by Shira Tober
Social Excellence is contagious. And it should be.
I think living a lifestyle of intentionally getting to know someone, having meaningful conversation, and cultivating relationships should be the most wide-spread, quick-moving epidemic our world has ever seen. Being Socially Excellent opens the door to limitless possibilities of interactions, relationships, and game-changing action.
Organizations full of socially excellent people can change the world, but also, individuals can take actions that set in motion truly magical chains of events.
One person can inspire others to strive to be better. When I meet Socially Excellent people or hear stories of Social Excellence, it motivates me to be better, do better, and live better.
I recently read this Facebook status of a chapter sister, Alex, who after graduation went to work for Teach for America. (Yes, I am freely admitting to Facebook stalking; what can I say, I’m a product of my generation):
“A man saw me buying 75 notebooks and folders for my students and insisted on giving me $10. My students and I thank you very much, Jaclancey from Georgia.”
I think Jaclancey is a real life example of the power one person has to further the spread of the Social Excellence message. You see, Jaclancey was curious and generous. He saw a young woman buying 75 notebooks and folders, a sight one doesn’t see every day, and instead of letting an opportunity pass him by, he was inquisitive and asked the question that was burning inside of him. By inquiring about the purchase, Jaclancey started a conversation with Alex. A question and introduction led to conversation and that conversation led to a collaboration of the two working to educate our future leaders.
In our everyday lives it would be great and generous if we opened our wallets to help others, but generosity can be simpler. We can go out of our way to make someone smile or make their day a little bit better. We can linger a little longer while holding open a door, we can let someone go head of us in line at the grocery store, or we can be the person that inspires others to be curious and generous. We can be a little more like Jaclancey from Georgia.
[Before you misread this, I'm an incredibly proud sorority woman who loves the best of what sorority is. I'm proud to be able to work with NPC organizations (in fact, I'm heading the NPC meeting this week). I just wrote this to share what scares me if we don't keep working hard to keep sororities great. Thanks for reading]
by Shira Tober
At the young age of 160, Sorority Life died today. After much scrutiny by the 26 members of NPC, the cause of death was determined to be a dreadful combination of complacency, lack of accountability of its current membership, and malrecruitmentitis (an inability to consistently attract high performing members). It is a sad day for the over 3.5 million initiated women across North America. These women were able to experience the life changing bonds of sisterhood, had some of the strongest academics on the most competitive campuses and even went on to become actresses, politicians, doctors, lawyers, and even Supreme Court Justices. But that legacy abruptly ended due to poor decision making. Rather than choosing to continue the legacies of excellence, empowerment, and societal improvement as set forth by the founders of these amazing organizations, active members dabbled too much in the deadly game of snooty anti-social silliness and ultimately tainted the very idea of what a “social” organization is supposed to be about. Letting themselves be defined by parties, hazing, and other such unbecoming behavior, membership dwindled on campuses. University administrations no longer had the patience for disruptive and immature behavior and felt pressure from Board of Directors to cancel Student Organization recognition. High quality women, leaders and visionaries, no longer saw value in joining sororities. They could seek out leadership and service in other organizations that would not carry as much negative stigma as sororities. The disease of complacency and lack of accountability spread to the heart and purpose of Sorority Life and she had no choice but to breathe her last breath. Donations to all 26 sororities’ national philanthropies will be accepted in lieu of flowers; these organizations will need the support since they’ve lost future donations from Sorority Life.
We don’t want to read this obituary either. The only way to keep her healthy for years and years to come is to implement a proven system to consistently attract a high quantity of high quality women.
by Josh Orendi
There’s a deep sense of altruism associated with giving blood, bone marrow, a kidney, and even putting that little red heart on our driver’s license. It makes many of us feel good. A friend of mine told me “I like knowing that my legacy can live on through the life of another.” Somehow we know we’re doing the right thing when we commit to give away something so special to save or enhance the life of another. And, we hope that others would do the same for us.
Reminder: They have!
YOU were already the recipient of an Org Donor. A man or woman that is the reason you became a member of your ORGANization. That person changed your life. They gave you an opportunity that resulted in an enhanced life full of new friendships that will last a lifetime. Part of their legacy lives on through the work that you do. What an amazing gift.
Thinking about the ORGANization that has changed your life, you have an opportunity to Give the Gift of membership. There are people in your community that NEED your organization (many don’t even know it yet). There are people in your community who would make your organization better if they were members (many you don’t even know yet). You have a chance to be an Org Donor.
That same friend was with me at a mobile blood center on a college campus. In full disclosure, I like the idea of donating blood but I HATE needles. He must have seen my discomfort and said, “come on, let’s go … sure it hurts a little, sure it’s a little inconvenient, but isn’t it worth it if a life we’re helping change might be a person that changes the world.” (You can tell he’s been to a Phired Up program or two!)
My mind always drifts to recruitment. Love your organization enough to give it away. Change the World! Be an Org Donor.
by Matt Mattson
Them: “So, what’s this organization you’re a part of all about?”
You: “When I was young, I always wanted to be a part of something important, didn’t you? I wanted to matter. I wanted to do something truly remarkable. You know what I mean? I found that in this organization. Let me give you an example. A group of us recently did this amazing project that took sweat, hard work, and long hours, and the whole time I was smiling for two reasons — the other members I was working with were amazing, driven, passionate people; and the work we were doing was changing lives — we were making a difference. I looked in the eyes of the people we were helping and the other members of my organization and I saw a reflection of the best of me. This group is helping me become a better person. We are working together to make a real change in the world, and along the way we’re becoming better versions of ourselves. You’re like me… you value the same things. You want to matter. Do you have something like this in your life? Would you like to join us next time we’re doing a project like that?”
When you have the rare opportunity to explain your organization to someone, do you know how to make the most of it?
Unfortunately many people waste those opportunities by talking about what their organization does.
Tell a story. Tell a personal, emotional, directional, and invitational story. Do not convey facts, figures, or data. Inspire. Connect on a Heart-to-Heart level.
Attempt to share a story that includes all four of these elements.
Personal: Your organization is an important part of your life. So tell a personal story. Dr. Brene Brown (who we’ve mentioned before) suggests that life is really all about interpersonal connection. People want to connect with people on a deep instinctual level. Get to the heart of what your listener really wants to hear — a personal story, a testimonial about how your organization has changed your life for the better. Make your story personal.
Emotional: Passion, excitment, sorrow, struggle, joy, fulfillment, rage, justice, fanaticism, pride… Whatever emotion your organization evokes in you, share that with your listener. When people are interested in associating with an organization, it is often for reasons rooted in the most primal parts of our brain — not logic, but emotion. Start with Why. Share an story filled with emotion.
Directional: Where is your organization going? What is it trying to accomplish? Your story must communicate direction. Not just what you have done. Not just what you’re doing. But where you’re going, what you’re going to do, and why you’re excited to be headed in that direction. Vision. Share a story that communicates direction.
Invitational: Your personal story should include some space for them to imagine themselves. Share a story that invites an opportunity to create their own personal story.
People are often curious about how I got into this work – being a sorority recruitment expert – but they are rarely curious about WHY I do this work. I guess they make assumptions about me, what I value, or what I must care about because I devote my life to sorority recruitment. What they probably don’t understand is why anyone in their right mind would devote their lives to this – balloons, chants, fake conversations, fancy water glasses, matching outfits, five days of bizarro world, etc. – sorority recruitment.
So, let me tell you why…
We’re supposed to change the world. Sorority women are supposed to change the world for the better. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. We are literally the most educated, most affluent population of women in the world. We are the best equipped (time, money, resources, education, networks) to make a huge, deep, meaningful, impact on the world we live in. I don’t think, however, that we are even close to living up to our full potential. We’ve forgotten what we are supposed to do – change the world.
We’ve gotten so caught up in being the biggest, the best, the prettiest, the coolest, the most social, the smartest, being at total, making quota, being the group that all the fraternities want to spend time with, etc. – within the context of our own campus, our own national organization, or in the great umbrella groups of which we are a part. That is not why we exist. That is not what our founders intended for us.
Collectively, there are millions of sorority women in the world – millions. There are millions of women with the education, time, money, and resources to collectively come together and create a better world – to end hunger…to end homelessness…to cure cancer…to end war…to fight curable diseases in impoverished nations…to change the world for the better.
I teach recruitment because of this. Because if we begin to focus on finding other women who want to change the world – we have a chance to do so. I teach recruitment so we can put higher quality women in our organizations. I teach recruitment so that active undergraduate sorority women know how to find high(er) quality women for their organization – women better than themselves. I teach recruitment so we can find women who care less about prestige, popularity, and social status, and are more about making a deep and meaningful impact on the world.
So let me be clear: I don’t teach sorority recruitment so chapters can have higher return rates, or make quota, or get to total, or put on really great skits, or chant beautifully in unison, or win national awards. I don’t care about that stuff, and find much of it to be absurd.
I teach sorority recruitment so that I can find more women who want to change the world for the better with me. That’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s what I want to do – and I need women to join me. Our success starts with the quality of women we invite to be a part of us – the quality of the women we recruit. Our success culminates when the world becomes a better place, everyday, because we’re in it.