ServingFraternity

Making Resolutions?

Plan for your Role as Chapter Leader!

by Dan Bureau, PhD
University of New Hampshire, ‘95
Board of Trustees
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Memphis

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Resolutions are often made the end of one year and the beginning of the next because people are scientifically proven to be ready for change. There is a mindset that comes with making resolutions: I have not achieved my goals in the past year (or years) but now I feel ready to make that change. When considering what changes you need to make, also give pause to how those changes will ultimately impact those around you and what strategies you need to enact in order to achieve those goals.

As you consider some of your resolutions for 2019, think about what you need to do relative to your role in Phi Kappa Theta. Leaders can always turn things around even with really difficult situations, but you have to be ready. Here are three resolutions you might adopt in your role as a leader in your chapter, your alumni association, or as part of any other committee/board on which you serve that is connected to Phi Kappa Theta.

1. I will be more focused on listening to others than only asserting my opinion. You have been elected/selected based on qualifications. Therefore, you have a right to give your opinion and it is likely one that has been considered in depth at some point. However, good leaders listen as much as they talk (if not more).

Ask questions even if you think you know the answers.

- Dan Bureau, PhD

Talking at people does not really work unless they are clear on your rationale and also how it will impact them. Moving forward, ask questions even if you think you know the answers. For example, rather than share with a brother that you wish he would pay his dues, ask “what can we do to make this experience worthwhile for you so that you invest in it by paying dues” or “what can we do to help you make the payments towards your dues” rather than assume it is just how he chooses to prioritize. Paying dues is one example, but this resolution can be applied to all aspects of leadership.

For more information check out this article from Inc. magazine.

2. I will seek to engage others rather than doing everything myself or letting the elite few who do work tackle these tasks. It is easy just to get something done the way you want it, but as you and your fellow leaders conduct themselves this way it lets many others all around you just opt out. This is a challenge particularly for those who are concerned with their legacy of leadership versus the overall effectiveness of their organization. The truth is that your greatest legacy of what you achieve as a leader will come long after you are gone: the test is whether those after you can carry on in a way that is making the organization successful.

What you achieve as a leader will come long after you are gone: the test is whether those after you can carry on in a way that is making the organization successful.

- Dan Bureau, PhD

As a leader, make the resolution that you are going to seek out brothers (recall the ritual here) and ask them what could help them become more involved. In what are they interested in helping? What are their ideas? Leadership needs to be shared in order to be impactful. Engage others and while the initial work may seem harder, you will empower others, including those who “follow you” to step up and make the difference.

For more information on leading toward results AND relationships, check out this blog post.

3. I resolve to be focused on leadership as acts versus position. This is a reality for any leader. The way it impacts our Fraternity though is that the act of leadership can feel more positional than relational. Anyone can lead and they may lead differently or the same as you but we often default to those in positions of leadership versus all the leadership potential around us. There is a body of research focused on countering this view of leadership. While leadership needs to have “leaders” and “followers” it is important to be clear that anyone may need to step up to lead in a given situation. If you are a positional leader in your chapter/alumni association/other PKT context, then you may or may not be the right person to demonstrate leadership in other ways. For example, if a brother is struggling with something, sometimes the best way to demonstrate leadership is to make sure someone who he is most closely connected to is prepared to connect with him in a way that feels helpful.

Central Michigan University hosts a leadership camp annually. Check out their overview of what’s called the social change model of leadership. This focuses on many things, most notably that leadership is not just position.

These three resolutions connect powerfully around any sort of change management efforts. If you identify change is needed then once you listen to learn, you may feel better informed to implement change that people will buy into. If you engage others in change, they will feel invested more or at least that their voice was heard. Finally, if you focus on leadership as a function versus position, and a function that anyone at anytime can step into, then you will empower people to new heights.

Resolutions often fall apart, so if you start one of these (or all of them) and something goes wrong, then consider what needs to change for you to successfully complete. Also, there may be a need for you to apply these resolutions differently depending on the context of the situation (for example, at some point there are issues within Phi Kappa Theta that simply are driven by the policies of the Fraternity), but keeping these resolutions in mind will help you reflect as a leader on what you can do, what you can do with others, and how you all can work together to make your Phi Kappa Theta experience one that is positive, educational, fun, and impactful to you, your campus and society.


Are you interested in starting your year off right? We’d like to hear from you! Complete our quick Take Action form below:

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About Dan:

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Dan Bureau joined Phi Kappa Theta at the University of New Hampshire, and graduated in 1995. He later earned a PhD. in Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University. Dan works for the University of Memphis as the assistant vice president for student affairs. He also volunteers for the Council for the Advancement of Standards through the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors. Dan enjoys spending time with his family, playing tennis and staying fit.

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

How Our Chapter Grew

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Dr. Brown formed a personalized program for our house. This program hit home with all the brothers, talking about individuals and their struggles and putting those things into perspective as a brotherhood.

Neil Patel
RPI, ‘20
Chapter President

On October 8th, 2018 the New York Sigma Chapter at RPI was extremely honored to hold its first brotherhood retreat with Dr. Michael Brown of DMB Coaching.

Over the course of the last year many brothers have gotten to meet Dr. Michael Brown at the Boysie Bollinger Leadership Academy and IMPACT18.

After each of those events, many non-attending brothers were excited by the ideas and impact Dr. Brown had on their fellow brothers. With all this excitement, it was only right to have Dr. Brown come visit the chapter.

Over the past year the chapter struggled with passivity and ideals, Dr. Brown formed a personalized program for our house. This program hit home with all the brothers, talking about individuals and their struggles and putting those things into perspective as a brotherhood.

The key moment for us was when Dr. Brown had us write down something we are currently struggling with personally. After reading each of those anonymous struggles, many were taken back about how the Fraternity serves as that support system that each of us as individuals need.

Using the strategies taught by Dr. Brown, the Chapter formulated their personal values which allowed us to establish our first recruitment guidelines. These guidelines specifically show who were are as a chapter and why we do the things we do.

The executive board had a meeting with Dr. Brown the following morning. Despite leading a discussion from 10AM to 6PM and hanging out with the brothers from 6PM to 10PM, Dr. Brown was still lively.

He allowed us to ask questions about what we struggle with and how to implement what we talked about as a chapter.

Overall, our Chapter went into the retreat knowing about what it means to be good leaders and an even better brotherhood but being able to still be critical about these things allowed us to be even more efficient in these areas.

Also, being able to talk about tasks we struggle with made everyone more cognizant of where we look to improve!

Neil Patel
RPI, ‘20
Chapter President

11.09 Houston Area Alumni Event

Brother Manny González (Texas A&I University, '82) and his wife, Lucy, have graciously opened up their home for what is sure to be a great evening of food, wine, and brotherhood, November 9th, 2018 at 6:30PM CT.

The best part is that registration fees have been reduced to $1.00 per person!

The evening will include updates about Phi Kappa Theta throughout the country and will focus primarily on the growth and activity in Texas.

A highlight of the event is sure to be the wine tasting led by sommelier Lucy González. Lucy is the CEO of Vega San Juan (VSJ). VSJ is the name of the vineyard / wine business in Spain. Lucy and Brother Manny González, are partners in VRS Winery. The wines to be shared that evening have been generously donated by the González family.

Live Entertainment: Pete Scafidi is a singer and song writer and performs as a solo acoustic act with songs that include an upbeat, eclectic mix of covers from Rock/Pop, R&B, Latin, and Country genres, plus some originals.

Raffle Prizes: Attendees names will be written on a card and pulled from a bowl.

  • 1 - 2014 Ermita Talanda Magnum (red)

  • 1 - 2012 Ermita Talanda (red)

  • 1 - 2012 Peñalegre (red)

  • 1 - 2014 Ermita Talanda Rueda (white wine)

Muela - Premium Handcrafted Knife - Criollo Model: Muela Knives are custom Spanish hunting knives that have been made by the Muela family for generations, and utilize tough Moly-Vanadium stainless steel. Each Muela Hunting Knife is handsome as well as functional with handle materials that include Red Stag antler, exotic stabilized hardwoods and Pakawood.

Spanish Abanico: The Valencian company Aire Distinto is the brand of fans designed by Lola Blay. Her designs are made with various materials and are hand painted. Her imagination brings us to a cheerful and avant-garde collection with lots of color and patterns of flowers, fruits, animals and images of Las Meninas ("Ladies in Waiting").

We look forward to all area brothers bringing their spouses/significant others.

About VRS Winery (VRSWinery.com)

Since the first days of stepping onto some amazing Spanish vineyards and getting introduced to their wonderful wines, Gina & Ramiro Rodriguez and Lucinda & Manny González decided to spread the delight of these wines to wine lovers in the U.S.

Contact: Robert Riggs, CAE, Executive Director