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Balancing the Scales- Don’t Let Your Business Overshadow Your Relationships

by Regan Pompeo

In the early Spring of 2020, I thought I was HIM… I was President of my Chapter. I had successfully secured on-campus housing for the first time in our history. We had the second biggest new member class – on campus –  second only to an expansion. We were well on track to have the most successful social year since I joined. I was riding high! Little did I know, I was missing the point.

Early the following Spring, I was sitting at Beta Upsilon Chi’s President’s Circle when I realized how far off the mark I was. Our National President, Brian Lee, said that in everything we do, we need to “Love your brothers more than your agenda”. At that moment, I realized what I was doing. I was forgetting to prioritize the men who gifted me with leadership in the chapter, a debt I will never be able to repay. I had tunnel vision pursuing goals and dreams for the chapter. I knew that this pursuit currently came with the cost of hurting relationships.

I wasn’t leading my chapter; I was dictating it.

The “Achieve the goal at any cost” mentality just isn’t it. No matter how important we think our goals are or how right we feel, it is not worth damaging relationships.


Maybe you’re thinking, “How is this related to recruitment? I mean, this IS Phired Up, isn’t it?”


Well, I think this is actually twice as important when we are talking about recruitment. It means twice as much because we are talking about prioritizing relationships with two different groups of people, your members, and your potential members.

For your members, make sure you are leading from the trenches. Lead side by side with them through the recruitment process. Don’t let the numeric goal turn your recruitment process from a system of meeting lifelong friends into a dull member factory. A factory where members simply clock in and out without a care in the world.

When we lead side by side we are continuing to build connections, and further our relationships – which ultimately impacts the retention and engagement of our members. Relationships take work and if we focus solely on our agenda, that pulls away from the connections we’ve built with members who can make a lasting impact on our chapter and our future members.

And, if we love our agenda more than the individual potential new members in front of us, we could miss out on even more. If we see the PNMs in front of us as numbers, they WILL see right through that. Knowing they are just a number, just a notch towards a goal, something that will help meet someone else’s agenda won’t entice them to join – and most certainly will not help you attract the right PNMs. In fact, it will drastically lower your chances of securing and retaining the right PNMs for your chapter and into the lifelong siblinghood that you provide.

And, if that PNM does join because other members remembered to focus on the idea that people join people, then you – as the chapter leader with an agenda – will still miss out on the opportunity to make an impact on that individual. You will personally lose out on building relationships and connections with people who are the future of your organization.

For me, I am thankful I learned that lesson early on in my tenure as President. I was able to prioritize relationships over my Agenda more consistently. Although there were times that I failed in this, here are some guiding principles that would always bring me back:

  1. Presence is one of your greatest tools. Being present, showing up for the people you are leading is one of the best things you can do. It helps keep you focused on relationships and helps establish your credibility as a leader. Relationships strengthen connections which impacts the retention of our members.

  2. Leadership is an honor, not a right. Don’t forget who elected you into your role. Be thankful for their faith in you and repay them with love. When you lead with love, you will attract PNMs who value this as well. PNMs who see leadership and brotherhood as an honor and something to be thankful for, not demanding of.

  3. Relationships will far outlast your accomplishments. We are in the lifelong brotherhood business, not the coolest Fraternity/Sorority Business. Over time, fraternity and sorority accolades will fade, and eventually, no one will care if you hit your goals as President or Recruitment Vice President. Don’t sell out for a few minutes of glory. Invest in those around you, be selective in those you invite in, and find the right members who value what you value. The numbers at the end of the day won’t get you there, it will be the relationships you’ve forged. And you will see the riches of those relationships far beyond graduation – through careers and networking, alumni engagement opportunities, and more.

When leading your chapter and meeting dozens, or possibly hundreds, of potential new members, make sure you love them first and foremost. Love will forge trust, connection, and relationships. Then once those relationships are secured, worry about your goals and agenda, TOGETHER, as a chapter. Together, you will get further than if you served alone.