Dead Horses

[RING OF PHIRE: The Ring of Phire is a team of undergraduate fraternity and sorority members dedicated to delivering the messages of Phired Up Productions to their peers around the country.]

by Scott Woodfill (Ring of Phire Member)

[Editor's Note: You might want to at least read this blog, or read the stories about motivation in I HEART RECRUITMENT and GOOD GUYS to fully understand this post.]

Earlier this summer I received an email with a pointless joke involving “horses.” While at first I laughed and didn’t think anything of it I randomly came across it again the other day and couldn’t help but see the relationship with recruitment.

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Modern organizations (education, government, corporations, **FRATERNITIES and SORORITIES**) often employ a wide range of far more advanced strategies, such as:

  • Buying a stronger whip.
  • Appointing a committee to study the horse.
  • Lowering the standards so that the dead horses can be included.
  • Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed.
  • Declaring that because the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line than do some other horses.
  • Harnessing the dead horse in a six-horse team, thereby raising the dead horse’s average output to equal the other horses in the team.
  • Re-write the expected performance requirements for all horses.
  • Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

While some of these thoughts were pretty funny to me I couldn’t help but realize how pathetic it was too… Think back to last fall as you started your recruitment period. Did you find your organization using these strategies to recruit new members?  I imagine at some point you probably had to yell, complain, or encourage your members to get involved with recruitment (ie, buying a stronger whip.) Or did you discuss your goals for recruitment and then go back and lower them because the men you have doing your recruitment don’t know how to attract REAL LEADERS, because as “dead horses” they attract “dead horses (#3 and #7.)”

Now if we re-classify our dead horses as mules and think back to the ideas taught in Dynamic Recruitment I’m sure you’ll remember that “It takes a HORSE to recruit a HORSE. MULES tend to recruit MULES.” And we all know what happens when you push a mule… You’re bound to get kicked!

Over the course of 2 years, my own chapter has evolved from one Recruitment Director in charge of all activities pertaining to recruitment, to a large committee of 7 people. Each person is put in charge of two smaller events, yet we also have a small group of 3 guys that strictly deal with setting up lunches with various potential new members to orchestrate a Pre-Close.  Since we have taken this approach to our recruitment we have found that everything runs so much smoother and all we did was have our recruitment director sit down with our Chapter Advisor and President to pick out 7 “Horses” to make up our committee.

We gathered our true horses, and got to work.  Our chapter is successful because it rides its stallions.

Should your chapter just start riding its Horses?  Gather your horses, and get to work.

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