about CTE programs.

Visit local civic groups to present about CTE and DECA.




Teamwork makes the dreamwork! To really make an impact during CTE Month, bring together a group of people that will work well together and get things done. At Alma, we have two leaders (the Vice Presidents of Finance) who are in charge of the Advocacy Campaign. These two are the project managers of the CTE Month committee. They create the plan of action, schedule activities, prepare the visuals, etc. However, Alma DECA also utilizes an Advocacy Campaign Committee. The committee members volunteer to help with social media posts, making announcements, and sometimes even help completing the visuals. If you are a leader: don’t try to do it alone! Use your resources. That may be your committee, your teacher or a website that includes CTE tips. Just don’t put ALL the pressure on yourself.


To keep things running smoothly make sure you and your team have everything planned. Compile an organized list of activities (use the example activities listed earlier or come up with your own). In your plan, also include information like when the activity will take place, who will be involved, and the purpose of the activity. Pro-tip: if you’re using visuals, (a slideshow, handouts, social media posts, etc.) then set a deadline for your team to complete them. For example, this year all of our visuals will be prepared by January 25, to make sure that everything is prepared and CTE month runs smoothly. See an example of Alma’s DECA’s plan of action on page 21. Still not sure where to start? Check out DECA’s Chapter Campaign Guidebook. The Advocacy Action Planner will help you create your plan for CTE Month.


Now that you have a plan and the resources to make it happen, be ready to put those ideas into action. You’ve made your schedule, now put it to work. Remember: TAKE PICTURES OF EVERYTHING! These are awesome to post, and will be very helpful in pushing out awareness of your DECA chapter and CTE. Look back on CTE Month! After it’s all said and done, you’ll probably have gone through ups and downs, and that’s okay! Don’t be discouraged. It is a good idea to look back on your CTE Month experience and keep record of what did work, and what didn’t. This will be especially helpful for the following years of your CTE Month experience.


Alma DECA wishes you the best of luck in your planning and execution of your DECA chapter’s CTE Month activities and completing the Advocacy Campaign. We hope this article was helpful to you. We can’t wait to see how your DECA chapter is spreading awareness of DECA CTE! Don’t let your advocacy for DECA and CTE end! There are 11 more months in the year to continue to share the story of the importance of DECA and CTE with your school, community and the world.




SHERRY SILER | Alma DECA Advisor SIDNEY HATLEY | Alma DECA VP of Finance AUSTIN CLUCK | Arkansas DECA VP of Finance


December 14, 2018, I had the pleasure of traveling to Washington D.C., along with Andrew Weatherman. Our main mission was to meet with other students from different CTSOs (Career and Technical Student Organizations) and share how we think our organizations have helped us and can help close the skills gap that our nation is currently facing. This meeting, the Rethink CTE (Career and Technical Education) Summit, took place at the U.S. Department of Education. We had the opportunity to meet and speak with the United States Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, as well as many other business leaders, political members and drivers from the education sector. Being a member of DECA, as well as a student, I began to wonder on my way to this summit how these changes that are happening with CTE would affect me or if I had any reason to know more on the topic. The more I began to look into what CTE actually covered, I realized that all students should be aware of the changes that are happening and how we can help. CTE promotes students learning in a deeper level to prepare them to be successful for future careers and in lifelong learning. Upon arrival to the meeting, we were able to meet a variety of people. At my table alone, there were board members solely devoted to furthering student education, employers looking to

CTE, also known as Career and Technical Education, promotes students learning in a deeper level to prepare them to be successful in future careers and in lifelong learning.” 24

hire knowledgeable employees, and policy makers looking into how they can better help students. Throughout the day, we heard from numerous speakers all of whom have the best interest of students at heart. As a group, we focused on several topics. The one I found to be most inspiring was Scaling Innovation in Career and Technical Education. During this section, we started by hearing from Jon Graft, who is the CEO of Butler Tech Career Development School in Ohio. He was asked by the moderator, Assistant Secretary Scott Stump, “How do you think we can get students to think outside the box?” His reply still resonates with me today. He simply replied, “We need to stop telling people to think outside the box. There is no box.” As he went on to discuss how his school operates, he explained that by putting students in a box to begin with, and then telling them to think outside of it, they are immediately set up for failure. It was interesting to hear how we all had similar experiences of being in class and having assignments that could have been handson but were put in essay or testing format. Dr. Akil Ross, Sr. expanded on this topic saying that we need to have a shared vision to further educate students. He explained that we need to “change learning and adapting to understand and apply.” When asked the question “how can we do this?,” he explained that it can be done by doing exactly what we were already working on that day, leveraging partnerships and opportunities within communities. By pairing up with local business, students can gain a better understanding of the real world than they could just learning from a book. They can work to further understand and better retain that knowledge.

I am thankful to DECA for this opportunity as well as the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) for hosting such a great summit. After the panelists had a chance to speak, we had several prompted questions at our table to discuss. We first discussed CTE as a whole and how the new Perkins V public law being passed would help us as a society to shift our vision from “college ready” to “career and college ready.” This was the biggest takeaway that was discussed at our table. As students, we are often only taught that the next step must be college. In actuality there are so many more options out there for students. Our table discussed how there are so many career clusters that can be tapped into such as agriculture, construction and hospitality, to name a few, that do not all immediately point to going to college. There are many great things that CTE currently does for DECA and students all over the nation such as promoting industry involvement, encouraging applied learning and continuing to update policy. Looking into the future, we discussed adding more flexible learning for students based on the new policies, working with more companies to foster better relationships and providing all of these opportunities equally to students.

Once the summit adjourned, we had a chance to continue to network with those around us. Hearing from many voices in the room, most are looking forward to seeing all the positive change Perkins V will bring and taking on the challenge that Secretary DeVos gave us to Rethink CTE. We, as members and leaders of our CTSOs, were invited to advocate for more handson learning and are already seeing the benefits that all of our organizations have brought us. To share these observations and learn from these individuals was an amazing opportunity. I am thankful to DECA for this opportunity as well as the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) for hosting such a great summit. Moving forward I challenge students, teachers, advisors and parents to do some research on CTE and realize all of the ways the student organizations like DECA can help prepare us for careers and to close the skill gap within the United States. ALLISON BROWN | Vice President, Collegiate Division


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CHAPTER BUZZ Holtville High School DECA hosted a “DECA Fest” on October 31 for the kindergartners and first graders at Holtville Elementary School. Activities included a photo booth, face painting, corn hole toss and many more! Members enjoyed interacting with the children, and the children loved interacting with the DECA members!


Yasmeen Hanania and Daniela Smith competed in DECA Garage during this year’s WRLC. DECA Garage was an opportunity for members to create their own business and if successful they could present their idea to a panel of “Sharks.” With their hard work and dedication, Smith and Hanania won 4th place in the Western Region and 1st place in Arizona.


Maricopa DECA recently held its biannual Market Day! Market Day is a great opportunity for members to create their own product or service and get the chance to sell it to a variety of students from Maricopa High School. This gives members experience and helps them develop on their skills they will need for the future. Market Day is an event that students can not wait for, so it’s held twice per year.


Pinnacle DECA collected toys at their annual winter social for Toys for Tots. Members bonded over ice skating together at the Ice Den.


Southside High School DECA members teamed with a local food bank to hand out Thanksgiving turkeys and canned goods to food insecure members of the community. In total, over 50,000 lbs of Thanksgiving groceries were distributed to over 1,000 families at a local park.


Marketing students and DECA members in Ms. Boatright’s class at Southside High School worked on Feeding America’s empty plate selfie challenge during National Hunger Action Month. After completing the project, students took to social media to promote awareness of hunger issues in their community.


Alma DECA recently partnered with the Arkansas Trucking Association to bring a safe driving simulator to Alma High School for students to see what could happen when they experience distracted driving. Over 350 students were able to go through the simulator during the two days the ATA team was on campus. Chapter members also promoted the #ItCanWait pledge through AT&T. The goal of the project was to make their peers aware of the danger of distracted driving and encourage drivers to practice safe driving.

Holtville DECA


The SUHS DECA Chapter held a WalkA-Thon, raising $3,000 for its members. All members in the chapter had the opportunity to earn sponsorships. Eighty percent of all proceeds that they individually raised went into their funds where they can use it to pay for competition and conferences. The other twenty percent went into the chapter’s community service fund.

Maricopa DECA


Members of the East Ridge High School DECA chapter in Clermont, Florida, hosted the school’s first-ever college fair. After having limited access to all of the options that exist for them, many of the chapter’s seniors stepped up to see this event through to the end. Many of the seniors felt as though college is a large part of their lives during this season, but also came to realize that it was a very intimidating and confusing process that had not yet been explained. The event allowed East Ridge students the time to have one-on-one conversations with college representatives.

Pinnacle DECA


Spanish River DECA invited speaker Gary Richardson from the South Florida Red Cross to speak to members about how to prepare for hurricanes. As many students in South Florida may plan to attend college or university in-state, it is essential for them to be aware of how to prepare for these storms when they are away from home. More than 300 students attended the event, called “Be Red Cross Ready.” After Hurricane Michael (a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall near the Panhandle last year), Spanish River DECA members committed to helping prepare and inform their peers.

Fort Smith Southside DECA



Fort Smith Southside DECA



Stoneman Douglas DECA’s annual “Shark Tank” event was held at Stoneman Douglas High School on November 15. In this simulation, DECA students got to “pitch” their product or service to a panel of judges—the “sharks.” The judges, who are business partners and members of the community, played the role of loan officers and venture capitalists as they evaluated the student’s ideas and provided feedback on their presentations.

CADDO CAREER & TECHNOLOGY CENTER DECA LOUISIANA The Caddo Career & Technology Center Chapter in Shreveport, Louisiana, recently participated with the Dallas Cowboys Sports Marketing Conference DECA Day at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Panelists explained the ins and outs of sports marketing to the DECA members in attendance. DECA members also got a chance to tour the locker rooms and the press room.


Warren Easton Charter High School DECA hosted a continental breakfast on November 5 in honor of teachers, faculty and staff. This is an annual event put on by chapter officers and members as part of the DECA Week Activities. Other activities this week include the Tie Tying Contest, DECA Diamond Contest, Scavenger Hunt and DECA Diamond Dress Down Day.


The Woodlawn High School DECA Chapter completed a three-hour Adopt-A-Road trash and debris pick-up along Airline Hwy. This is a heavily traveled state 4-lane highway located approximately 1 mile from the high school. This is the chapter’s second year participating in the Adopt-A-Road program.


WCCTC DECA members completed a community service project with young drivers in mind. Utilizing AT&T’s #ItCanWait campaign, members spoke with local high school driver’s education programs about the dangers of driving distracted. Driver’s ed students were encouraged to #takethepledge and make a habit of driving distraction-free. 28


Five chapter members from Saline County Career Center DECA attended the New York Experience in November. Each member attended various workshop sessions that were related to marketing concepts and career opportunities within the marketing industry.


Caddo Career & Technology Center DECA

On November 6, Onteora DECA ran a mock election for high school students. The winners in this midterm election were the actual winners at the polls for District 19, NYS.


Throughout the month of October, Plainview-Old Bethpage DECA partnered with local breast cancer research and awareness organization, Stacy’s Warriors, to coordinate the Ignite the Fight Campaign. Organized by DECA Seniors Kristine D’Onofrio, Kristin Ferretti, and Gillian Friedman, the ultimate goals of the campaign were to both bring awareness and to increase support/donations for the organization.

Warren Easton Charter DECA


On October 17, Haywood High School hosted a DECA dash for new DECA members. There were more than 40 members present from all four grades in attendance. With good food and fun games (like Fireman Carry, Up and Over, Hula Hoop Race, and the Three-Legged Race), the gathering made new members feel welcome.

Webster County Career & Technology Center DECA


The Mexia DECA Chapter volunteered for the Packs of Kindness Organization. Members sorted, organized and packed food bags for needy children in their community who would otherwise be without a meal on the weekend.

Haywood DECA


Appleton East DECA attended the Wisconsin DECA Sports & Entertainment Marketing Trip in Milwaukee. They participated in interactive workshops, toured the new Fiserv Forum and watched a Bucks game! Appleton East DECA

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