by Matt Farrell
Zach Scott is a native of Tampa, brother of Tau Kappa Epsilon, and currently serves as the Director of Growth at TKE HQ. As Tau Kappa Epsilon has shifted to a major focus on internal chapter growth, Zach has assumed the challenge of building and executing this position.
Personally I have enjoyed Zach’s growth mindset, focus on action, and ability to energize undergraduates on a topic that can be as exciting as it is urgent.
Whether you are a TKE or any individual passionate about growth, you will learn from Zach’s story. Here is an excerpt of our recent conversation, with my prompts in bold and Zach’s story as told in his own words.
My Joining Story
It starts back in high school for me. I went to an all male Jesuit high school in Tampa, the same city I went to college. Because of that I initially had zero interest in fraternity – my mom even tried to get me to join but I felt I already had everything I needed. My intention was all cross country and track. So I was very involved with sports and school, and it took an injury for me to open my eyes a little more.
I remember hanging with a couple friends in another fraternity, and saw their flag up on the wall. It meant nothing to me.
Then a guy came up, looked me in the eye and said “I’m Jay, nice to meet you.” The kind of first impression you’ll always remember. Turns out he was a Tau Kappa Epsilon member, and the flag was a different fraternity.
I kind of got a little hoodwinked and bamboozled from there. TKE was smaller than I thought and there were only 22 members. So those doubts creeped in during the next few weeks.
Why do I want to do this? Is it worth the effort?
We took it upon ourselves to build upwards, and began recruiting some of my best friends who are still my best friends to this day.
We recruited the type of people to build it even better than what we imagined. The chapter is now 90 men strong. Whether I knew it or not, growth has been a big piece of my life. And it started with that handshake with Jay.
Starting on Staff
I definitely thought I knew everything at the beginning. After a few visits, I realized the world is a lot different than my undergrad bubble. After a few more, I picked up that chapters are different but they tend to rhyme.
Each year you gain a little bit more experience, more knowledge, more relationships. That all comes back to create more stories to connect with people. That doesn’t just go for membership growth. That is the growth of what we can do for St. Jude, helping people across the nation, anything positive we do is growth.
We’ve started to realize we can’t solve our problem just by expanding as fast as possible. We want to focus on growing the groups we have and I love getting to do that every day.
A Memorable Recruitment Moment
One that comes to mind was myself, Nick Kimble and Victor Casanova going into the University of Texas last summer. If anyone has been, they know there’s a ton of potential with the student body size but it’s not always easy to recruit.
I wanna say our group had about 25 men, and we went during the summer tabling season. I loved showing that headquarters is here to help, and showing how we could do better.
We got to the event and all the chapters were at tables, set up, looking good. There’s pizza so everyone’s happy, but nothing was really happening in terms of PNMs walking in. Typical IFC event.
So we took the guys outside and started going up to random people walking on campus. The energy changed right away. Another fraternity noticed and it ramped up the competition in a good way. Before we knew it we were all funneling men into the main room, not just to talk to TKE but to be able to see all of their options for lifelong brothers.
It was fun to embrace the tension in the moment, but then to realize everyone was thankful for the friendly competition to be created.
The ChapterBuilder Difference
The referral form is “major key”. Being able to go into any presentation type setting, having an interest form is the only way we can measure results. It also lets us focus on crushing the actual presentation, and we can resend the form before and after. It’s worth its weight in gold when it comes to that.
Sure you could find other ways to do it, but we love it integrated into the system. There are plenty of situations where people are going to complain about disadvantages, school won’t let me do this, others won’t let me do that. So I try to emphasize, let’s just collect hundreds of names and meet new people. ChapterBuilder even merges the overlaps for you. There’s so many ways you can use that to drive leads and start a conversation.
It should pain you when you lose that blue chip recruit you love, it should grind your gears to no end because you didn’t work as hard as possible to create the relationship.
If you target the best possible people at the right time, you’ll create something that all the best people are attracted to.
What I Want Current Fraternity Undergraduates to Know
As an undergraduate, I was very anti-Headquarters. I didn’t think there was a lot going on. Hearing stories of staff coming to help and then not a lot of follow-up. Cory Martin came down and changed that view for me. It just takes one person. Cory spent the time, he would even hang with us while he did work – catching some sun with his laptop out. That’s something we remembered long after he left. Cory has been a great mentor for me.
I don’t think there is a single staff member in this industry that actually cares about their members as dollar signs or pieces to manage. In my opinion it’s about creating a better experience for the active members now than it was when I was an undergraduate. We can make all the resources we want, but it won’t mean every question is asked and answered. We want to listen.
Tips for Recruiting in a Pandemic
Recruit the members you already have. We’re all going to face bigger retention issues. Even for people that may take a semester off, find ways to stay connected and keep tabs.
And have a fun opener for when you make new friends. I’ve been using one that is guaranteed to light up the conversation. Feel free to steal it:
“Do you have enough toilet paper right now?”
by Kenny White
Meet Cammy Park, a rising junior at Florida State University and a proud sister of Alpha Gamma Delta!
I had the chance to chat with Cammy about her chapter’s COB success and how she was able to lead those efforts.
Cammy first got involved with recruitment and the COB process by joining her Chapter’s COB committee while she was the Director of Merchandise. This prepared her to take on the VP of Recruitment role this past year.
Cammy’s chapter had used ChapterBuilder in the past and they had done a solid job with COB, but she saw an opportunity to take their COB game to the next level.
And that’s exactly what she did.
ChapterBuilder was never historically an integral part of her chapter’s COB process. It was used here and there, but more so as an accessory. Cammy changed that. ChapterBuilder became the centerpiece for their COB growth. She learned the system and executed it with excellence.
Information. Organization. Communication.
That’s what ChapterBuilder allowed Cammy and her team to do.
It allowed her and her team to see inside of the relationships that were happening with 100% of the 100+ potential members they were communicating with. She could see who they’ve interacted with, where they were at in the relationship cycle, what the next steps were, and how they aligned with Alpha Gamma Delta.
She was able to send out mass, individualized text messages to engage potential members and she set her team up for success by assigning specific follow up tasks for each potential member.
Since this became the core of their recruitment process and not an accessory, Cammy and her team made sure to meet and gameplan regularly to work through relationships on ChapterBuilder.
All of this provided Alpha Gamma Delta with more clarity, more consistency, and more insight on their potential members and where they needed to focus their recruitment efforts. They were able to visualize and understand where they were excelling in the relationship process and where they were losing women. This allowed them to capitalize and change tactics accordingly.
During Cammy’s time in her chapter, she has only ever heard of her chapter recruiting a COB class of 19 women. With the intentional use of ChapterBuilder to manage hundreds of relationships, her chapter was able to welcome 25 women into their Spring 2020 COB new member class!
Cammy admitted to what we hear a lot. She said at first ChapterBuilder can look intimidating, but the moment she was trained on it and worked through it herself, she knew it was going to be a valuable system.
A system is only as good as how you use it. ChapterBuilder as a recruitment system was an integral part of Cammy and her team’s COB process, and they were successful because they put in the effort to work the system well. ChapterBuilder wasn’t a way for them to do less work. It was a way for them to manage their relationships and joining process so that they could put more of the right women into their chapter.
Now more than ever, a system is vital to recruitment success. Shoutout to Cammy and her team for a job well done!
*Want to learn more about ChapterBuilder? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Matt Mattson
Your ability to connect determines your ability to gather. And your ability to gather determines your ability to impact.
But our collective human abilities to connect and gather are declining.
Let’s start here. The way in which we interact with one another is becoming more digital, more virtual, more robotic, more artificial, more disconnected and more inhuman each day. This is not a small thing. It is changing us.
We are changing.
We see each other in-person less.
We touch each other less.
We avoid each other.
We shake hands less.
We keep six feet apart.
We scroll a feed seeking human emotion.
We talk to machines more than we talk to people.
A species that has survived and thrived to this point by gathering together in groups is splintering more and more by the moment. A species that has built the most breathtaking and mind-boggling societies the known universe has ever seen through civil discourse, human cooperation, grassroots organizations, and interpersonal communion is forgetting the fundamentals that has gotten them here.
At the same time, political and societal unrest is tearing open previously droopy eyes to systems of oppression, discrimination, bigotry, and violence. One of the only obvious positive outcomes of reduced gatherings has been the not coincidental reduction of mass shootings. Poverty is rising. Drug overdoses are skyrocketing. Unemployment is climbing daily. Trust in government, trust in authority, trust in each other is plummeting.
Who made these problems? Humans.
Who must fix these problems? Humans.
Our world is calling out for a moment of evolutionary progress. And many of us can hear the cries for help.
Of course our world is made up of… us. Our society is built from humans. So, there is probably only one answer… us.
Perhaps there is a new stage of development for us, as a species, to grow into. Perhaps we’re only partially formed, and we’re all becoming suddenly aware of our partialness. We’re not quite living up to the challenge of the moment, and we’re suddenly becoming aware of our not-quite-enoughness. The question is, “How do we change, how do we adapt, how do we become what our world needs us to be? How do we become the full humans our fellow humans need us to be right now? How do we become… more human?”
Of course, our full humanity is already within us. All of us. Differently, of course. Your full human potential is a different shape and color than mine. But it’s there. Just waiting for you to live into it. To make choices that allow you to be the human our world needs all of us to be.
In each of us lives some true potential. To what extent are you realizing yours?
In our society, there lives a new potential. To what extent are we collectively willing to live up to ours?
Something we’ve been teaching for a while called “Social Excellence” feels like it needs an upgrade for today’s world. It’s all true and helpful. And it might be new to you still. I continue to very much believe it. But it isn’t enough for what the world needs right now… for what I need right now. I’ve been wringing my hands and wracking my brain and staying up late at night searching for something more. And then I realized that there probably wasn’t anything more. I am a human. We all are. There is no more. There is just us. I just need to choose be more. We just need to choose to be more. In every moment. Choose to be more human.
I’m not sure if these are the perfect “3 Simple Ways To Be More Human”. But they are the three personal choices I’m using today to seek a new level of humanity in myself. I can’t help but suggest that we all need to recite a mantra in the morning, and say our prayers at night with the intention of RELISHING UNCERTAINTY, CELEBRATING MAGNIFICENCE, and SHOWING UP UNFILTERED. Every choice should reflect these three beliefs for becoming more human?
“Three Beliefs for Becoming More Human?”
What if we chose to relish uncertainty? What if “I’m not sure, but I’m trying to learn” became our mantra? What if all you’ve been told about what’s certain couldn’t possibly be if many others are certain about their (almost certainly different) point of view?
Let’s have faith in uncertainty. Let’s cherish it. Let’s worship it. Let’s love the questions and the exploration and journey of learning together.
We were created as beings able to learn and grow and change and improve. That gift in the way we were created is divine. When we dive deeply into the pool of uncertainty we are tapping into the very essence of our human potential. Our curiosity, our wonder, our inquisitiveness, and our sense of possibility might be the most powerful tools we have. They are to be credited for everything that has advanced us (and admittedly the things that have harmed us too).
A mindset that rejects blind and immature certainty but pursues ever improving answers with passion will win the day. This is the mindset we need to engage one another respectfully and hopefully.
Let’s be uncertain and be o.k. with that.
When you look at your reflection, what if you saw how truly magnificent you are? When you look at the face of another, what if you could immediately grasp how wondrous and complex and nuanced and beautiful they are?
Let’s make that choice. Let’s let each face we peer into during a conversation reflect back our belief that “This person is magnificent!” Each person we encounter contains a lifetime full of lessons and stories and insights that we can tap into. Each person we encounter has also somehow survived a lifetime full of moments of pain and loss and sorrow. We all enter each encounter full of this magnificence. And it is up to each of us to remind one another of our wondrous nature.
SHOW UP UNFILTERED
Connecting with others in real ways is scary and risky. Let’s do it anyway.
Allowing others a peek below the surface of your soul can be terrifying. Let’s do it anyway.
The only times we ever really connect with each other in powerful ways that matter is when we remove our filters. We can’t truly connect through the everyday filters we wear. It’s that simple. Let’s choose to embrace the risk living unfiltered as the price we’re willing to pay to be fully human.
You might be thinking, “O.K., so if we hold those three beliefs… If we make momentary choices that reflect those beliefs… if we engage with others in a way that enacts those beliefs… so what?”
Good question. So what?
This is my favorite part. My answer is simple: So that.
I don’t care that you’re nicer to people. I don’t care that you’re better at making friends. I don’t care whether or not you can charm and connect and buddy up with others. I mean, it’s nice and all, but I really don’t care. I’m not interested in a nicer world. I’m interested in a better world.
You know what I care about? I care that you get better at that stuff SO THAT you have the habitual skills to fix a broken world.
Your ability to connnect determines your ability to gather. And your ability to gather determines your ability to impact.
Read those two sentences again. They are the thesis. They are the answer. They are the guide. They are the instructions for fixing our world. They are what it really means to be more human.
Most humans don’t connect well. Especially now. And we’re getting worse.
Most humans don’t gather regularly. Not anymore anyway. We gather, now, in Facebook groups and Reddit threads and Twitter feeds and virtual video game environments and Zoom meetings and YouTube comments. Not the same.
The best parts of our world have always been built by groups. When we gather, we matter (to those we wish to influence) to a far greater extent. A group of folks demanding something is a lot more powerful than a person demanding something. A big group of folks working on a problem is a lot more powerful than a single person working on a problem. A group of people regularly meeting about the action they’re taking to make change… makes change. People gathered together around a purpose are the two key ingredients of an organization, and organizations are what have built everything ever. Organizations are what have built everything ever. (I meant to repeat that sentence because it’s a pretty important statement).
I care that you CONNECT… SO THAT you can GATHER… and I care that you know how to GATHER… so you can IMPACT.
We need more humans to be more human.
(P.S. This is what fraternity and sorority has always been about. Looking for a direct connection? Read this.)