Saturday, November 20, 2010

Michigan vs. Arkansas

Lately my Arkansas peers have been trying to compare their football program with that of Michigan's. The number of "Michigan Sucks" I have heard recently has been absurd. Those of you who know me well know that I do not take that lightly. However, I will let the numbers do the talking. For good measure, I've included a head to head comparison of Denard Robinson and Ryan Mallett. Also, I have limited the scope of my comparison to football and will not dive into comparing the two institutions in any other fashion.

*Note - Before anyone makes any claims about Big 10 vs. SEC competition, lets remember that from 1915-1991 Arkansas played in the Southwest Conference against: Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, SMU, TCU, Houston, Texas Tech and Rice

First Season
M: 1879
Ark: 1894

Head-To-Head Record
M leads Ark 1-0 after Michigan won the 1991 Citrus bowl 45-31

Stadium Capacity
M: 109.901 (largest in the country)
Ark: 76,000

All-Time Record
M: 884–305–36 (.736) (Highest wins and win percentage in NCAA history)
Ark: 661–447–40 (.593)

Bowl Record
M: 19–20 (.487)
Ark: 12–22–3 (.324)

National Titles
M: 11
Ark: 1

Conference Titles
M: 42
Ark: 13

Consensus All-Americans
M: 77
Ark: 23

Heisman Trophy Winners
M: 3 (Tom Harmon, Desmond Howard, Charles Woodson)
Ark: 0

College Football Hall of Fame Inductees
M: 36
Ark: 12

Current NFL Players
M: 31 (Tom Brady, Chad Henne, Jake Long, LeMarr Woodley, Zoltan Mesko, Steve Hutchinson, Dahani Jones, Steve Breaston, Braylon Edwards)
Ark: 16 (Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, Peyton Hillis, Ken Hamlin)

Superbowl MVP's
M: 3 (Tom Brady x2, Desmond Howard)
Ark: 0

Football Player Graduation Rate
M: 77%
Ark: 52%

Number of D-1 Programs in the State
Michigan: 5 (Michigan, Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Western Michigan) (Bonus: D2 4-Time National Champions Grand Valley State University - '02,'03,'05,'06)
Arkansas: 1 (University of Arkansas)

Number of Professional Sports Franchises in the State:
Michigan: 4 (Pistons, Red Wings, Lions, Tigers)
Arkansas: 0

The reason I include the previous two statistics is because it factors into atmosphere and perception. I have gotten dogged lately for some of my comments regarding SEC football. My point is that in Arkansas, there are no other in-state teams to cheer for. The closest teams to Fayetteville outside of the Razorbacks are in Kansas City, Dallas or Memphis, which are all over four hours away. This is much different from the state of Michigan, where there are five D-1 college and four professional teams that are battling for position within a fan's sport space. Additionally, there is the added factor of in-state rivalries, as well as the proximity of rivalries in adjacent states (Notre Dame and Ohio State). If I am feeling inspired later this year, I'll write an extensive blog post on these topics

Ryan Mallett vs. Denard Robinson
Denard: 6', 197 lbs, Sophomore (First Season Starting)
Mallett: 6'6", 238 lbs, Junior

QB Rating
Denard:157.7 (14th)
Mallett: 166.5 (4th)

Completion Percentage
Denard: 63.3% (37th)
Mallett: 67.3% (11th)

Passing Yards
Denard:2229 (42nd)
Mallett: 2967 (7th)

Total TD's
Denard: 30 (16 Passing, 14 Rushing)
Mallett: 28 (24 Passing, 4 Rushing)

Rushing Yards
Denard: 1538 (2nd) (NCAA Single Season QB Rushing Record)
Mallett: -20 (Really?)

Denard: First QB ever to Pass for 1,500 yards and Rush for 1,500 yards in the same season.

- The Victors - best fight song in college football
- Michigan vs. Ohio State - Greatest rivalry in all of sports. Started in 1897 and has been played 106 times. Michigan leads the all-time series 57–43–6


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

General Update

Hello Friends,
I apologize for the lack of updates recently, I've been lacking creative inspiration.

Arkansas has been treating me well. The weather was holding out in the 60's up until Saturday. I get strange looks around campus when everyone else is bundled from head to toe and I'm still in shorts and short sleeves. One of the many benefits to being from Michigan.

Last Saturday was the last Arkansas football game here in Fayetteville. I know I've written about my disappointment in SEC Game Day, and I have to say that feeling persists. I understand that its hard to get excited when the last game is against powerhouse UTEP, but Game Day is Game Day. I'll take my Big 10 football any day. On a happier note, I've been really excited about how many Michigan games have been an ABC/ESPN. I've only had to watch 2 games on my computer. 

Last week we had officer elections for next semester. For a new group participating in elections for the first time, I was impressed with how smoothly it went. There were bumps along the way, but those will be ironed out in the coming weeks when the Bylaws are revisited. I'm very excited to work with our new board, and have been planning a Transition Retreat for the last couple days. In putting this whole event together, I forgot how much I love doing event planning/programming. 

For the last week or so I've been reading Decision Points by George W Bush. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it. As someone who marched down Pennsylvania Ave during Bush's second Inauguration with a sign that read "Worst President Ever", I have to say I'm impressed. Its easy to demonize W and the decisions he made (especially when you are young and impressionable by the Main Stream Media). The book is organized thematically, as opposed to Clinton's book which was chronological. The book has a lot of W's voice, which makes it an easy read. 

Reading Decision Points has also renewed my interest in going into politics in the future. Everything is so fluid and exciting. At every point in the book I imagine myself in the situation and it excites me. I'll hopefully look into opportunities next year. I'm hoping Brett Vasicek can get me a job with new Michigan governor Rick Snyder.

I'm excited to go back to Michigan for Thanksgiving, even if its only for a couple days.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bucket List

I feel like recently everyone has been making a bucket a list lately. For those of you who have been living under a rock, a bucket list is a list of things someone wants to do before "kicking the bucket".

I've made a couple of these throughout the years, but they've been lost from the various times that I have picked up and moved my life. Sadly, when college-aged students write these, they tend to revolve around alcohol and sex. I'm going to move beyond those. Here is what I've come up with so far:

- Be on the receiving end a giant check
- Be a part of a flash mob
- Be an extra in a Hollywood movie
- Visit every state
- Have a Ben & Jerry's flavor named after me
- Have my picture on the front page of a major newspaper
- Throw out the first pitch at a major league baseball game
- Run a half marathon
- Go to a Newcastle United match in England

....and that's all I could come up with right now. I'll be adding to it as I continue my travels.

What's on your Bucket List? Best answer (as judged by me) wins a prize!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

3 Words

Recently I had a friend ask me to read her application for a leadership position. One of the questions on it was to "use 3 words to describe yourself/leadership style". I do really like the question, however, I think there are some really good answers, and some terrible ones.

In the near future when I am elected Emperor of the World this question will appear on all official applications. Any responses that include: responsible, organized, integrity, respectful or similar words will be thrown out. To me it shows a complete lack of creativity, and panders more towards what the candidate assumes I would want to see.

But do not fret, for I have devised some stellar answers to this ultimate question:

Forward Thinking
How many times have you sat in a meeting where the same topic is talked in circles countless times? If you're like me the answer is thousands. Some people would rather debate a problem ad nausium instead of taking the next step to devising a plan to deal with it. By replying "forward thinking" you're telling your future boss (me) that you are not a circle talker, but instead focused on solutions.

Goal Oriented
Let me preface by saying I strongly dislike being forced to sit down and write goals. However, being a goal oriented person implies that you're not some schmoe just looking to fill the status quo.

This is a personal favorite of mine because the person reading the application will be caught completely off guard thinking that you contracted a rainforest disease on Spring Break. However, the word infectious stands for a concept that I believe strongly in: "Positivity is Contagious". This positivity can be exemplified in many ways such as body language, laughter, jokes, camaraderie or even something as simple as smiling.

How many situations have you been in where everything goes 100% according to plan? If you answered anything other than 0, you're lying. The ability to go with the flow is paramount when dealing with high pressure situations.

These words play an especially large role when looking at working with large non-profit organizations like.... an international fraternity or the YMCA (both employers of mine). This allows you to encompass all those traits that I said not to use into one catch-all. In addition, it shows servant leadership - be it serving a community, organization or cause. This answer also screams good character.

A couple last pieces of advice on how to answer the question.
1. Don't make up words. Always double check to make sure your advective+suffix actually exists. Nothing worse than trying to apply to a leadership position and you make up a word like "respectableness".
2. Stay away from words that imply control. By these I mean "Compulsive", "Obsessive", and "Anal Retentive". While you're point may be that you have a strong attention to detail, these words invoke images of some of the worst people to have in a group situation

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


This week I'm lucky enough to have Steven Fleming, another Phi Delta Theta Consultant here with my in Fayetteville for recruitment. Steven is not only a great friend an consultant, but also very knowledgeable about fitness and nutrition; he's taken on the role of psuedo-staff nutritionist.

As many of you can imagine, trying to stay in shape and eat correctly can be difficult while on the road. Many of us don't have access to kitchens to prepare our own food. This leads to lots of eating out, which obviously isn't the healthiest choice. There's only so much Subway someone can eat. Steven turned a couple of us on to the Paleo diet, which centers around trying only eat things that were around 10,000 years ago. More or less, the diet tries to cut out simple carbs: breads, pastas, potatoes and rice.

Do you have any idea how much of these things we consume everyday? I a typical meal is was possible for me to eat all four of these things. Think about all the things this includes: sandwichs, pasta, french fries, mashed potatoes, sushi, stir fry...the list goes on and on. If you don't believe my try it for a day.... even try it for a single meal.

I've been eating lots of meat, fruit, vegetables and nuts. Salads have become one of my biggest friends. I never in my life thought that would be the case (you have to watch out for the dressing though). I won't bore you with all the scientific reasons with why it works, because to be honest I don't 100% understand it myself. Those of you who know me know that I'm not much of a science person.

This new diet has me feeling great. It, coupled with going to the gym three days a week and running 4 days a week, has allowed me to drop close to 20 pounds since I've been here.

My goal is to run a half marathon and become an Iron Phi at some point this year. I need to figure out where and when I'm going to be certain places to make sure I can actually do it. Also, Props to my chapter brothers John Hacker and Karl Cran for already joining the Brotherhood of Athletes this summer

For those of you interested in checking out more:
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Mark's Daily Apple is a blog that updates everyday and is full of good information.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

SEC Speed

This past weekend was my first experience with SEC football atmosphere. Coming from a large football school, I was interested to see how football saturdays compared in a different part of the country. Here are a couple of my observations:

- The game started at 6PM, and most people didn't seem to start tailgating till around 1-2PM

- The Parents Club provided food for the alumni and undergraduates here at the Phi Delt house

- A lot of their pre-game festivities fell more into the "tail-gating" category in parking lots, even for students

- Walking down the sidewalk with red solo cups in completely normal, which my Ann Arborites consider a mortal sin

- There was a more-or-less single file line down the sidewalk for students to get into the stadium... not the angry mob I'm used to

- A majority of fans (students included) left by halftime

- Students don't have a "student football T-shirt", or a "Go Greek" shirt

- Most students wear polo's, button downs or blazers to the game. And Everyone wears red, one of the advantages of only having one dominant color

- The Arkansas game wasn't even on TV and was blacked out on

- They lit off fireworks after EVERY touchdown.... against powerhouse Tennessee Tech.

- I was of course wearing my white Michigan jersey around the house and asked repeatedly about Ryan Mallett. I'll be happy as long as our games continue to be on basic cable.

I didn't actually attend the game, as I didn't want to spend money to go watch a beat down. I'll be looking for tickets for the next couple games here, including Alabama, so I can give you the rundown from inside the stadium. Another weird football thing - they play two games in Little Rock, on the other side of the state. That leaves students with roughly 4-5 home games here in Fayetteville.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Yesterday as I returned to the house after my morning run, I came across a friendly looking older gentlemen on the front porch clearly waiting to get let in. I introduce myself even though I'm dripping sweat and breathing heavy. He introduces himself as "Dr. Chuck" and tells me he's from Baton Rouge, LA and was in Little Rock for his 50 year med school reunion, and he figured he'd stop by to see the renovated house which he donated money to. Right off the bat he wanted to find his composite, which luckily was right in the main room. He began to tell me the backgrounds of every man in the composite and you could see the viable smile on his face. He assured me that I didn't need to stay with him and that I could go shower. Luckily Afshar was in the dining room and was quickly able to take my place as host.

Later in the Day I met with Ashley Tull the Senior Associate Dean of Students. He made a very clear observation that the chapters with the strongest alumni support are the most successful on campus. The same is true for the opposite. We also went on to discuss the connection between Greek Life and donations to the University. What is it that makes Greek alumni feel so much more connected to the campus? In a conversation with CAB chairmen Matt Durrett, he put it bluntly: "You don't see old guys from the 4th floor of Pomfret (Residence Hall) having a reunion every year". He went on to explain that his pledge class has reunions every year and they still reminisce about they good memories they had not only at Phi Delta Theta, but at the University of Arkansas.
So next time you see an alumni peering into the windows, don't look at him like a leper. Greet him with a wide smile and a firm handshake. Take the time to listen to his stories and laugh at his jokes. Keep them connected to both the chapter and the university, Because one day in the not so distant future, that's going to be you.

Photo 1:Michigan Alpha Christmas in 1979 - Courtesy of Tom Horlacher
Photo 2: Michigan Alpha Founders Day 2010 - Courtesy of Greg Karmazin

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Week 1

So I've been in the beautiful city of Fayetteville for almost a week now. I've spent my time meeting with the colony members, PNMs, and campus leaders. I've always been fascinated by how Greek Communities differ between campuses. Below are a couple interesting facts I've found:

- Chapters down here are HUGE. Sorority rush just finished up and almost all of the the chapters have over 100 new members. The largest fraternity, Kappa Sigma, is well over 200 men.

- However, the reason for that is they have fewer chapters. Arkansas has 13 IFC chapters and 8 NPC sororities as opposed to 31 fraternities and 16 sororities at Michigan

- Fraternities down here actually have "formal rush" similar to sororities. Groups of PNM's are lead from chapter house to chapter house and as the rounds press on, more and more people are cut.

- At the end of fraternity recruitment, PNM's pick up an envelope with only one bid in it based on mutual selection

- Much of fraternity recruitment is done over the summer. Chapters hold large events in large feeder areas (Fort Smith, Little Rock and Dallas). Some guys are committed to joining before they even step onto campus.

- The alumni support for our colony is incredible. There is a group of local alumni that attend every colony meeting. Its unlike anything I've experienced. I also have a meeting with Skip Rutherford, who is the Dean of the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock.

- Having a house owned by the University is an interesting situation. We have a Graduate Assistant that acts like an RA, minus the "community programming". Also during move-in I had to fill out the same kinds of forms I did when I first moved into Bursley.

- The amount of guys who know coming into school that they want to rush is much higher than I'm used to.

- Girls planning on rushing actually move-in early and rush takes place the week before classes start. The girls know where they got bids to before they go to their first class. I think this makes a lot of sense as opposed to monopolizing the first 2.5 weeks of class.

Just thought some of you might like to know. Comments Welcome

Monday, August 23, 2010

RIP Gabe

So this morning I got news that one of close friends, Gabe, had committed suicide back in his home country of Sweden. Details are scarce and this time but the news hit me pretty hard as we were co-counselors for weeks at a time. It inspired me to write this post, not only as a memorial to him, but as a reminder for everyone else.

Gabe was a teenager when he took the long journey from Sweden all the way to Oscoda Michigan. At that point his English wasn't perfect, somewhat broken in fact, but his attitude and enthusiasm made him an instant favorite among the staff.

His hobbies included aggressive skating, making techno music and gymnastics. He brought the same passion from these activities and brought them to job of Camp Counselor. He inspired group after group of Metro Detroit youth with his infectious smile and playful demeanor. We grew very close throughout the summer as we learned about each others lives and cultures.

After camp ended, we parted ways promising to keep in touch. We did for a short while, and then the twists and turns of life made keeping in contact an afterthought. I haven't spoken to him in close to two years, and now I won't have the chance to.

I challenge each and every one of you to reach out to someone who you haven't spoken to in a long time. This could be anyone from a family member to an old high school friend, because you never know when you'll no longer have the chance.

""They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints in our hearts, and we are never, ever the same again. "

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fayetteville First Impressions

So I finally arrived in Fayetteville after my two six-hour drives from Oxford, OH to Arkansas. The drive itself was pretty uninteresting. I scanned for radio stations the entire trip. The highlight was driving right next to the St. Louis Arch.

Upon arriving at the house, one of the first people I met was Mar Teze, the Greek graduate assistant that lives in the house; he functions like an RA. He's working on his doctorate in Higher Ed and was an Alpha Phi Alpha advisor for a couple years before coming here.

I moved everything I own into my new room, which is roughly the size of a dorm room. Luckily my room would normally be a double, so I have two of everything, including two beds pushed together. Right now I have the entire hall to myself, but eventually freshmen who accept bids will be moving in around me. It'll be exciting to actually have people around me.

The most rewarding part so far has been getting to know the guys in the house. The first night I went out to dinner with two of the officers and they gave me the low-down on how things used to be in the chapter. In addition to that, a lot of the guys have stopped by my room to introduce themselves and just hang out.

We have our first Colony meeting monday night, and I have a lot of preparing to do to make sure the year gets started on the right foot.

And for those of you who missed it, here's my video of my trip down: here

High: Finally getting all moved in
Low: Trying to run around Fayetteville = mountains

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Calm Before The Storm

So this past month has flown by. Tomorrow the staff is heading to Purdue for a training visit. I'll be returning with a few others Tuesday night, spend Wednesday morning packing my materials and hitting the road to Fayetteville Arkansas. I plan on stopping for the night to stay with one of my chapter brothers in St. Louis. In total, the drive is going to take about 12 hours.

I'm excited to get down there. We've been training non-stop since I got here on July 5th, and we really tightened the screws this week to get everyone ready to hit the road. It reminds me of my time playing high school football. As a linemen, we practiced hours a day for weeks hitting the same people over and over again. We would do the same drills, same film sessions and same simulations until finally we were able to go out on that first Friday night under the lights and had the privilege of finally taking it out on someone in different colored jersey.

That's how I feel now. We've done training, case studies, practice presentations, tests, pop quizes, conferences, risk management training.... You name it and we've probably been exposed to it. We as consultants can only pretend to be helping people for so long, finally we get a chance to go out and make a difference with real people and real chapters. The most exciting part is that I know eventually there's going to be a curve ball, something we didn't train for.

Its going to be an adventure. My hope is that I can stay connected to everyone I care about despite being 12+ hours away. Write me emails, comment on my blog, even send me letters/packages. Any small act will be greatly appreciated. I've already learned how difficult keeping friendships together can be.

For those that missed it, here's my short ELI video I created:

High: Getting ready for a new chapter in my life
Low: Packing up my life for the second time in just over a month

Monday, August 9, 2010

Buck Up

A week ago today we were wrapping up the Emerging Leaders Institute, which is our largest undergraduate leadership conference with close to 400 participants. We as a staff logged incredible hours over the 5 day affair. After one of the days I was unable to spell my name backwards and had no idea what day it was. After we finished on Tuesday morning, the consultants had the rest of the day off, and needless to say we slept most of the day.

At points during the weekend it was really hard to keep a positive attitude, or even fake a smile if things were rough. I found myself constantly asking if all the work we were putting in was worth it. The weeks of preparation and the 20+ hours a day were mentally and physically draining.

It was not until today, almost a week later, that I found my answer. I was given the tedious task of typing the six written responses of roughly 200 evaluations from the conference. What started as mind numbing quickly became incredibly rewarding. The responses people wrote were truly inspiring. I got to physically read how much we inspired another person, and you could feel the excitement jump off the page.

Here are some of the responses (emphasis mine):
-"If I knew then what I knew now, I would kill to go ELI"
-"Going from being nervous about the conference to not wanting to leave. I learned so much and have met many new brothers. I am rededicated and refocused to being a leader"
-"I would love to come back, but I would love for another Brother to have the opportunity to experience this! Thank You!"
"Overall I found this to be a great experience in growing in the spirit of Phi Delta Theta."
-"Fantastic. All new initiates should be required to attend."

It reminds me a lot of the Starfish Story. While the conference itself was huge drain on myself and everyone on staff, I lost track of individual victories being scored in every chapter meeting, every general session and every educational session. Reading those comments was probably the most rewarding part about being on staff so far.

High: Spending the weekend with Christie - including King's Island and Rascal Flatts
Low: Having to come back to reality Monday morning.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bar Etiquette

Loyal Readers,
I've decided to take a short intermission from talking about fraternal values and my experiences to bring you a short Public Service Announcement about a subject that is very near and dear to my heart.

For those of you who didn't know, I have spent a fair amount of time the past two years working in at bars. It amazes me how little people understand about bar etiquette. My philosophy has been that the US should have one year mandatory requirement to work in the service industry, like some other countries have mandatory military service.

Enough with that, onward to my Top 10 bar etiquette tips (in no particular order):

1. Do not ever snap your fingers at a member of the wait staff (coughZekecough).

2. Ask before moving tables and chairs - you may be taking a table away from a waiter's section. This also goes for pulling bar stools to a table.

3. Depending on the place - call and make a reservation if you plan on bringing more than 8 people. It makes life a lot easier for everyone.

4. If you leave your phone number on the receipt, you better tip more than 20% if you expect them to call you back.

5. Leave a note. It doesn't have to be anything special, but a simple "thank you" goes a long way. I've kept every note I've ever received. However, make sure it doesn't cross into the realm of creepy/ sexual harassment. I guarantee it will make the server's night.

6. When asking for silveware/ napkins/ another drink ext. if you include the phrase "...whenever you get a chance" more often then not I'll go get it for you right away.

7. If you learn a servers name, don't yell it across the bar. There are some exceptions to this rule depending on the bar and your relationship with the server. I knew if my regulars on the rugby team called my name and pointed to a pitcher, they needed another pitcher of Bud Heavy. They also tipped accordingly.

8. Beer doesn't taste the same out of the tap as it does out of the bottle. If you want to try a beer to make sure you like it, just ask. Saying that it "tastes funny" is not going to get you a free drink.

9. The less you ask for free drinks, the more likely you are to receive them.

10. If a member of the waitstaff or bartender take care of you, return the favor.

Friends in the service industry: feel free to comment and add your own.

High: Finally getting back to Oxford at 2:30am last night
Low: Blowing a tire 20 miles outside of Ann Arbor

Friday, July 23, 2010

FEA Field Staff

Earlier this week the other new consultants and I traveled to Indianapolis for the FEA Field Staff Conference. It brings together close to 200 consultants in an opportunity to meet each other and train for the difficult year(s) ahead. I had the chance to converse with other consultants, Executive Vice Presidents of ZBT and AGD, the Phired Up! staff as well as other Greek Life professionals.

One of the overall themes of the conference was the idea of Values, and the trouble that comes from when our values and actions are not congruent. So many Greek organizations are founded on principles like Scholarship, Friendship, Integrity, Purity...and the list goes on and on. However, many of the issues that occur in fraternities and sororities stem from the lack of living out the values that we all swore an oath to uphold. Without our values and mission, what makes fraternity any different from the anime club?

The conference ended with John Shertzer's inspirational message based around the idea of values. One question he asked really hit home he asked was:

"If you could start a Greek organization right now, what values would found it on?"

My Answer: Leadership, Accountability, Service, Integrity and Love

What would yours be?

High: Getting tackled by Indianapolis Indians mascot after carrying him up the stairs on my back
Low: A terribly facilitated hour and a half presentation about effective facilitation.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Leadership Philosophy

The other new consultants and I just got out of a meeting with Executive Vice President of Phi Delta Theta Bob Biggs. After a couple minutes of describing his extensive job description, he rhetorically asked us what our leadership philosophies were. At this point, my mind raced to the numerous leadership inventories I've done in my many years. I began to tip-of-the-pen my personal leadership philosophy (while actively paying attention of course):

Winning Attitude- First and foremost, I hate losing. Therefore, one of the first things I do when given a new project is to brainstorm and plan the best way to complete my objective. Think about a championship football team. At least a full week of preparation goes into every game. A coach must watch film of his own team and the opposing team, draft new strategies and plays along with making sure all players and coaches are on the same page. By the same token, a player practices all week to be ready for all situations that they might see come game time. The coaches and players both take pride and comfort in knowing that they are prepared for anything. In the end, the team that has the most talented players doesn't always win, but rather the team that has the winning attitude and is better prepared. In addition, attitude is contagious. A good leader will not only be confident in a win, but will be able to inspire those around them of the same. If you don't go into a situation with the positive outlook, failure is all but assured.

Appreciation: There is nothing worse than going out of your way for a person or an organization and not receiving any credit of thanks for it. I will go great lengths out of my way for a friend or acquaintance as long as I am thanked for my effort. Its even worse when someone ELSE receives the credit for your hard work. I always try to go out of my way to thank the people that help me out, even its for a small menial tasks. When chairing a committee that receives high praise try hard to deflect some of it back onto the committee members. Those people will be more willing to help out on another project if they are publicly recognized.

Partnerships: While we joke about how the word "partnerships" is a current buzz word in higher education, the premise behind it still holds true. Too often we think of our organizations as solitary units. There is a wealth of resources and experience just waiting to be utilized outside the confines of the organization. This holds true in everything from the business world to the fraternity world. Once you can create a relationship with an individual or organization, these mutual aid partnerships happen very quickly. In the fraternity world there is probably a Greek advisor, leadership office, student government or even other fraternity men. Do you have a problem with senior retention? So has every other chapter since the mid-1800's. It doesn't hurt to talk to your fellow Greek leaders, or any leaders, and see how other people and organizations have dealt with the same problem.

What is YOUR Leadership Philosophy?

High: Finding out that Positive Mental Attitude as followed me from the Summer Camp world to the professional world.
Low: Being told to take my Michigan banner down

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


It's Official - I'll be spending this semester at the University of Arkansas.

I'm really excited about the opportunity. Very rarely does a consultant get to spend more than three days or eight weeks at any particular campus (chapter services and expansion respectively). I like to think of it as the best of both worlds: I get to recruit just like I would on Expansion, and I get to work on chapter programing like Chapter Services. Additionally, I get to help implement and watch different programs develop and grow. My hope is that I can continue my work on The Accolade and possibly bring it to Arkansas.

The tentative plan is for me to move to Fayetteville at the end of August. With my supreme knowledge of US Geography, I guessed that the drive from Oxford would be around six hours. WRONG - turns out its closer to 12. The Aztec and I are going to be best friends after that journey.

We were talking today about Fayetteville today and the impression I got is that the campus has a very midwestern feel with a southern twist. This makes me feel really comfortable going into the whole situation. I'm even more excited about being on a big football campus. Go Razorbacks?

High: Getting 105% on my Chapter Designations Test
Low: Getting kicked out of the racquet ball court

Friday, July 9, 2010


The 11 of us just got back from Nashville, IN where we held our staf retreat. We had gorgeous accommodations thanks to Jon Collier complete with hot tub, ping pong table and fire pit. As far as retreats go it was pretty standard in terms of term building, self - assessment and goal setting. For the first time I felt less like a pledge and more like a member of the team, and I think most of the other new guys felt the same way.

The entire car trip there and back we worked on our flash cards to memorize our chapter designations before our test on Wednesday. I'm feeling pretty confident, but thought it would be a much longer time before taking another test after I left Ann Arbor.

We have really great group assembled who are able to be serious when need be, and loose most of the other times. I'm excited to get back to training on Tuesday after we volunteer at a Golf event on Monday. Only a couple more days before I find out where I'll be for the beginning of the school year.

Biggest Change After 1 Week: Coffee Drinking
High: Sitting around the camp fire getting to know people on a more personal level
Low: Goal Setting - brought back too many memories of RBC

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 1:
So last night I finally got into Ox-Vegas (Oxford, OH) around midnight after a four hour drive from Cleveland. Some of the guys were still awake and showed me up to my room. The plus side was that my roommate Greg and I have double the closet space, however the downside is that we have to use the downstairs bathroom to shower in the morning.

Today was a whirlwind. We went over orientation, a GHQ tour, a computer tutorial (for our new laptops), filled out tax forms and opened new bank accounts.

Tomorrow we leave for a retreat in (insert name of small town), Indiana. Not really sure what to expect.

High: Finally getting to Oxford
Low: Waking up at 7am