GOLDEN KEY SPOTLIGHT: AMANDA MACDONALD

by Donna Moriarty

Donna Moriarty, Founder of Silversmith Writing & Editing, is a veteran writer, editor and author whose work has appeared in national magazines, newspapers and blogs. She is the author of Not Just Words: How a Good Apology Makes You Braver, Bolder, and Better at Life. Follow her on Twitter @demoriarty.

Power up yourself and your team for success


“Your job is to enhance the skills of those around you. Just keep asking why and how.”

Amanda MacDonald is a powerhouse. After earning her BA from Brock University, where she rebuilt her Golden Key chapter, she landed an impressive job as Executive Director of Welland Downtown, a business development organization. Now in the final stretch of her MA degree from Brock, Amanda loves seeing the continued growth of Brock’s Golden Key chapter.

We asked Amanda to share her top three secrets to becoming a successful chapter president and leader, even when it seems like more than you can handle.

Activate your most powerful self. “Asking for what you need means being assertive,” she says. Try this tip for leveling up your inner confidence.  “Before every important meeting or presentation, I hold a Superwoman pose,” Amanda says, demonstrating with her shoulders back, fists on hips. (The proven technique, made famous by Amy Cuddy in her viral TED Talk, has topped 15 million views.) “It changes my mood and shoots my confidence way up.” She keeps a playlist of inspiring “warrior queen” music, including Rachel Platten’s Fight Song, Demi Lovato’s Confident, and Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger.


Spread a wide net for support. You’re just one person. Don’t try to do everything,” she says. As a chapter executive, Amanda collaborated wherever she could, even reaching out to another honor society on the Brock campus. “We were able to share resources so we could do some amazing projects together,” she says. They brought in other groups and organizations, too: Student Life, the student unions, even the city of Niagara Falls.



Power up your team. Remember you’re human, not made of titanium. Learn to delegate. “Your job is to enhance the skills of those around you,” says Amanda. “Trust them, give them opportunities, and never say no, just ask why and how.”

She also stresses the need to form an exit strategy and a succession plan well before graduation. “When you’re so invested, it’s hard to let someone else take the mantle,” she says. “Looking back, I would have started sooner preparing the team for that transition.”


About Golden Key

Golden Key is the world's largest collegiate honor society. Membership into the Society is by invitation only and applies to the top 15% of college and university sophomores, juniors and seniors, as well as top-performing graduate students in all fields of study, based solely on their academic achievements. As an international honor society with more than 400 chapters at colleges and universities around the world, Golden Key is committed to a high standard of scholastic achievement, and an ethos of integrity, innovation, respect, collaboration and diversity.