Category Archives: LEAD

How to talk about LEAD at your next job interview

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 11.      LEAD can’t go on a resume or be discussed in a job interview.

Quite the opposite is true.  LEAD is definitely something you will want to mention on your resume and discuss at interviews or casual conversations with potential employers.

Translating your fraternity experience to the work world shouldn’t be difficult.  Even if you are not an officer or committee chairman there should be plenty of experiences for you to draw from.  Your LEAD experience – learning the concepts of leadership, management, change, teams, conflict, networking, and ethics through the online content and facilitated sessions – provides a wealth of training and experiences to draw from.

Helping others to understand that your Greek life experience as a career preparation benefit and significant addition to things learned in the classroom should be easy.

Think about all of the practical experience you have gained and concepts you have learned through LEAD.  As a result of your LEAD participation you have likely learned about ethics, leadership theory and styles, personality types and dealing with people different from yourself, experienced the change process, participated in goal setting and strategic planning, and practiced problem solving.  Being able to speak about your experiences with these topics and others is sure to help potential employers understand the value of your Greek membership and what you can bring to their team.

Getting involved in LEAD as a member can also give you something to put on your resume. Whether as a participant, committee member, or chairman, LEAD should be included and can definitely help you to fill out your resume.

Employers are looking for prior leadership experiences and many different LEAD sessions offer you just that. Whether it be through personal assessments of your personality, values, leadership style, or just understanding how to be a visionary leader.

Below are a few examples of how you might include LEAD on your resume.

 LEAD Participant

Activities

LEAD Program Participant

  • Completed a four year ethical leadership development program
  • Trained in risk reduction, anti-hazing, and alcohol misuse prevention techniques
  • Familiar with leadership theory, personality types, leadership and management styles, and team building methods
  • Experience with leading teams, creating change, dealing with conflict, and effective goal setting

 LEAD Committee Member

Experience

LEAD Committee, Sigma Nu Fraternity, ABC College, Lexington, VA (11/10-Present)

  • Member of a #-person committee tasked with oversight of a four-year ethical leadership development program
  • Assist with the implementation of membership development programs and workshops for a # man chapter
  • Innovate chapter programming by pairing with other on-campus organizations to host educational events
  • Develop a Calendar for all events
  • Responsible for recruiting guest facilitators from the campus and community
  • Help establish a foundation of knowledge for members
  • Educate all members on areas of personal and chapter development

LEAD Chairman

Experience

LEAD Chairman, Sigma Nu Fraternity, ABC College, Lexington, VA (11/10-Present)

  • Oversee a committee of # members
  • Supervise the implementation of membership development programs and workshops for a # man chapter
  • Innovate chapter programming by pairing with other on-campus organizations to host educational events
  • Develop a Calendar for all events
  • Responsible for recruiting guest facilitators from the campus and community
  • Help establish a foundation of knowledge for members
  • Educate all members on areas of personal and chapter development

These are just a few examples way to describe LEAD on a resume. Having the skills that LEAD can teach will separate you from others applying for the same jobs. Don’t be shy about sharing what you have experienced in LEAD.

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LEAD builds applied skills for successful living and career development

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.

Why LEAD shouldn’t be another lecture class

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 9. LEAD is basically another lecture every week/month (it takes too much time).

If chapters utilize any of the suggestions mentioned in previous posts on this topic then LEAD sessions will be anything but a lecture.

Even in a chapter utilizing every phase of the program, the most time required for an individual participant would be in Phase I; candidates would attend a weekly Phase I session and an All Chapter session roughly once per month.  This translates to a total of about five hours each month.  For all other participants, the maximum time commitment would be closer to two hours per month.

Given the diversity of topics covered and the numerous direct and indirect benefits of participation, this is much less time than would be necessary to gain the same information, skills, and abilities on your own. 

Using some of the strategies to integrate a LEAD element into other, already planned events, decreases the overall monthly or weekly time commitment of members even more.

Another “best practice” becoming popular among chapters is the concept of “LEAD Days.”

This tactic addresses the time commitment and scheduling concern and adds the benefits of connecting with other local chapters and increasing regional brotherhood.

A LEAD Day is essentially a full day, or afternoon, dedicated to completing multiple sessions from one or more phases.  In many cases, chapters will invite other Sigma Nu chapters within their geographic proximity.  Attendance by multiple chapters significantly reduces the resources and time necessary for several brothers to experience LEAD at a high level.

In one example, a chapter offers to organize a LEAD Day event on a Saturday.  The organizing chapter invites the other area chapters to participate and handles the logistics of the event – reserving meeting space, recruiting facilitators, and providing materials.  Participating chapters pitch in to provide lunch and facilitator thank you gifts.  As the day unfolds, participants can experience two tracks of programming that includes two to four sessions from Phase II and Phase IV.  The event ends with a large brotherhood event after the conclusion of the LEAD sessions.

Incorporate LEAD with other chapter events to avoid over-programming

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 8.      It doesn’t count as LEAD if the event includes anything other than the LEAD session.

Chapters are encouraged to incorporate LEAD into their regular operations and events.  Doing so will help the chapter and members to see the benefits of the program and also combat the notion that LEAD is some sort of “fraternity class” or lecture series.  In reality, LEAD should relate directly to the experience of its members, be applicable in the chapter, the classroom, on campus, on the job, and after graduation.

Chapters and members are over-programmed and over-scheduled as it is.  Adding another weekly or monthly meeting on top of class, work, studying, extracurriculars, and other fraternity events can be too much.

When possible, and appropriate, LEAD can easily be worked into other events.  It is possible to add a LEAD element to nearly any type of chapter activity, essentially accomplishing two tasks at one time.

Examples of this include:

  • Recruitment – Help the chapter spread its name on campus, introduce other students to something unique about the chapter, and seal the deal with prospects through opening up and targeting specific sessions to a diverse audience.
    • Invite potential members to participate in one or more Phase I sessions with current candidates.
    • Host one or more sessions (from any phase) in a dormitory.
      • Invite all residents and post flyers announcing the session.
      • Use a sign-in sheet and add attendees to the chapter’s Master Prospect List.
      • Make an announcement at the beginning and/or end of the session explaining the LEAD Program and the role it plays in Sigma Nu.
      • Host a session on campus during welcome week.  Work with orientation staff to pick the time and venue and advertise the event.  Suggested sessions include: Time Management, Stress Management, Scholarship, and Campus Involvement, among others.
  • Social – incorporate an educational element with a highly interactive LEAD session mixed into a member date, mixer, or semi-formal event.
    • The All Chapter LEAD session on etiquette can easily take the form of an etiquette dinner.
    • Phase IV’s session on Networking could serve as a mixer with seniors (or the entire membership) of a sorority.

The truth is that college students are over-programmed and over-committed as it is.  LEAD shouldn’t be just one more thing to add to your calendar and list of responsibilities.  Whenever possible the chapter should take advantage of opportunities to incorporate LEAD into existing events and plans.  Vice versa, don’t be afraid to add a social, brotherhood, operational, or recruitment element into LEAD.

Tips for implementing LEAD Phase III

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 7.      LEAD Phase III is hard to implement

It is true that Phase III is unlike any of the other phases.  It does not utilize workshops and is not designed to require regular meetings of participants.

Due to these differences, Phase III may actually be one of the easier phases to get started and work into participants schedules. 

Phase III participants – typically third year students – are an especially busy bunch.  They are heavily engaged in their major field of study, likely to have off- or on-campus jobs and internships, and are likely involved in and serving as leaders of other organizations.

The content of Phase III is designed to address and be utilized in these same areas in which the participants are already involved.  The pace of the phase allows its busy participants to work at their own pace, selecting projects and learning experiences they can directly apply in the classroom, in other campus organizations, and in their advancing career search.

Meeting at various intervals throughout the year, participants will discuss what they have learned through the completion of projects.  Each module of content includes a brief introduction to the topic and a “choose your own adventure” style of project options to be completed prior to the next group meeting.  Working at their own pace, participants will complete the projects that are most relevant and interesting to them.

At each group meeting, participants will share their experiences and lessons learned.  Due to the nature of the “choose your own adventure” selection of projects for each module of content, participants will have an opportunity to not only tailor their specific experience but to learn from other participants’ project experiences.

In this way, it is not uncommon for a single participant to experience – at least secondhand – every project option from a module while having only done between one and three himself.

Another thing that makes Phase III different from the others is that it is managed by an alumnus or someone else outside of the chapter, in the form of a LEAD Coach.

The LEAD Coach guides discussion at group meetings and keeps participants on task and engaged throughout the year.  In many cases, Phase III participants will conduct their group meetings over dinner at a local restaurant, in the home of the LEAD Coach, or in some other informal setting, as opposed to in a more traditional or classroom setting that many of the other phases utilize.

Learn how to recruit a LEAD Coach/Advisor and review some scheduling models in the LEAD Phase III Introduction and Coach’s Manual.

Customize facilitator notes for more engaging LEAD sessions

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 6. For it to count as LEAD it has to follow the facilitator guidance notes exactly


Detailed facilitator guidance notes have been provided for all phase I-IV sessions and most All Chapter sessions (some All Chapter sessions include only session snapshots which give learning outcomes, suggested resources and facilitators, and sometimes potential outlines for the session).

Following these guidance notes will result in a successful, engaging, and interactive session that accomplishes the intended objectives.  Facilitator guidance notes are written in the form of a script and provide a clear roadmap, needed materials, and embedded activities for a session.  This model allows for nearly anyone, given enough advance notice and preparation, to facilitate a successful session.

In many cases, the facilitator guidance notes can be adapted based on:

  1. Participants’ knowledge of the subject matter and pre-review of the online content
  2. Facilitator’s experience and comfort with the topic
  3. Setting of the session

Swapping out activities, shortening sections that participants are overly familiar with, and even foregoing the written “script” when a facilitator has their own program that covers the same objectives, are all examples of suitable times to adapt or stray from a session’s facilitator guidance notes.

Two prime examples include:

(1)    Having a session conducted by a subject matter expert who has their own program or script for presenting the subject;

(2)    Attending a professional speaker’s session or other similar offering already being hosted by the campus or another group.

In both cases, the facilitator guidance notes are simply replaced by the speaker’s presentation and, if the objectives listed in the session guidance notes are met, this session acts as a perfect replacement.  In instances where the presentation only addresses some or part of the session’s objectives, a simple follow up should be arranged to ensure participants gain the full experience intended by the LEAD session being replaced.

Build an engaging LEAD Program by mixing it up

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 no. 5.  Phases and Sessions are numbered and must be implemented and presented in that order

Phases and sessions ARE numbered and presented in a suggested order; however, that does not mean that chapters are limited to implementing the program or scheduling sessions in that order.  Flexibility and relevance are the name of the game when it comes to putting together the chapter’s LEAD calendar and determining what further phases and sessions to offer (if the current program is not running at full capacity).


Facilitator availability, relevance to chapter members, and alignment with a chapter’s overall schedule should be key factors in creating the LEAD schedule each semester.  A great facilitator shouldn’t be overlooked or not utilized because their schedule doesn’t match up with the number of the session and where it would ideally go in the schedule.

In addition to re-ordering sessions, combining or splitting up sessions is also recommended if it will enhance the experience of participants, allow for use of more optimum conditions or facilitation, or otherwise positively impact the chapter.

Finally, a chapter looking to add to its current offering of LEAD phases doesn’t have to automatically choose the next numbered phase.  A selection of sessions from multiple phases for a specific cohort or the chapter as a whole OR implementing parts of multiple phases for various cohorts may be a better option for a chapter depending on the situation.

Let’s look at an example.  Say your chapter is currently only using Phase I but has some interest in doing more LEAD.  What are the options?

  • Start Phase II with the most recently initiated candidate class.  They just completed Phase I within the last 9 months and should already be accustomed to participating in the program.  Continue this trend by having them move to Phase III the next year and Phase IV the following.  Do the same with the classes behind them, slowly adding one phase each year to what the chapter does.  In a matter of just a few years the chapter will be utilizing the program in its entirety.
  • A spin on the last approach would be to pick-and-choose the most appealing sessions to the chapter and offer them for everyone.  This could be a combination of any sessions from any phase – whatever chapter members are most interested in.  Introducing them to the program and giving them a positive experience with LEAD can be just the boost needed to start formally using each phase.
  • Pick the phase that best addresses the current issues of the chapter.  Maybe that’s a lack of senior participation and motivation (go with Phase IV to provide something specific to these older members).  Perhaps it’s a lack of leadership and talent to take over officer positions next year (try Phase II to introduce folks to leadership and leading groups).  It could be brotherhood and chapter solidarity issues (All Chapter modules A and B).  Or maybe you are pressed for time and looking for the most application-based experiences for your members (Phase III offers flexible scheduling and work at your own pace project options instead of regular facilitated sessions).

The key is getting started.  The program has been designed with flexibility in mind.  Don’t be afraid to adapt a particular activity, session, or even an entire phase to meet the needs of your specific chapter.

For more ideas and resources visit the LEAD Chairman’s officer resource page and the Best Practices Library (search Brother Development and then LEAD).