Oh the joys of summer. Regular classes have been out for some time, the temperature continues to rise, and another academic year is just around the corner. If you were like me during a few summers in college, you might be working a part time job, taking a summer class or two, and most of your chapter brothers have either gone home for a job or internship. Also reflecting from my experience, there may not be a lot going on in town other than work.
You may be the chapter president, vice president, recruitment chairman, or a very dedicated member, who is the only one in town working on tasks that are vital to your chapter’s success in the fall. If you weren’t in town working on such things, there is a large possibility that they wouldn’t be done at all. On the other hand, you may be the president or another officer who had large ambitions for the summer and are now realizing that school begins in less than a month and a half and you are now scrambling to complete everything.
The reason I mention this, whether you relate to it or not, is simple – the most successful chapters in Phi Delta Theta plan, prepare, and most importantly recruit during the summer. Many of our largest chapters recruit a majority of their fall Phikeia class before classes even begin. Others have executive committee or chapter retreats where they set major goals that they would like to accomplish throughout the year and may even plan out their entire calendar for the semester. For some, this may be a crazy concept!
Those of you reading this may be in a chapter that doesn’t plan or do a thing during the summer or you may be one of the dedicated individuals I mentioned earlier who continues to fight the good fight with little help from anyone else. Whether you have started by now or not, change happens when one individual makes it happen and summer is the perfect time to start. You may not get the recognition you deserve and everyone else may continue to sit by the pool and goof off, but your chapter and you as an individual will be better for it. One thing that one of my high school football coaches always said and is something that I have continued to take with me is, “what defines you as a man is by what you do when no one is watching”. I also remember Brother Sparky Reardon expressing this statement during a speech, while attending the President’s Leadership Conference in 2007. People who make great change usually don’t get much recognition. Most people will never know the amount of work they do when no one is looking, but it has start with someone and why not you in July of 2009.
You may be an individual who hasn’t stepped up much and most people don’t expect much from. Why not take the opportunity to step up now in the summer and do what you can to help your chapter. It doesn’t have to be anything major. Maybe it is helping the recruitment chairman or assisting the house manager prepare the chapter facility for the fall. There are plenty of big and small opportunities for you to do things for your chapter even when you are expected not to by everyone else. Former Leadership Consultant Keith Wysocki said it is best in his blog a couple months ago, “So instead of doing what we thought we would end up doing, or what others think we should be doing, sometimes we just need to go out there and “do what ought to be done.”
No matter who you are or what your role is in your chapter, I encourage you to take this opportunity that you have in July of 2009 “to do what ought to be done”. I’m not saying that you are going to change the world overnight. Odds are that it may be awhile before others realize what you’ve done as you may be planting the seeds for a tree under whose shade you may never sit. They probably won’t make you a plaque or throw you a ticker tape parade, but you will be better as an individual and your chapter will be better because of what you do in July of 2009 while no one is watching.
Tucker Lee is a member of the Texas Theta Chapter at West Texas A&M University, where he majored in Business Management. At West Texas, Tucker served as the Student Body President and was honored by being named the 2007 Greek Man of the Year, as well as the 2008 West Texas A&M Man of the Year. As an undergraduate member of Texas Theta, Tucker served as President, Vice President, Recruitment Chairman, Secretary, and Alumni Secretary. In his spare time he enjoys snow skiing and watching America‟s Team, the Dallas Cowboys. Tucker is traveling the Mid-West region.