During the last four years, I can’t recall the number of times I’ve heard that phrase. For my most recent boss, the phrase is not only her personal mantra, but also a mantra for how she manages her job, her team and the department of the agency she oversees. When adopted, it has a noticeable, direct impact on the quality of work we provide our clients.
While I thought I understood what she was talking about the first few times I heard her say it, it wasn’t until much later that I fully realized what it meant, or that my fraternal experience had laid the groundwork for ‘how you do things.’
At the heart of the statement is the idea that no matter how intelligent, smart, correct or otherwise amazing what you are doing is, if you don’t do it in a manner that solves a problem, meets a need or in a manner not consistent with your values, that idea/deed cannot reach its full potential.
Our fraternal experience provides a great foundation for developing the ‘how.’ It teaches us how to be men with a high standard of morality and how to live lives with integrity and accountability. Our fraternal experience also gives us the opportunity to get ahead of our job competition with some very concrete job skills. From basic skills like how to run a meeting, prepare a budget, and work with a diverse team to more advanced skills like how to be a self-starter, exceeding when no one is holding you accountable and not settling for being average.
While all of these skills and opportunities can be a part of our fraternal experience, they are not given to anyone. Just being in a fraternity doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll develop these skills. Full, active participation in your fraternity experience puts you on the path to learning the ‘how’ and puts you at an advantage over your colleagues who didn’t have these same opportunities in college.
When correctly utilized, this experience can be a four-year head start on the competition to not only get the job you are dreaming of, but to also take that job and make it a successful and rewarding experience.
Nick Prihoda is a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity and a 1999 graduate of Wabash College. Nick works as an Account Director on the Nintendo account for Leo Burnett USA, a worldwide advertising agency in Chicago, IL. Prior to Leo Burnett, Nick spent six years as the Director of Expansion and Recruitment for Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity where he led the colonization of more than 15 new chapters and developed fraternity-wide programming which has led to double digital overall growth for the entire organization.