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Bob Biggs’ 44 Lessons in 44 Years of Service to Phi Delta Theta


After 44 years of service to Phi Delta Theta, Robert A. “Bob” Biggs is set to retire this June. Bob is currently the Executive Vice President and CEO of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and the President of the Phi Delta Theta Foundation.

Over the span of a 44-year career, leaders learn and apply many lessons. We asked Brother Biggs to spend some time noting lessons learned over his career that have been the most important to him. We are proud to be able to share them with you.

  1. Service above self.
  2. Always look over the horizon and not just the hood of the car.
  3. Be healthy, happy, and holy.
  4. Leadership is an art, not a science.
  5. Live and learn.
  6. It’s not your aptitude but your attitude that will determine your altitude.
  7. Faith in God, faith in family and friends, faith in self.
  8. It’s our team, never my team.
  9. Do to others what you would have them do to you.
  10. We enjoy life by the help and society of others.
  11. Have a can do spirit.
  12. Be prepared.
  13. Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
  14. Always do your best.
  15. Be a leader, not a manager.
  16. Show appreciation and recognition of others.
  17. Honor your father and mother.
  18. Integrity is doing the right thing even when nobody is looking.
  19. Never, never, never give up.
  20. Do what is right not what is easy.
  21. Avoid NETMA – Nobody Ever Tells Me Anything.
  22. Listen with curiosity, speak with honesty, act with integrity.
  23. Those who don’t know history tend to repeat it.
  24. Love one another.
  25. Strive for excellence, not perfection.
  26. In five words, stand up and be counted, in two words, get involved, in one word, care.
  27. Be a doer.
  28. The content of your character is your choice.
  29. Plan your work, work your plan.
  30. If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll get there.
  31. When the outgo exceeds the income it’s the upbringing of the downfall.
  32. To thine own self be true.
  33. Courage is grace under pressure.
  34. What are we not doing that we should be doing?
  35. Sometimes you just have to let it go.
  36. Duty, honor, country.
  37. You learn more from listening than talking.
  38. Always go the extra mile.
  39. Pray.
  40. It’s better to lead from behind and put others in front.
  41. Listen first, speak last.
  42. Focus on opportunities, not problems.
  43. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
  44. Each person must live their life as a model for others.

Phi Delta Theta will be honoring Bob in many ways throughout the month of June, within the upcoming edition of The Scroll, and in-person at the 2021 General Convention in Pittsburgh. To join us in honoring Bob’s incredible service to Phi Delta Theta, tribute gifts to the Phi Delt Fund can be made here.


17 thoughts on “Bob Biggs’ 44 Lessons in 44 Years of Service to Phi Delta Theta

  1. Congratulations Bob… You made it!
    I always knew you were a cut above the rest when I met you as a field representative in Gettysburg during the late 1970s. I watched your career blossom with regard to the many responsibilities you undertook with excellence over the years.
    You certainly added value in everything you did for Phi Delta Theta! You will be a hard act to follow!
    Good luck to you in retirement. Stay healthy and enjoy your family.
    All the best…
    Mike Malewicki
    Gettysburg ‘75

  2. I met you in 1978 at Alabama Alpha. Our chapter did not know exactly how to have a formal chapter meeting. I believe you were shocked at the conditions at Alabama Alpha. Some of my good friends today are my fraternity brothers. Thanks and enjoy retirement. YITB Edward Murphy

  3. Bob, all the best as you look over the horizon to your next life adventure! We met way back in 1976 I believe when you first joined headquarters and I was a colony coordinator at the University of Wisconsin to re-establish the Wisconsin Alpha chapter. That was quite the learning experience and a successful outcome. I’ve been enjoying retirement for a year now and highly recommend it! YITB, Ron Cooper, Ball State ’76

  4. Congratulations on your distinguished career and dedication to our fraternity. We all are better off from your service and your example of how to be a good man. I have copied your 44 points and will distribute it to family and friends.

    From a “brother in the bond”, Kansas Beta Phi Delta Theta Bond Number 1061; a member since 1969, I than you for your service.

    May the good lord continue to bless you and keep you safe the rest of your life.

    Jay Kay Seymour, RLS, PLS, LLS
    Redondo Beach, CA

  5. Congratulations, Bob, on a very accomplished career!
    You have successfully guided PDT through good times and s few rough spots .

    Well done and thanks so much for your dedication!

    Warm regards.

    Roger Holmes
    Ohio Alpha 1021

  6. Bob: Although I’ve never had the privilege of meeting you. I can feel the brotherhood of Phi Delta Theta in your 44 lessons in life. All of these lessons are indicative of being a Phi Delt, and what we should strive for in life . May God Bless you in your retirement. Onis L. Lemon Kansas Beta Bond # 854.

  7. A true leader and inspiration. The country and world need more people like you. Best wishes.

  8. What a wonderful legacy Bob is leaving for us to follow. Big shoes to fill at PDT. Jim Callis, Mo Beta ’55

  9. Love you, Bob Biggs! We have known each other since the early 70s when you were at Georgia Southern (Georgia Epsilon) and I at Georgia College (Georgia Zeta). We all ran/marched across Georgia to the Capitol to raise money. Thank you for all your services and contributions to our fraternity! Know the Lord has and will continue to bless you in your future. Yancey Walker, Georgia Zeta, Bond #3

  10. Dear Bob,

    Thank you so much for your decades of service to Phi Delta Theta.

    I enjoyed thoroughly the chance to meet and talk with you last year at Cooperstown.

    It was a bonus to learn there that Corey Kluber would receive the Lou Gehrig Award. It’s sad that he is no longer with the Indians; but we can hope he does well with the Rangers, if there is a season,

    Enjoy your retirement. It’s well deserved.

    Yours in the Bond.

    Warmest personal regards,

    John Oblak
    Ohio Eta ’62

  11. Obviously such a class guy! I thank you for your service to Phi Delta Theta, and the example and model you set for all of us. I will copy the 44 lessons and peruse and reflect on them periodically. May you and your family be blessed with good health and happiness! Appreciatively and respectfully, Neil M. Glass, DDS, MD, Iowa Beta

  12. Bob,
    You are such a great leader, not just a top 10, or the 20 most important but at least 44 meaningful ideas to share. I would wager you still have at least 52 more in the wings for general discussions. GREAT JOB.

    Fred B. Schultz

  13. Thank you and bless you dear brother. You certainly leave a legacy and an incredible impact of so many men! An honor to know you. My days in with Phi Delt never end, as I’m sure yours won’t either. Enjoy your retirement. You have so earned it. Yours in the Bond!
    Keith Kleine
    Ky Theta – #363
    Eastern KY Univ. – ’86 & ’88

  14. Thank you, Bob, for your service. You effectively led a team of devoted Phi’s to transform our fraternity into an institution greater than when I joined in 1976. You got us on the right track. Thank you for your vision, your time and your efforts.

  15. There is one great thing that can come with age–wisdom. Brother Bob seems to have that part down in spades!

  16. Bob is and has always been a class individual. It is rare anymore that you find those with the strength of character and conviction to the causes they believe in like Bob. I am a member of the Texas Iota chapter that was at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. I called him on a couple of occasions and he was always there to fill me in on the issues of the day. May God Bless and keep him for many more years and his memory be a part of the lasting lore that is associated with our Brotherhood. God Speed!
    Semper Fidelis and Yours in the Bond,
    Sammy Rogers #253

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