Results of the 2014 LEAD Assessment Part 1

Francis

By Scott Smith (Central Arkansas)

Editor’s Note: Sigma Nu’s LEAD Program, unveiled in 1988, has been the Fraternity’s premier ethical leadership development program for collegiate members for over two and a half decades. Since 2006, the Fraternity has evaluated the LEAD Program through George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Public Health. The following series of posts will show the results of the most recent study and update members on the program’s continued progress. Read part 2 here

To develop ethical leaders inspired by the principles of Love, Honor and Truth.

To foster the personal growth of each man’s mind, heart and character.

To perpetuate lifelong friendships and commitment to the Fraternity.

This is the mission of our Fraternity – our reason for being – and the end we all seek for Sigma Nu. One of the greatest tools the Fraternity has for achieving this great mission and developing the future leaders of business, government, academia, and society is the LEAD Program. The first of its kind – often imitated but never duplicated – the award-winning LEAD Program is the only ethical leadership development program of its kind in the Greek world. Looking back on the past two and a half decades, there is a lot to be proud of when it comes to the LEAD Program. An overhauled curriculum for its 10th birthday, a redesigned presentation and online presence to celebrate turning 20, a host of national awards and recognition, and six national scientific evaluations that prove its effectiveness.

This spring the Fraternity, in partnership with researchers at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Public Health, conducted an independent, scientific analysis of the LEAD Program. Collegiate members from 99% of our chapters and representing 23% of the Fraternity’s collegiate membership shared information about their Sigma Nu experience and, in particular, how the LEAD Program has impacted them.

Significant Findings

This year’s evaluation shows again that the LEAD Program is providing measurable, added value to the collegiate membership experience.

More LEAD makes for a better individual and chapter, and in turn a Fraternity that is developing ethical leaders for society.

LEAD works. Participants in the program show statistically significant differences from non-participants across key variables related to fraternal relationships, future planning, and personal decision-making. LEAD participants are significantly more likely to:

  • Have more direction than before joining Sigma Nu.
  • Agree that their fraternity experience has imparted skills and knowledge that will help them be successful in leadership roles throughout their life.
  • Identify that as a result of their Sigma Nu membership they are better prepared to be successful in the real world.
  • Identify that as a result of their Sigma Nu membership they are better prepared to be successful academically.
  • Identify that as a result of their Sigma Nu membership they are better prepared to be successful interpersonally.
  • Believe they are better equipped to work through ethical dilemmas as a result of their Sigma Nu membership.
  • Believe they are morally or ethically responsible for others’ accountability.
  • Agree that they hold others accountable for their actions.
  • Identify that their Sigma Nu experience has helped to develop their problem solving skills.

These statistically significant differences continue to indicate that LEAD is better in measurable ways than any holistic homegrown programming offered at the local level and certainly better than no membership development opportunities at all. LEAD is a great program that provides a significant return on investment for participants.

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Further, more LEAD makes for a better membership experience. Comparisons of students using four or more phases to all other LEAD participants AND comparisons of those using Phases I and II to those members who have only experienced Phase I (candidate education) show significant differences. Students using four or more phases of LEAD compared to all other LEAD participants are significantly more likely to:

  • Feel comfortable expressing their opinion with chapter members, even if they believe others will disagree.
  • Agree that their involvement in Sigma Nu has helped them to hone their leadership skills and abilities.
  • Believe they are responsible for providing an example for others.
  • Expect to participate as an alumnus facilitator for LEAD after they graduate.
  • Believe that for long-lasting change to be effective that those affected by the change must be bought into the change.
  • Agree that their fraternity experience has provided them with skills and knowledge that will help them be successful in leadership roles throughout their life.
  • Identify that as a result of their Sigma Nu membership they are better prepared to be successful in the real world.
  • Know how and when to confront brothers who are violating the national fraternity’s standards and values.
  • Agree that their experience in Sigma Nu has helped them to develop their problem solving skills.
  • Agree that it is important to build consensus around ideas.

These students also believe that LEAD:

  • Has helped them to grow as an individual.
  • Is worth the time and effort they put into the program.
  • Has helped them develop stronger friendships with their fraternity brothers.
  • Has provided unique opportunities for personal development that were unavailable from other venues within their college.
  • Facilitator materials and online content are useful and that the program runs smoothly in their chapter.
  • Identify that since implementing LEAD they have seen increased participation in their chapter from brothers.
  • See themselves donating time, talent, and treasure to support the LEAD Program once they graduate.
  • Identify that the presence of a program like LEAD drew them to join Sigma Nu.

Students with Phase I and II experience compared to those that have only done Phase I (candidate education) are significantly more likely to:

  • Agree that their involvement in Sigma Nu has helped them to hone their leadership skills and abilities.
  • Expect to participate as an alumnus facilitator for LEAD after they graduate.
  • Be more involved with other activities on campus aside from Sigma Nu.
  • Believe that LEAD has helped them to grow and develop as an individual and is worth the time and effort they put into the program.
  • See themselves donating time, talent, and treasure to support the LEAD Program once they graduate.

In basic terms, these comparisons indicate that more access and exposure to increasing phases of the LEAD Program provides a cumulative benefit; that is, more LEAD makes for a better individual and chapter, and in turn a Fraternity that is developing ethical leaders for society.

Have an idea for the LEAD Program, question about this research initiative, or want to share your LEAD story – send us an email, news@sigmanu.org, or let us know in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

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