by Josh Orendi
My wife and I are due on February 11th with our first child — a daughter that is showing early signs of becoming a soccer player. This week, we took our first pregnancy preparation class. Our instructor, Tamara, shared a piece of advice that is so relevant to leadership that I had to pass it along. I’ll paraphrase. She said:
“We all know the big day comes with pain. We all know that there will be craziness around us. Dads, this is when you need to step up. You are her support team; her coach. Breathing exercises are a way for the two of you to connect, calm, and focus. You are a team. When you notice that she is not breathing, DO NOT tell her to breathe. She’s more likely to punch you than she is to hear your instructions. Instead, hold her hand gently, look into her eyes, tell her you love her, and begin to breathe yourself. Say, ‘breathe with me.’ and she’ll respond. You can do this together….”
Breathe with me. That’s such a simple but powerful reminder. Less instruction. More hand-in-hand, loving, demonstration of what needs to be done together (especially on the big day).
This lesson has me thinking of campus professionals that say, “I tell them the same thing … for some reason it’s like they hear it for the first time when you say it.” It reminds me of chapter leaders that say, “how many times do I have to tell them!?!?” It reminds me of my headquarters friends that tell stories of feeling like they are ‘spinning their wheels’ or ‘talking to a wall.’ Our alumni sometimes say, “is it really that hard … in my day … they just don’t get it.” The lesson even reminds me of my parents. I was the worst offender of being dismissive or defensive when they told me what I was doing wrong.
Recruitment seasons create high tension environments ripe with these moments.
Compassionate leaders/teachers/coaches/advisors/consultants/chapter and council officers often come to realize the power of being present in the moment, listening deeply, empathizing, and doing it together. Speaking in the voice that your recipient can hear is an art form. Committing to do it together as a team. Leading by example. This is quite a bit different than dropping by to “check in,” barking direction, sending a passive-aggressive text/email, or rolling your eyes (all are examples I am personally guilty of doing).
So, whether you are having a baby or just dealing with one, a few more patient moments of brotherly/sisterly love is more likely to yield the result that everyone is looking for. Breathe with me.
by Matt Mattson
We often get asked, “Does Phired Up Productions do anything for culturally-based fraternities & sororities (like NPHC, NALFO, NMGC, NAPA, etc.)?”
The answer is, and always has been, a resounding YES. And we do it well, but there is more work to be done. I’m proud of the work we did a couple years ago with a task force of innovative professionals in the field who helped us build more educational resources specifically for culturally-based Greek Letter organizations. For now, we wanted to make sure we shared a bit of our philosophy…
Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” This oft-quoted phrase explains the inspiration for our company, for our philosophy, and for our work. It also goes a long way toward explaining the genesis of most culturally-focused fraternal organizations – groups of driven individuals with a shared cultural background gathered together to change their world in a meaningful way. Culturally-based fraternities and sororities were founded to make a meaningful impact on society — to change the world — and the best way to do that is to ensure that there is always a high quantity of high quality people to achieve that mission. That’s what we do — we help cause-based membership organizations find the people they need to change their world.
The word “recruitment” is often frowned upon by some members of some culturally-based fraternal groups (and for good reason). Often that word is related to the style of organizational growth that NIC and NPC groups utilize — and that style doesn’t match the values of some culturally-based fraternal groups. However, that doesn’t change the need for culturally-based groups to attract people to their cause. So, it is important to not necessarily connect the word “recruitment,” and all it’s Greek connotations, with attracting high quality people to an organization. Let’s simplify it.
We will launch more resources in the future to meet the unique needs and opportunities presented by culturally-based fraternal organizations. We see that the future of the fraternal movement is tightly tied to the success of the organizations that are most relevant to today’s (and tomorrow’s) students. Thanks to all the organizations and universities that have brought Phired Up’s messages of Dynamic Growth and Social Excellence to their culturally-based fraternal leaders.
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.