Recruitment Lessons from P90X and Tony Horton

[Guest Post by Nick Gilly, Director of Extension for Chi Psi Fraternity]

p90x1I run a lot, but have not spent much time in the gym lately.  The other day my roommate was out for the evening so, instead of going for my usual run, I opted to test out the P90X workout system that he and a few other friends had been using.  I assumed it would be easy for me; I consider myself a pretty fit person.  I was sorely mistaken.  Half way through the first workout I wanted to quit; however, the man on screen, Tony Horton, would not allow it.  Without even being present, he and his team pushed me through the entire workout.  Three days later I’m still painfully sore, but am also excited to continue with the program.  Why? I can tell that it works.  I also noticed along the way a lot of similarities between exercise programs and recruitment programs.  Your skills as a recruitment leader are like muscles: to grow them, you must work them.  Dynamic Recruitment, then, represents to recruitment what P90X is to exercise regimens.

Tony Horton is a dynamic leader on the exercise floor.  He leads by example, always putting in the effort to lift more weight and do more repetitions than the people around him.  He does not, however, simply focus on his own routine and assume that everyone else behind him is following along and working as hard.  He challenges each team member to set individual goals for themselves for every workout.  He works with them to meet or exceed their goals.  Once each team member achieves those goals, he challenges them to set higher ones.  A great recruiter, or any other chapter leader, challenges the members around him the same way.  They have to take the first step to participate, but once they are in you, as a leader, can push them and help to hone their abilities.

There is a constant stream of new products and infomercials in the media offering a quick solution to physical fitness that “will give you the body you’ve always dreamed of in only 3 minutes a day!”  These products come and go, however, but P90X has been a top 10 bestselling infomercial product for over 4 years.  Why?  Because it delivers results!  P90X doesn’t offer a cheap fix; Tony acknowledges up front that this is a particularly difficult workout system.  Like a great recruiting chapter makes clear the obligations and commitments associated with membership up front, P90X recognizes that it is not for everyone.  In fact, the makers even provide a fitness test that prospective users should be able to pass before beginning the program.  (Values-Based Selection, anyone?)

There is no cheap and easy fix to consistently excellent recruitment results year after year.  It takes work.  You cannot expect that sitting on the couch eating potato chips will help you achieve the level of fitness that you desire.  Neither will sitting on that same couch waiting for recruits to walk in the door help your organization recruit high quality members into your organization.  While sometimes uncomfortable and difficult at first (the first workout is always the hardest), time will make you and you’re your team more comfortable, stronger, and more effective relationship builders and recruiters.  Take a lesson from Tony Horton and P90X.  Be a leader, take the challenge, and put some sweat into it.  Time to bring it.