Failure is Not an Option

Alright newly elected officers, here’s some homework to start you off for Christmas Break. Watch the video above. Watch it a second time even. It gives you chills doesn’t it? Now there should be four things that jump out at you that you’re going to take away and use as a leader for your term. Didn’t catch them? Here they are in case you missed ’em:

1)      We sent a human being to a place where humanity cannot survive. Allow me to clarify that statement. College educated men and women sent a human being to the Moon, an inhospitable location, and brought him back alive EVERY time. NASA of this time frame was very different from the NASA of today. In fact it was very similar to your chapter. These guys were young, eager, and ambitious. No goal was too far off to reach. That’s how your chapter needs to think. Now of course they didn’t just throw something together to achieve this but they did think of new and ambitious ideas that had never been thought of before.

2)      Look two steps ahead. In the clip the two prevailing issues are oxygen supply and battery life. The first doesn’t matter unless the second is solved. Same thing goes for many things in chapter operations. Academics won’t be improved until we start by improving the quality of men we recruit.

3)      A leader listens. Notice how Ed Harris’ character didn’t start talking over everyone’s ideas in the clip. He also listens to his experts and empowers them by providing them with the power of decision making. In other words, avoid micromanagement. Don’t try and run your chapter’s LEAD program but empower your LEAD Chairman to do his job and make his own decision.

4)      Failure is never an option. This could be a reiteration of number 1 but we need to focus more attention on the potential doubters in your chapter. Those people exist but as a chapter we need to continuously agree that in any aspect failure is not an option. Eliminating hazing may be hard in a chapter that is 95% for it but failure is not an option. This applies especially to chapters currently struggling with finances, member accountability, or risk reduction issues. Failure is not an option. Success is the only option.

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