I have been working on a project recently for work, one aimed at Greek Leadership. We have had ups and downs and all arounds with it, which really led me to think. We spend all this time talking about Greek Leadership, how you will develop it, and how important it is, but no one is willing to get their hands dirty when it comes to developing leaders.
We come from a world with some great messages like the highly popular TJ Sullivan post on “You Are Always Wearing Your Letters” to ones like “No Matter the Letter, We’re All Greek Together” which are of course great ideas. But how do we really take a look and put in the effort to show we care about those ever important letters. We spend time running for positions often without asking our predecessor what they’ve learned, merely focusing on what we will change. We don’t work with someone to have them take over for us, we simply try and make our way up talking about how qualified we are and what we can do for the position and organization. We never admit our faults and where this position may help us grow. Coming from a Student Affairs perspective, this really bothers me. We spend time focusing on the bad where we are too left out to show how much we care at times. It is a sad truth.
With this project we were working on, I was having major issues because the students wanted a program developed for them by our office and the staff was unwilling to do that. They merely wanted to bring in groups like LeaderShape, UIFI, or I-LEAD (please don’t get me wrong, all are great programs, but our students asked for a program for them, by us, with their input…why not?!?) So myself and our other Graduate Assistant offered to develop the work.
This got me thinking on a lot of ideas, from transitions to formalities and more. How often do we take time at the end of our careers to not be in charge, yet still be involved. There seems to be such great apathy and a sense of “I’ve paid my dues” as members near the end of their career. I had the privilege of being in a great Fraternity in my undergraduate career, and I saw the same thing happen. My best friend completed his term as president and became a regular brother for our final semester before we graduated. He offered to serve as a resource for our newly elected president but was rather overwhelmed by that and the other brothers that he had a rather negative experience and spent the semester either still making decisions or completely detached. It made me realize that for all we did, we hadn’t done much to prepare our members to really hold an office. Sure we all have our programs like DU’s Building Better Men Campaign, Sig Ep’s Balanced Man Program, and many many more, but how often do we sit down with our individual chapter and make sure people know how things operate and work, really get them involved and prepare them?
It is time we change and stretch ourselves and our organizations. We recently had formal recruitment here and I remember saying to a member of IFC that I would never want to go through Panhellenic Recruitment, but I would certainly want a Panhellenic woman training my men for recruitment.
How prepared are we? How ready are we?