Are you a one-year wonder?

Your Alpha's success doesn't have to fizzle out like Vanilla Ice.

The school year is winding down.  Many of our Alphas have enjoyed a very strong 2010-11 school year.  Have you given any thought as to how your Alpha will fare next year?  Keep reading for some interesting thoughts and a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT…

The turnover rate of a fraternity is rapid.  Within a three-year period a fraternity can go from a train wreck to top of the heap.  Unfortunately, it also works the other way.  Years of hard work and positive creation can be quickly undone by an uninformed or incapable executive team.  How can you ensure that your time, energy and hard work were not in vain?  Start thinking about building a great system.

Great individuals come into Chi Psi constantly.  Of those men, great leaders emerge frequently.  These great leaders will get involved early, produce some great results and many ultimately ascend to #1.  During their year in office they will communicate frequently, achieve high goals, deliver top recruitment numbers and run creative, responsible events.  The Alpha will be up for national awards like the Founders’ or Thayer.  The Alpha has arrived…

And then that star leader graduates.  Sound familiar?  Has this ever happened at your Alpha? Did the Alpha really improve in the long run?  Or was it just a great individual that flashed briefly?

What you’re doing now is important.  After all, it’s all about being a great leader and getting your recognition, right?  Ehhh.  In an organization based on the principle of self-sacrifice, wouldn’t it be smart to think about the future?  What if your term in office was conducted under the motto “What can I do to make the next #1 more successful?”  That attitude, paid forward, has a powerful compounding effect.  Here’s what you can do RIGHT NOW to start building a better future for your Alpha:

Develop officer handbooks. These are not intended to be definitive, rigid documents that outline a position but rather they should capture the learning curve you experience.  Once per week (perhaps five minutes of your executive committee meeting) have each of your team answer the following questions:

What did I proactively DO for my position this week?

What did I LEARN from this process that I wish I’d known earlier

What new IDEAS have I thought of?

Add in any key contact information from your work and include the date (so future leaders know WHEN they should be doing, planning, etc.).  Add a year’s worth of entries together and you’ve got a position manual.  This simple process, repeated year after year can have powerful results in the form of shorting learning curves and a more immediate ability to produce.

Develop position committees. Have each position (recruitment, pledge ed, social, philanthropy, etc) filled by two chairmen; a head chairman and an understudy.  Make it very clear who is in charge of executing duties so that there is no “passing of the buck.”  The senior chairman goes about their business carrying out their responsibilities but they’ve got a helper that can learn by doing.  In theory, the understudy would take over and become senior chairman while a new understudy would be introduced.  This would keep the cycle rolling and make sure that performance remains at a high level year-round.

Involve your alumni. By utilizing the alumni that enjoy advising, and keeping them in the loop on what you are doing, you can have alumni that are able to teach the process from year to year.  Alumni are the institutional memory of your organization.  Involve them so that they can help the next guy achieve as much as you.

Sounds easy enough?  Go do it.

At the Central Office we’re doing our best to assist you in smoothing out officer transitions.  We’ve just launched the brand-spankin’ new #1 manual.  Anyone signed in to the Online Community at can view it by going here.

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