I found Ben Dictus’ recent blog post “Setting Goals: Is It Worth Your Time?” to be very enjoyable. I thought that the following paragraph made a fantastic comparison to how many chapters determine success.
Think about it like this – a guy shoots a gun at a wall, then paints the bull’s-eye around the bullet hole, and then tells you how great of an aim he is. He says, “Look, I hit it right in the bull’s-eye!” Not very impressive is it? Almost feels wrong doesn’t it? Does this man exhibit any sort of integrity? What if he had painted the bull’s-eye first? Would you be impressed then? Would he have something to be proud of then?
As Ben goes on to say, achieving what you set out to do is much more powerful that rationalizing achievement when results are clear. So let me ask you this, “What is your chapter setting out to do this term?” and “How will you be able to measure your success at the end of the term?”
Here’s an exercise for your upcoming Executive Committee meeting or Chapter Retreat. Place a goal next to each of the following eight measurables. At the end of the term, when you have the results, you’ll be able to say whether or not you accomplished what you set out to do.
- Number of New Members (#) – Exactly how many new members do you want to recruit this term? The goal number should be above the fraternity average from this same term last year and above the chapter’s average from this same term over the past three years. Don’t be average, place this number well above these two historical statistics.
- Retention Rate (%) – A retention rate below 90% is alarming and generally explains one of two things: 1) You are not recruiting correctly or 2) Your Phikeia Education program is out of whack. Think of the Phikeia Education program as a leadership development class rather than a chemistry weed out class and strive for a retention rate near 100%.
- Accounts Receivable (%) – Financial instability within a chapter is maddening. Less than 5% of the semester’s budget should be outstanding (not collected) at the end of the term. For example, if your chapter’s budget is $20,000 for the term, you should have $1,000 or less to collect at the end of the term to consider your Treasury a success.
- Accounts Payable (%) – Same deal, but on the amount of money you owe to outside entities (vendors, IFC, GHQ, etc.) 5% or less of your chapter’s budget during the term is also a great goal to work towards for accounts payable.
- Red Letter Days Points (#) – Red Letter Day items are submitted to GHQ each year and help with the operation of the organization. During what most know as the Fall term (August – December), there are 31 points to obtain.
- Community Service Hours (#/Member) – Many chapters determine community service success by the number of projects. I would recommend against this. There is a huge difference between helping to build a house and raking leaves for a few hours, but each could be considered a project. On the other hand, an hour of work is always the same amount of time. Your community service goal should be based on the number of hours of service per member in your chapter. Yes, this is a little more difficult to track, but it will allow you to take an honest look at your commitment to service.
- Philanthropy ($/Member) – Similarly, philanthropy should be measured as the number of dollars per member. Paying $10 to eat at a spaghetti dinner for X cause is not the same as raising $100 for X cause, but each could be considered “participation in a philanthropic event.” Simply take the total amount that is raised throughout the term by the chapter (include money that was spent at other philanthropic events) and divide it by the number of members in the chapter. This will help you determine how effective of philanthropists you really are from one term to the next.
- Chapter‘s Semester GPA (#) – Not “Actives’ GPA” or “Phikeia GPA”, but “Chapter GPA.” All for one and one for all. Looking at the most recent grade report, this goal should place you in the top 1/3 of Greek chapters and above the All Students average. Why “All Greek Chapters” and “All Students” rather than “All Fraternities” and “All Males.” Simple answer. Women are much smarter than we are, and by including them, we are challenging ourselves. Let me also state that this goal should be above a 3.0. Many may challenge me on this, but let me provide one reason – Resumes that include a 2.999999999 GPA get tossed.
The greatest benefit to completing this exercise is knowing whether or not you accomplished what you set out to do. If you did, celebrate your success and set higher goals next time. If you didn’t, seek the truth about the factors that were working against you and address them.
Let’s have a great term!