Greatest of All Time

by Branden Stewart

citizen-kane-poster-c10047715-jpegBasically every top movie list will rank Citizen Kane in their top movies ever made, with many granting this 1941 classic the title of GREATEST OF ALL TIME.  As a self-proclaimed movie buff, I took it upon myself to Netflix this bad boy and see what it had in store for me.

After two hours, I can proudly say that I enjoyed and understood Citizen Kane.  The film had great story development, characterization, and a satisfying ending.  It also has quite the legacy and reputation in Hollywood and has continued to hold up quite well to this day as the gold standard in filmmaking. In short, it continues to live up to its reputation.

How many of you are on a campus where you have a clearly defined “top fraternity” or “top sorority”?  For some of you, there may be several top tier organizations in your IFC or Panhellenic with reputations for being the best. For others, you might have a group that has always been, currently is, and for the foreseeable future will remain the GREATEST OF ALL TIME.

Is that enough to intimidate you? Who decides which groups get to be the best anyway? Their members do. You can’t blame it on their reputation.  If they’re widely considered the best, then they’re probably doing something right. Rather than back yourself into a corner and let them continue on being the GREATEST OF ALL TIME on your campus, take a second and learn from them.

Ask yourself:

How are they recruiting their members?

What activities are they doing to set themselves apart?

Who are the key individuals and groups that the greatest organizations have developed relationships with?

By finding out the answers to these questions, you leverage your group to become even better by instituting new “best practices.”  And don’t stop asking questions there.

Think about other groups on campus that are known for being the best.  Even think about going off campus… what organizations/businesses/individuals can you and your group learn from? There are literally thousands of books and articles on motivation and innovation.  Take the opportunity to learn from what you consider to be THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME and apply it to yourself and your chapter.

If all filmmakers were too intimidated to make movies that may not match the brilliance of Citizen Kane, we may never have gotten The Godfather, Star Wars, Schindler’s List, or The Lord of The Rings trilogy.  All of these movies offer something different to the viewer and are typically considered among the best films of all time, but I’m sure that the creative team behind each film borrowed something somewhere from a director or picture that they admired.

You have the power to be a part of the next GREATEST ORGANIZATION OF ALL TIME.  Don’t let yourself be intimidated by the history of other groups, the bells and whistles that they might put on, or the reputation that they have. John Wooden, a legendary basketball coach and Beta Theta Pi member once said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

Other groups may be defined by their reputation, but remember that their reputation was built because of their character and actions.  You have the power to learn from others, make change happen, and redefine the character of your fraternity or sorority.  Start now.