LEAD as a tool for building a better chapter

This post is part of a larger series to address the most common myths, misconceptions, and excuses that chapters and members have regarding the LEAD Program.  Follow the entire conversation and get caught up on each of the issues we are addressing by clicking here.

2.      LEAD doesn’t work – it won’t make me or my chapter any better.  Part 2 – LEAD as a tool for making members and the chapter better.

As we’ve mentioned before, this is probably our favorite myth.  Maybe that’s because refuting it is so basic to helping chapters and members buy into the program.  So we’re coming back to it to talk about the measurable improvements to individual members and chapters.

We’ve already looked at some examples of how LEAD can address the key experiences, skills, and knowledge that you wish for your members to have at specific points in the chapter.  Let’s take a look at some comparisons of the specific skills, experiences, and behaviors of members that have and have not experienced LEAD.

Those participating in the LEAD Program are significantly better off in key areas than LEAD non-participants.  Based on the Fraternity’s LEAD assessment (conducted by George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Public Health) we know that LEAD participants are significantly more likely than members who do not experience LEAD to*:

  • Recognize their personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Have more direction than before as a result of their participation in the LEAD Program
  • Look forward to change
  • Feel prepared to address the issue of others’ accountability for their own actions

As you can see, the LEAD Program is providing measurable, added value to the Sigma Nu membership experience.

In the simplest of terms, these significant differences continue to indicate that LEAD is better than any holistic homegrown programming offered at the local level and certainly better than no membership development opportunities at all.

Said another way, LEAD IS BETTER THAN NO LEAD!

Also of note is that as members experience more of the LEAD Program (multiple phases) these advantages and differences multiply.  Members that experience Phases I and II are significantly more likely than members that only use Phase I to*:

  • Believe the LEAD Program has helped them to hone their leadership skills and abilities
  • Believe the LEAD Program has helped them to grow and develop as an individual
  • Believe LEAD is worth the time and effort they put into the program
  • Believe LEAD has helped them develop stronger friendships with their fraternity brothers

Additional benefits can be seen when comparing those that use the entire program (Phases I-IV and All Chapter) when compared to those only using Phases I or I and II.  These members are significantly more likely to*:

  • Be aware when they make a decision that is not consistent with their values
  • Believe LEAD has helped them to grow and develop as individual
  • Believe LEAD is worth the time and effort they put into the program
  • Believe LEAD has helped them develop stronger friendships with their fraternity brothers
  • Believe the LEAD Program runs smoothly in their chapter

So what does this mean?  Very simply that MORE LEAD = MORE BETTER.  The more you do, the more benefits you see and the better off you are when compared to those that have had less exposure to the program.

The question remains then, if members that do LEAD are better off than those that have no membership development program (or even some locally created one not based on LEAD), and the more LEAD members experience the better off they are, then why wouldn’t your chapter be offering as much LEAD as possible?

*Data above is drawn from:

Anderson, D. S., & Hanfman, E. E. (2010).  Evaluation of the Sigma Nu Fraternity LEAD Program.  Unpublished manuscript, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.

Learn more about the Fraternity’s partnership with George Mason University in assessing the LEAD Program.

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