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Phi Kappa Theta is Creating Life-Changing Experiences at BBLA

Brothers from the 2019 BBLA in Seattle, WA.

At the start of 2019 we have already seen several gatherings of the Boysie Bollinger Leadership Academy held across the country!

Brothers from various chapters gathered in Omaha, NE, Seattle, WA and Bowling Green, OH to hear from our DMB Coaching team.

The Boysie Bollinger Leadership Academy is a bold new spin on Phi Kappa Theta’s Regional Leadership Conferences. Now in it’s second year as the “BBLA’s”, brothers from across the country are gathering around life's biggest questions and coming away with new insights and real solutions!

What else can brothers expect at our BBLA’s this year?

Life-changing Ideas:
Unique content drawing on decades of experience helping young men become the best version of themselves.

Honest Conversations:
No one-way lectures. No fluff. Deep, meaningful dialogue designed to help each brother identify their unique contribution.

Ongoing Relationships:
The most important thing brothers leave BBLA events with is connection. Connection to brothers, to other chapters, and to life coaches.


If you or your chapter are interested in attending of of our remaining BBLA’s, please select one below!

Marlborough, Massachusetts RLC (March 22-24, 2019)
45.00

Hotel reservations will be made for you upon registering for the event.

Courtyard by Marriott Boston Marlborough
75 Felton Street
Marlborough, MA 01752

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Making Our Move

Phi Kappa Theta Teams Up With DMB Coaching To Strengthen Fraternity Curriculum

by Shawn Cramer
Western Theological Seminary, ‘A

Brothers working together at the Austin, TX BBLA this past November.

Phi Kappa Theta runs at the front of the pack in terms of personal development and servant leadership. A large piece of this engine driving that forward is the partnership between Phi Kappa Theta and DMB coaching.

At the core of this partnership lies a story of two men who started as strangers, then moved to acquaintances, then colleagues, now business partners and good friends.

We conducted an interview between Dr. Michael S. Brown of DMB coaching and Robert Riggs, CAE (RPI, ‘02), Executive Vice President of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity.

Rob, how and when did you meet Michael? What were your first impressions?

Michael and I met at a conference called Connect Marketplace in 2015. Connect Marketplace is a meeting space for those who hold and host conferences. Initially, my first impressions were, “Whoa, this guy has a ton of energy.”

Michael, what were your first impressions of Rob?

My first impression of Rob was he was incredibly thoughtful and inquisitive. He asked some really good questions not only about our campus, but about my personal interests and passions as well.

How and when did the Phi Kappa Theta/DMB Coaching partnership actually transpire and become official?

Rob: We continued to meet at Connect Marketplace over the next few years. I mentioned how much anxiety I would get having to think about writing curriculum and workshops. He told me about DMB Coaching and his specialty in designing curriculum and educational conferences for college-aged men. I was like, “Tell me more!”

Michael: We began talking more about our common interests in the development of college men and began to realize quite quickly that these passions were very similar. Rob asked to view some of my past developmental content and create unique content for Phi Kappa Theta. The rest is history!

Michael, why did you decide to accept Rob’s invitation to partner with Phi Kappa Theta?

Dr. Michael Brown of DMB Coaching speaking at a BBLA.

Dr. Michael Brown of DMB Coaching speaking at a BBLA.

My personal mission statement is clear in that my work and the investment of my life is primarily about helping young men discover a positive and progressive masculinity that will shape every area of their life. It was immediately clear that Rob’s invitation to partner was exactly in line with my passions.

Rob, what has been the most enjoyable aspect of working with DMB Coaching?

For me I really enjoy the collaboration and the full trust that we have in each other with regards to our roles. Michael and I are able to discuss what we’re envisioning for the organization, then collaborate about it, and he comes back with some excellent curriculum that really resonates with our target audience, and that’s the most important thing.

Michael, what has been the most enjoyable aspect of working with Phi Kappa Theta?

Honestly, the question should be, “What has not been enjoyable?”

Every individual I meet - every volunteer, every board member, every alumnus, every collegiate member of Phi Kappa Theta, they are just extraordinary human beings. I absolutely love being immersed in the culture of this fraternity.

Rob & Michael, what do you envision for this partnership and relationship in the years ahead?

Rob: I’m very excited for what the future may hold between us. I am envisioning that we create a situation in which our fraternity brothers are able to work seamlessly with DMB Coaching and Phi Kappa Theta to strengthen themselves as individual men.

Michael: It is my hope that my organization and my coaching team and the fraternity would be connected, quite honestly, for decades to come. We have a common mission, common core values and a common commitment that we share in helping young fraternity leaders become the best version of themselves both now and after graduation.

Rob & Michael, are there additional opportunities for individual chapters, collegiates, alumni, volunteers and/or board members in regards to working with DMB Coaching?

Rob: I would highly encourage other chapters to utilize their chapter endowments to bring in a member of the DMB coaching team to work directly with their chapter.

Michael: The sky’s the limit! Our team is prepared to visit every individual chapter across the country! I would personally prioritize any work that would come through the Phi Kappa Theta brotherhood because of the powerful friendship we have established.

The best days of Phi Kappa Theta are still yet to come. For more information on how you can personally or as a chapter tap into these opportunities, please contact executiveoffices@phikaps.org

Main Image: Dr. Michael S. Brown of DMB Coaching speaks with brothers at IMPACT18 in Orlando, FL this past August where he and his team facilitated.

Coaching vs. Advising

by Johnny Hohenstein
Director of Chapter Operations

As of late, a few of our Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity chapter executive boards have been asking about best practices when finding an advisor. In any situation, being without a mentor can make an individual or group seem a little lost. The imagery of a ship without a captain comes to mind: what would a bunch of pirates do out to sea with no chief swashbuckler to set the course?

While our organization technically does utilize and endorse an advising model (sans swashbuckling...), we prefer to use the term "coaches" when referring to the individuals in these roles. We do this in order to encourage a more dynamic relationship that emphasizes the idea of creating a two-way street communication style. The more that both parties understand that success can come as a result of collaborating and listening, the more likely both parties will find success - and enjoy the journey along the way.

Last month Phi Kappa Theta hosted its second annual Servant Leadership Summit, during which ten new Performance Coaches began their training. These individuals – a combination of alumni and community volunteers – will act as an extension of the Executive Offices. Each has the ability to offer tailored support, guidance, and challenges to three collegiate chapters.

By adding this personal level of support to chapter leadership and operations, Phi Kappa Theta hopes to be able to challenge our members to be better leaders while supporting them through difficult conversations and decisions. Performance Coaches are gearing up to hit the ground running with their chapters in January of 2019.

These two things, difficult conversation and decision making, were large parts of the Servant Leadership Summit. We wanted to treat this Summit as the foundational beginnings to a new initiative; we hoped to get all of our coaches in the same room, have intentional conversations about the Fraternity and Chapter Operations, and have each individual leave with the same action item: guide but not decide.

This notion comes from Sanford’s Challenge and Support Theory. The long and short of it is the idea that challenging an individual too much may see them buckle under pressure, whereas overwhelming support results in minimal learning opportunities. Performance Coaches had several opportunities during the Servant Leadership Summit to discuss what that means and how to navigate tough coaching conversations.

Pirate analogies aside, here are some of the principles that we discussed with coaches. Our hope is that it can translate into your own situation, whatever shape or form that may take. Phi Kappa Theta wants to extend a challenge to you: can you identify a mentor or coach within your office, profession or community at large using these criteria?

  1. Coaches in your community should first and foremost be accessible. They should want to speak with and listen to members within your chapter. They should be good listeners. In fact, some of the best mentors speak less and listen more. Find someone that will listen to a chapter's questions, goals, insecurities, ideas, etc. so that they can get a good idea of the executive board's strengths, weaknesses and desires.

  2. Coaches used as sounding boards can be a great way for student leaders to “make mistakes” without making mistakes that have long-term consequences on the chapter.

  3. Coaches should be the type of people who like to encourage others, especially coaches that identify with the mission/vision of Phi Kappa Theta. They also should be the type of individual who can gently but firmly tell someone an idea is bad without destroying creativity.

  4. Coaches should have experience and wisdom (the two don’t necessarily always go together). That is, they should have learned from their own mistakes. Think of some alumni in your area who may have had leadership experience in your own chapter.

  5. Coaches also should be willing to be “coached" by their chapter. Any manager, mentor or advisor should be willing to learn from others no matter how young, seasoned, educated — or not — someone is. Coaching is a two-way street: they coach members, and members coach them on how they want to be coached.

Interested in becoming a Performance Coach? Contact us.

Servant Leadership Summit 2018

When collegiate members of Phi Kappa Theta think of the National Fraternity, they often picture the four or five staff members who work at the National Office in Indianapolis, according to Robert Riggs, CAE, Executive Vice President.

“In reality, the Fraternity is comprised of all 52,000 alumni spread across the United States,” says Riggs.

The Servant Leadership Summit has been organized to figure out how to match passionate alumni with chapters needing specific guidance and that critical personal touch to improve performance to fulfill the Fraternity motto to “give expecting nothing thereof.”

The 2018 Summit will continue to identify, recruit, train and support performance coaches as a way to directly mentor/coach our chapters in operations, recruitment and development (five areas of development) culture.

Riggs said in 2017 various student and alumni leadership groups came together for a day to build a matrix and criteria to prioritize which chapters needed assistance and in what particular areas that service could be provided.

Some of the areas examined include operations, financial stability, recruitment, structure and the development of leadership qualities to serve the mission. Eventually, alumni coaches, talented in specific areas, will be dispatched to various campuses and chapters to help chapters accomplish their goals and improve in specific areas.

“We brainstormed some new ideas for how we can help chapters increase their value and lower their risk, maintaining operational excellence,” says Steve Bye, (University of Wisconsin-Madison, ‘16), who attended the pilot program in 2017. He adds that he appreciated the opportunity to examine the role that alums can play in this initiative. “It was great to network with other alumni, to learn how they’re organized and how their chapters are doing.”

One of the primary purposes of the initiative, according to Riggs, is to identify and renew alumni who have not volunteered previously, with the recognition that they provide the best example of exactly what the Fraternity means through their example of service and commitment to ideals. Establishing a bond with specific alumni coaches not only helps that particular chapter, but also connects the coaches directly with students and their needs.

“It was very enlightening and encouraging,” said Adrian Gonzalez, Fraternity President, (University of Texas at Austin, ‘78). “It gave us the opportunity to really look at where we are going as an institution.” Seeing all the fresh faces with fresh ideas helped him recognize “that we are heading in the right direction.”

Discover more about becoming a Servant Leader: www.phikaps.org/alumni