Tom Murphy, Phi Mu Delta National Fraternity’s Executive Director recently shared some amazing statistics about the 2013-2014 school year for their organization.
Before Fall 2013, the 96-year-old fraternity had 15 chapters and colonies and a total of 309 undergraduate members.
Today, just 9 months later, the organization has just under 600 total undergraduate members at 17 schools. This dramatic growth, according to Murphy equals “the most initiates we’ve seen in at least 35 years.”
“We are who we are as a successful fraternity because of the hard work of a lot of people,” said Murphy, “and I absolutely count Phired Up’s partnership with Phi Mu Delta as an important factor in our success.”
When asked how the organization achieved such dramatic growth this year, Tom mentioned three factors:
Phired Up has been a partner of Phi Mu Delta for many years. This level of commitment from both parties has resulted in custom-built curriculum that Phired Up’s trainers have tailored to the unique needs and strengths of Phi Mu Delta men. Fall 2013 training sessions included never-before-attempted deeply experiential social challenges that allowed members to gain the confidence necessary to execute on their Dynamic Recruitment action plans.
This isn’t the first time we’ve written about Phi Mu Delta’s recruitment success. Several years ago, this was posted on Phi Mu Delta’s website and reposted on Phired Up’s, “Phi Mu Delta saw a 44% increase in the number of men pledged to join Phi Mu Delta this fall! Great work gentlemen and special thanks goes to Phired Up! Productions and Josh Orendi.” At the time, Josh Orendi — one of Phired Up’s founders — said this, “Tom Murphy deserves a lot of credit for PMD’s success. I can’t think of another Executive Director that is more passionate or puts in more time doing hands-on development work with his chapters.”
Murphy continues to be unique amongst fraternity executives. He put 6 weeks of unbelievable on-the-ground effort this winter into a major expansion project at Ohio Northern University. His deep involvement resulted in a huge success story — one of several new groups started this semester.
When asked about other factors making Phi Mu Delta successful, Tom immediately mentioned the organization’s bold decisions to close and then re-start chapters that are failing to live up to the Phi Mu Delta standard. The organization will not tolerate hazing, nor will it put up with risk management irresponsibility. As a result, Phi Mu Delta is offering a truly special fraternity option to students looking to be a part of something values-based, and focused on brotherhood, service, and democracy.
Dynamic Recruitment Spotlight Archives: This article is one in a series of spotlight interviews we’ve posted over the years. Read more here – National Fraternity Doubles In Size; Credits ‘Living Our Values‘ | New #1, Alabama Takes Over as Nations Largest Greek Community | Meet The Fastest Growing Fraternity In The Nation; Alpha Sigma Phi | How Alcohol (or the lack thereof) is Helping One Fraternity Grow Fast
by Matt Mattson
How do the best chapters prepare for a successful recruitment period in the early parts of the fall semester? That’s the question every fraternity chapter recruitment chair should be asking right now.
I had a recruitment chair that I personally coach ask me that recently, and he’s what I recommended…
Build a month-long, detailed, fall recruitment calendar that starts on MOVE-IN day, and ends a month later. This is really important. Every week should include, at a minimum, the following:
a. 2 Call Sessions
b. 2 Strategies to Grow Your Names List (6 Cylinders Ideas)
c. 2 Recruitment Events (Mostly away from the house until 3 weeks into the semester)
d. As many 1-on-1’s/2-on-1’s/Small Activities as you can fit in.
e. 1 Day to vote on prospects.
Here is a sample from a past year. It’s very detailed and pretty intense. That’s what the best chapters do.
Remember, building your recruitment plan depends on your ability (along with the workhorses in your chapter) to effectively answer the following five questions in detail.
April marks for many of us the beginning of the end of the semester. Finals are approaching, quickly followed by the summer break. Between our classes, our jobs and our activities, the calendar fills up quickly, leaving seemingly little room for anything beyond our standard responsibilities. Telling you that recruitment of all things should still be holding a place on your priority list these last few months of the semester, then, could evoke a predictable reaction:
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Knowing that schedules are busy, to-do lists are long and sleep is limited, here is a list of quick, small, but effective ways to continue working toward your recruitment goals even during this crazy time of year.
It is rarely a matter of not having time for recruitment, but of making the time for recruitment. By implementing any one of these short, fun and efficient ideas (or all of them), you can continue your growth all the way through the busy end-of-the-semester time of year.
by Paul Manly
Why do chapters use alcohol during recruitment? Because it’s easy.
Attracting young men to our fraternal organizations with alcohol and women is easy. That’s why it’s been happening for decades. Chapter leaders often tell me that they’re fed up with their members that are “just here to party.” They’re tired of members that aren’t bought into the character development and philanthropic focus of the organization. Chapter leaders consistently complain about apathetic members who only show up to parties. There’s a way to fix that, you know…
Think about it this way. You apply for an internship at a big company. When you arrive, your interviewer greets you with a big smile and a handshake. He’s playing cards with a handful of employees at a conference table. The interviewer explains that the work environment is quite relaxed. Apparently, employees play tons of card games at the office every day.
You interview well, and you’re hired. During the training process, all employees and trainees are playing cards. The company trains you to be awesome at playing cards. You’re even asked to survey the company and learn from each individual employee what their favorite card game is.
You complete the training process and show up to the office on a Monday with a brand new deck of cards in your briefcase. Now imagine that your supervisor hosts a staff meeting for all employees and interns. He shares with the staff that he’s really upset and frustrated that everyone comes to work and just wants to play cards. It seems like unless some kind of card game is going on, the employees aren’t happy. No work is getting done, and the company is failing.
If alcohol is a focal point of the recruitment and new member education process, then alcohol is a focal point of membership. We can’t be upset when members only want to party if that’s the only value we could articulate during recruitment.
If you want your chapter to be about more than just parties, then illustrate that during recruitment. As a chapter, develop a list of values; a list of things that your chapter values in its members. These don’t necessarily need to be your Fraternity’s official values, but they could be. Create descriptions for each value and coach your recruiters to talk about these ideals during recruitment.
If your chapter wants to recruit with alcohol, o.k. But if Fraternity and Sorority wants to grow up, we’re going to have to find the next generation high-quality leaders. I’m not confident that the people able to take Fraternity and Sorority to the next level join because of free beer.
Recruiting without alcohol is harder, I agree. But it’s worth it.
by Josh Orendi
Battling weight issues has been a daily struggle for as long as I can remember. I was the fattest kid in my middle school class. I remember wearing sweatpants and soccer shorts to school because even “Husky” jeans no longer fit.
In high school and college I played competitive sports – in part because it was a way to control my waist line. Over the last 25 years, my weight has yo-yoed. I’ve learned that a healthy weight for my 5’ 7” body is approximately 150 lbs. I have a pair of size 32” dress pants that are my informal measuring tape. When those pants fit, I know I’m doing alright. Those navy blue slacks now have a grey dust stain that runs straight across the leg from being draped over the same hanger, untouched for so long…
“Wait a second. I thought this was a recruitment blog,” you’re saying. Just keep reading.
In June 2013 I remember cautiously stepping on the bathroom scale and seeing a number I didn’t recognize. 187 lbs. That was a new high that represented a new low. I felt disbelief and then shame. I was literally carrying around an extra 25% of myself. I remember walking to my clothes closet and reliving those painful childhood memories. My wardrobe was full, but I couldn’t button or zip up all but 2 pair of pants. When I stood in front of the mirror in the morning, it became an exercise in denial. I didn’t feel comfortable around my wife with my shirt off. I was angry, frustrated, depressed, and embarrassed.
I know I’m not alone. 36% of American’s are clinically obese (the percentage is trending upwards). The source of my struggle may be nature or nurture – probably both. My family battles weight issues, too. In January of 2013 my dad got gastric bypass surgery. His weight before surgery had reached nearly 400 lbs. By fall of 2013 he had lost 150 pounds! He looked like a different person. More important he was a prouder, more confident man. I was inspired!
In early July I told my wife the only thing I wanted for my birthday was a weight loss program. I didn’t care which one, I just needed something to help me get started. On July 27th I unwrapped the Adocare weigh loss system. That box of supplements and drink mixes sat on my kitchen counter unopened, taunting me through all of August and September. On October 1, 2013 I made a decision. Something inside my head clicked – like the proverbial straw on the camel’s back. I asked my wife, Denise, to help me make better choices and to help hold me accountable. She agreed.
Denise is always supportive. More so than I know how to capture in words. I knew if I asked for help, she’d be there for me. But, I also knew she’d honor my request to call me out when I made bad choices. As much as I wanted to do this on my own, my track record told me that was a strategy destine to fail. I needed help.
Going into that October 1st kick off, I made a few promises to myself (and Denise):
Fast forward 6 months. Today is April 1, 2014. The scale this morning reads 155.4 pounds. I’ve lost 30+ pounds and 5 inches from my midsection. I have a new wardrobe problem. Only 2 pair of my old pants fit, but this time it’s because the rest are too big! I’m still 5 tough pounds from my goal weight, so I’m not ready to celebrate just yet.
I believe it’s important for me to capture and share my story now for several important reasons. First, a public declaration like this will force me over the finish line. Second, if the day comes that I slip backward off the wagon, I want to re-read this post and remember exactly how I to find my way back on the right track. Third, I’m hoping others may find inspiration in my story. I didn’t want to wait or risk not taking the time to tell the story later. Finally, I’ve realized some painfully remarkable parallels between my weight loss journey and my professional work at Phired Up Productions. It’s this final reason that I’d like to elaborate on; the answer to the question my neighbors and friends keep asking:
SO HOW DID YO DO IT?
I used the same techniques that Phired Up teaches to help chapters grow and expand to help me shrink and tighten up. Fraternity/sorority recruitment coaching gets the credit for my transformation. That’s because performance coaching is about way more than “how to rush.” Quality coaching is about behavior modification. It’s about bringing out the best version of someone; helping them realize their greatest potential.
As I reflect back on the last 6 months, I’m a little embarrassed that I struggled for years earlier to find the solution that was right in front of me every single day. Here are the 8 techniques that helped me drop 30+ lbs and simultaneously have helped us grow chapters by 30+ members in less than 6 months.
1. Start with Why: I knew the pain of my over-weight childhood. I saw my dad struggle then rediscover his life. I was tired of feeling like I was living in someone else’s body. My wife and my daughter deserved better…. I knew WHY losing the weight was important. I was (I am) motivated!
Dynamic Recruitment doesn’t happen without a chip on your shoulder … a cause to fight for … a reason to work harder than everyone else. Your “why” leads you into battle and keeps you in the fight. Until a chapter has a group of pissed off, passionate leaders sharing a common purpose that drives them, greatness will may be a discussion but it will never be a destination. Without a blazing hot “why” chapters eventually recruit because they have to or because of external pressure from alumni, campus, or headquarters.
2. Name the Goal: I stopped using wishful language like “I need to lose weight” and proclaimed, “I’m not stopping until 155.”
Most chapters tell us “we need more members” but they rarely reach high level success until they define the specific goal.
3. Track Daily: Even though some days I fell short of my expectations, I never allowed myself to string together bad days because the numbers kept me honest. The daily tracker helped me stay honest and focused. It helped me hold myself accountable. It also showed me little wins as I hit benchmarks along the way. I loved watching the graph line falling. That kept me encouraged.
Dynamic Recruitment chapters all use a Names List to track daily progress. The greatest predictor of a chapter’s success is simply how many names are on the list and how often are those relationship being advanced on the list.
4. Name a Coach: Once I verbalized my goal to my wife and asked her to support me, it was “game on.” I’ll do whatever it takes to keep my promise to her and make her proud. I know she’ll do whatever it takes to help me honor the commitments I’ve made to myself and our family.
Dynamic Recruitment chapters have a coach. I didn’t say “advisor.” Advising is different. A coach is a specially selected, trained part of the organization’s support team.
5. Swap Habits: I had eaten the same breakfast (bowl of cereal) and lunch (peanut butter & jelly sandwich) for 30 years of my life – no exaggeration. Pizza and Diet Coke had become staples in my diet instead of occasional treats. I replaced my breakfast traditions with yogurt/fruit; lunch traditions were replaced with Clif Bars or protein shakes; I haven’t had a Diet Coke in 6 months (thank God for iced tea); late night eating traditions were also eliminated and I learned to cheat with popcorn not left over pizza.
Most chapters have traditions, routines, and habits that are feeding their recruitment reality. Changing tradition can be hard. Sometimes you gotta give up a big tradition, but most of the time it’s dozens of little habits that are the real culprit. The cool part is that once the traditions are replaced for a few cycles, everyone adapts and the new routines become “tradition.”
6. Fail Forward: I have no idea what made October 1st different than all the “today’s the day” promises I had made to myself before. All I know is that quitting is the only way to lose. Most successful people admit that their secret is that they’re willing to fail more often than anyone else they know.
Recruitment success isn’t about escaping failure, it’s about embracing failure – inviting daily failures and using each one to fuel the success that’s just a few more failures away.
7. Momentum vs Rush: I needed a boost to kick start my fitness journey. Advocare’s 24 Day Challenge provided that for me. However, it was the daily choices that sustained my initial loss and kept me going after those 3 weeks. Without the daily, year round decisions this would be a story about another fad diet I tried.
Rush/Formal Recruitment Week is no different. If it’s part of your year-round, daily recruitment activities then you’ll use it to boost your results. If it’s the only time you’re doing recruitment, then you’re setting yourself up for failure with a fake intake process. It’s the recruitment equivalent of a yo-yo diet.
8. Submit to the System: There’s more than one way to lose weight. My way wasn’t working. By submitting to a proven model, I was giving up my daily choices in exchange for the singular decision to get back in shape. I worked the program, so the program worked for me.
Hundreds (probably thousands) of fraternity and sorority members do that every year by trusting Phired Up’s Dynamic Recruitment System. Work the system and the system works for you. Fight the system and frustration is predictable.
This journey has taught me that I’m learning more than a weight loss lesson and more than a fraternity recruitment lesson. What I’m learning are life lessons. These techniques are based on principles that are helping me face other demons in my business, personal relationships, education, spiritual life, etc. Principles that are helping me take control of my life. Change my behaviors. Become a better man.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
~ Aristotle ~
I’m still 5 pounds from my goal weight. When (not if) I get there, I know the hardest part of my journey will begin. I have to maintain the lifestyle that allowed me to reach my goal. Likewise, my fraternity alumni friends know that the hardest part of growing the chapter isn’t recruiting 30 guys, it’s keeping them and continuing to recruit 30+ more every year. I’m up for the challenge. How about you?