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.
Myth 10. LEAD is all theory and has no real-world application.
The purpose of the LEAD program is to give participants the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the real world. Real world application is a key by-product of members participating in the LEAD Program.
Many sessions are set up to give the participant specific and intentional tools and resources and a vast amount of application-based resources can be found throughout each phase.
However, if you or the members are not easily seeing the connections then there is no reason you couldn’t modify the session to make it more application based. Adding in your own discussion topics and activities is highly encouraged.
Utilizing the “application ideas” found at the end of each session’s facilitator notes is also a great way to get members to immediately start applying what was learned.
Timing and order of sessions is key to the program being successful and providing realistic applications for participants. Consider which sessions you are offering when. Waiting until the end of the semester or year to do the All Chapter session on Scholarship doesn’t really provide much time to apply the information learned.
Obvious examples of the application-based focus of the LEAD Program exist in every phase of the program. Nearly all of the content in the program has been designed to be directly applied to everyday life. As your members get closer to graduation and experience Phases III and IV they will see that nearly every session is helping them to apply what they have learned in their other associations on campus and in their preparation for graduation and life after college.
Phase I prepares candidates to be active, contributing members of the chapter. This starts with an understanding of chapter operations, their role in reducing risk, and how to manage a project (just to give a few examples).
Phase II is all about personal development, the very act of learning more about yourself and how you relate to others. Every session pushes participants to a greater understanding of who they are and how they can impact others. That includes adopting the effective habits, creating a vision, leading change, and dealing with controversy.
Phase III is almost entirely focused on taking everything a member has learned to that point and within the phase and applying it either in the chapter or other organizations they are involved with on campus. What could be more application based than learning about problem solving and then being asked to lead a campus group through a problem solving initiative?
Phase IV is similarly applicable as it provides an opportunity for graduating members to refine specific skills to be successful in the years immediately following their graduation. Throughout Phase IV, participants learn how to negotiate salary offers, network, manage money, deal with conflict in the workplace and tips on how to be successful for the first year on the job.
Another great example can be found in All Chapter Module A where a participant can develop personally. This module covers an array of development topics which include wellness, etiquette, stress management, and much more.
Think about what experiences you want your members and candidates to have throughout the year (August through May) and at different points in their college career (first year through graduation). Identify the best opportunities for the chapter to provide information and resources for the members to apply at each of these key points of their Sigma Nu membership. Finally, pair up those key times with the LEAD session(s) that directly apply.
LEAD is designed to give our members an advantage in the real world. Going through the program gives them an advantage over others who are not regularly learning and applying new knowledge, skills, and abilities in such an intentional way.