Thursday, March 1, 2012

Meet Me Half-Way

This semester, I sat and talked for a while with a well-respect fraternity leader. He is appreciated by his peers and valued by me, personally. We were talking about this next semester and where our community could/should be come May. During this conversation, he said something interesting to me. He said, "I really think people are willing to work together if you will meet them half-way."

"Meet you half-way?", I responded, "Tell me more." As I listened for the next few minutes, I became more and more convinced of my reaction. When he finished, I shared my honest response. If I am meeting students "half-way", that implies that we are, in the least, coming from opposite places. Or, at the most, moving in opposite directions.

He was quite surprised when I shared, "You're thinking about it wrong. I am working with you. There is no need to meet you anywhere - we are already side by side.

Now, I will confess to you that in college there were a large number of students that felt that our Greek Advisor was not working with us. Perhaps that's just what happens when a large organization is led by such a small group. Additionally, our Advisor held the role of holding us accountable. And, heaven knows, that never makes you well-liked by the masses. I know that for many, it was always easier to just allow the blame fall to him rather than owning it ourselves.

So, two lessons come to mind as I continue to reflect on this:
1. It is important to not see your "help" as your "enemy". My job is designed to help you - in a variety of ways. I am here to make your events go smoother, to help you work better as a group, and to help develop you as men and women prepared to leave USD and change the world.

2. When you don't own your own decisions and allow your members to place blame on "the administration" or IFC and Panhellenic, you are taking away your own power. As student leaders, you are powerful  beyond measure. Take up your authority and challenge others to follow you.

I wish you a wonderful and restful Spring Break. Be safe and have fun. I am looking forward to working with you, alongside you, when you return!

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