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

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