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

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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.