Phi Sigma Kappa

Phi Sigma Kappa

Become a GREAT Leader!

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Through my various leadership involvement at Adelphi University (Phi Sigma Kappa, Student Government Association, Resident Assistant, Orientation Leader, etc.) I believe these are the five most important leadership qualities that, if used correctly, could change a good leader into a GREAT leader!

1. Listening/Inclusiveness: One of my business professors told my class a quote that I will never forget- "The best listeners are the best leaders.”  It isn't about hearing an individual; it is about listening, processing what they said, and taking everyone's opinion into consideration before formulating a final decision.

2. Optimism:  Leaders face challenges… tough challenges, all the time.  It is the leader's responsibility to always stay optimistic (not only publicly, but mentally as well).  A leader can address these challenges without spreading any of the "doom and gloom.”

3. Self-Awareness: Make sure you know YOURSELF before leading an organization or committee.  Know your strengths, weaknesses, capabilities, work ethic, time management and your limitations!

4. Ability to Motivate: Leaders shouldn't have to tell people what they HAVE to do. Leaders should motivate people to WANT to help you.  One of the biggest ways that has worked for me is my own desire to want to help others.  When people sense that you want to help them, they want to help you out.  Keep in mind that people are motivated by different things, so it will always help you to understand those individual differences.

5. Staying Genuine: You need to be clear about your personal values as well as the values of the organization.  Make sure you are consistent in applying them to the decisions that you will be making.  That is only the first step; you MUST have the courage to hold them true by not losing sight of reality at the same time.  Losing the organization’s values is one of the biggest causes of an organization’s downfall.

      Brad Fliller
       Regional Leadership Coordinator
         Brad has been on staff since the summer of 2013. He graduated from Adelphi University and is now an alumnus of the Phi Septaton Chapter.

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Get a job!

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Here is a little tip for any work meeting or interview that you might have coming up.  In the rest of this blog I will focus on using this for an interview, but it can easily be translated to any work meeting or sales call. 

I’m sure many of you recent graduates are out there looking for jobs and are probably finding it pretty difficult to make a lasting impression on that interviewer.  Well you are in luck, because I have a nice trick to subtly set yourself apart from the competition.  This will by no means get you the job, but it will at least make you memorable.  And the secret is to take a BOOK with you!  If you need a book recommendation just check out my last blog here

As I’m sure you are already doing, you should always arrive to an interview early or you might as well just not go at all.  Now here is where you will be set apart.  Most students these days will pull out the smart phone and start playing some Candy Crush or Angry Birds. BUT NOT YOU, because you read the Phi Sigma Kappa blog!  There is very little less attractive to a potential employer than a kid who is always on his phone.  Instead, pull out your book and read that to pass the time.  This looks much better than playing games when the interviewer comes out to greet you.  You may not be the smartest kid in the interview room that day, but a little preparation and thought to actions gives off a much better first impression.

I like to take a book I have already read and one that I can even relate to the job or meeting.  My book of choice is called Never Eat Alone and was given to me by a friend and mentor.  Not only is this book about professional networking to benefit you and your company, but it is a bright orange which is sure to catch others attention!  A common question interviewers ask is, “What have you been reading lately?”  BOOM GRAND SLAM! Go ahead and blow their mind and tell them how this book has changed your life.  Tell them about how your networking skills from this book not only helped you land this interview, but also how you can use them at professional conferences and business travel to also benefit the company.  After the meeting you should thank the interviewer for their time, shake their hand firmly, and see yourself out.  Be sure to thank any employees at a front desk that might have helped you out before the interview.  Never underestimate anyone’s influence.

Now all the rest of this blog was to set up for the grand finale.  Now most of you all already send some kind of follow up thanking the interviewer for their time.  Now that is a great move, but it is a little ehhh… boring.  After all, you just had the best interview of your life, so why let them forget how much different you were than the other candidates by sending a generic thank you note?  On your way home go pick up a second copy of the book and write your thank you note on the inside cover and mail the copy to the interviewer.  After all, if a book changed your life it has the potential to change someone else’s.  What better way to be remembered than to send a bright orange life-changing book with your name on the inside cover!  Even if there isn’t a position available at that time I’m sure they will see that note later when they are undoubtedly reading this book the second time and they will say to themselves, “Man, this guy sure was impressive! I should call him about this other job I have available now.”

Now sit back and wait for the call and when this book lands you that big job and eventually helps move you up to CEO just remember who told you about this book and gave you the tip!

 

Sean Howard
Fraternity Operations Coordinator
Sean has been of staff since the summer or 2012, after graduating from the University of Kentucky and is now an alumnus of the Phi Deuteron Chapter


 

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Sorry ‘Bout It

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Today is my second anniversary date working for Phi Sigma Kappa. I’ve had the honor of spending the majority of those two years working on the ground with chapters across the country. Aside from seeing so many beautiful parts of the country, unique college campuses and enjoying great local dining, my favorite experience consistently has been the time spent getting to know the undergraduate members. I’ve made a lot of friends, learned a lot and certainly had many great conversations, but I have some confessions to make.

While I consider myself a fairly well-rounded person, there are some things that would commonly come up in conversation with chapters that I know very little about. These are the top four things I have to apologize to all members that I couldn’t contribute to a conversation about over the past two years.

1)      The NBA. I am a huge baseball fan, rebuilding my NFL fanship and a casual hockey fan, but I know next to nothing about the NBA. If my life depended on naming more than 10 people currently getting paid to play professional basketball, it might just be the end for me.

2)     “Scarface.” I can’t say I’m surprised, but a LOT of people have seen this movie. I haven’t. It’s not because I don’t like the genre or question how good of a movie it probably is (8.3 on IMDB is always a good barometer), it’s just long. I have an attention span for long movies, but I just need to commit myself to it or there’s an 85% chance I’ll fall asleep, no matter the time of day.

3)     FIFA. I had absolutely no clue how big the following of this game franchise was until I started this job. Video games are a great way to kill time, but FIFA players are almost like a cult. I enjoy watching people play, but no, I will not play against you.

4)     “How I Met Your Mother” & “South Park.” I have seen maybe three episodes of HIMYM in my life, and that number will probably never get higher than five. I also haven’t seen a new episode of “South Park” for years. I don’t necessarily dislike either show, but don’t plan to start watching either regularly.

 

I think it’s safe to say at least one of those things came up at every visit. I definitely appreciated getting to know about the unique interests and passions of members at each chapter, and please take this as one blanket apology for not knowing anything about these topics. I won’t say that I’ll work on this list, as the only one that stands a chance is me watching “Scarface,” so I’ll keep you posted. 

Matt Valleau
Director of Fraternity Operations
Matt has been on staff since the summer of 2011, after graduating from Ferris State University. Matt served our chapters on the road for two years as a Regional Leadership Coordinator, and continues to serve staff as Director of Fraternity Operations. 

 


 
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iRecruit: Learning from Apple

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Apple is one of the world’s most innovative companies. As an organization that prides ourselves on ‘meeting challenges with innovation’, there are some things we could learn from such a successful company. Their entire approach to business focuses on why they do what they do, and they let that approach guide their entire business model. Their approach to customer service is particularly interesting; it follows the acronym A-P-P-L-E.

Approach with a customized, warm greeting.
Any time we are meeting new guys on campus, it’s important to be very genuine and friendly with them. Customize your approach with each guy to avoid sounding like you are reading from a script. Ask something personal and show a genuine interest in them and what they are about, before you tell them what Phi Sigma Kappa is about.

Probe politely to understand the customer’s needs.
Potential new members aren’t necessarily customers, but you are selling our organization to them … and I must say, we are quite a good product!  Ask questions that find out what potential new members are looking for.

Present a solution the customer can take home today.
After finding out what potential new members are looking for, we should let them know how our organization can benefit them. Use this time to do a little humble bragging on the organization you have come to love … Make them want our product!

Listen for and address unresolved questions.
While you are talking with a potential new member, listen for any reservations they have about joining. Help address these issues with creative solutions (i.e. payment plans, scholastic workshops, leadership development conferences, etc.) If it’s something you don’t necessarily know how to resolve, let them know you’ll work with them, together, to figure it out.

End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.
Be sure to let any potential new members know that you enjoyed meeting them.  Ask them if they would like to grab lunch, play football, or come to another recruitment event … and be sure to get their phone number! It is way more effective to call a guy first, than to sit around and hope he calls you wanting more information.
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Top 4 Non-traditional Recruitment Places on Campus

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Do you ever wonder where you should look to find other students on campus to recruit? We have compiled a list of the top places to recruit on campus and have provided some reasons why. Take these into your chapter meeting and share them. Get out there and start shaking some hands!

1.      Library

As fraternity men, if we gather in a library with letters on and study together, we break an unfortunate stereotype. Fraternity men can study, and we can study well. By stimulating scholarship, we can create a well-rounded image for ourselves and our Fraternity. Also, by creating this image, others will notice. Create this type of positive image on campus by creating study hours for the chapter and new members alike. People will recognize your commitment to academics and be intrigued by the potential to become a member of Phi Sigma Kappa on campus.    

2.     Gym/Athletic Facility

I think we’ve all been that guy at some point –the guy who shoots the basketball alone or throws a baseball up and down to himself for a bit. How much better would that be if we could have been part of a game? Get a group of your brothers together and head to the gym or outdoor field and find that guy. Invite him to be a part of your game. Integrating others into fraternity events such as athletics can be one of the most successful ways to recruit. Maybe you can finally find that last member for your intramural team, too, and not be stuck with the guy who... tries really hard, but can’t quite get it…again.

3.     Dining Hall/Coffee Shop

Much like the guy who was playing a sport alone, there are more people who at some point during their day will eat a meal alone. By going to a dining hall and asking to eat with someone, you have the possibility of an interesting meal and could make a new friend too. Another option can be heading to the local coffee shop on campus. Find someone in line, offer to buy them a coffee and sit down with them for a conversation. I know this may sound awkward, but try it! You will be surprised with the results. At the very least, these are good activities for stepping outside of your comfort zone and practicing your recruitment abilities (and social skills).

4.     Union

Where do people hang out in between classes on campus? The union can be a good place to grab a bite to eat, finish your last minute studying, or just meet up with friends. Because of its many uses, it’s the perfect location on campus to meet new people. Many times transfer students and commuters will spend a majority of their time outside of class at the union. These are two groups that can also use an organization like a fraternity to provide them “a home away from home.” Some unions even have lounges for transfer and commuter students. Contacting the union on your campus is a great way to start finding these students.
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How Do I Represent Phi Sig?

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How do you represent Phi Sig in a professional light? As a fraternity man?
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The Recruitment Tool Kit

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I guess it’s just the little kid in me, but whenever I hear the word “kit” I automatically think of a cool assortment of tools/items that are used together for something.  Honestly, it could be a completely boring collection of things, but it’s still a kit and that means a bunch of stuff packaged together for maximum enjoyment or user potential. Maybe it’s just because I instinctually associate it with good memories of growing up, like getting my first toolkit in a racecar shaped box, seen below.

Either way, since my day-in-day-out is expansion and recruitment I like to think I’ve compiled a “recruitment tool kit” of sorts. Hopefully this gives you an idea of some things to have on hand that make recruitment easier.  And because I’m such a nice guy, I even linked you to some sweet deals on Amazon; I unfortunately haven’t figured out how to build a racecar shaped carrying case yet.

Sharpies: An assorted color pack is great and you’ll always find yourself needing them for anything from name tags to making tabling posters/signs.  Make sure you put them in a safe spot though because they tend to disappear often. My current collection includes an “80’s Glam” pack and an industrial black marker potent enough to make an entire small army lightheaded.

Index Cards: This is one of the easiest ways to collect names and phone numbers when tabling or at organization fairs.  Instead of having people wait in line for one computer, hand everyone an index card and pen to write down their info while you have a conversation.  Bonus points if you have them write down the name and number of a friend they can recommend.

Duct Tape: Tri-folds break, your posters blow away, the sign won’t stand up straight. Fix it, there’s an old saying “if you can’t duct it, …” well, you know how it goes.

Microphone Earbuds: If you’re recruiting right you’ll have a lot of men on your Names List and that means lots of phone calls.  If you’re #TeamiPhone, luckily they include some EarPods with purchase, if not, invest in a pair. You’ll be happy to be hands free to update the notes column when rolling calls. Plug in, book a meeting while updating your GoogleDoc, hang up and dial the next number.

Social Excellence: We can’t recruit who we don’t know.  If you don’t own a copy of Social Excellence: We Dare You by Phired Up, make sure to pick it up to learn more about the idea.  We have hundreds of opportunities a day to meet new people and build new relationships.  Social Excellence is the one component of your “kit” that should always be with you!

With the semester just around the corner I challenge everyone to assemble their own Recruitment Tool kit.  Tweet me (@rhbudke) and the official account (@phisigmakappa) what else your chapter is including in your kits or if you figure out how we can make that racecar case happen. We’ll retweet our favorites.

 

Ryan Budke
Fraternity Operations Coordinator
Ryan has been on staff since the summer of 2012, after graduating from the University of Delaware and is now an alumnus of the Mu Septaton Chapter.


 

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How Will You Leave Your Mark?

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Soccer is the most popular sport worldwide. The passion and beauty of the game has spread into the United States within the past 15 years, creating enthusiasm and excitement in thousands of followers. Whether you play, have played or just enjoy watching the game you have heard the names of soccer greats- Zinedine Zidane, Pele, Diego Maradona, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Leo Messi to name a few. These soccer plays have played for world renowned futbol clubs as well as their respective country- being stamped as legends. But what comes with the fame and popularity?

In sports, the athletes loved most have attributes that fans appreciate- whether it is skills in their sport, community service projects, athletic camps or donations to charities nationally and internationally. Earlier this month, soccer stars from the top clubs in the world traveled to the United States for friendly matches. Fans spent thousands of dollars just to receive a signed jersey and meet one of the world’s best soccer players, Lionel Messi. However, Messi was substituted early in the game and proceeded to exit the stadium before meeting those adoring fans who spent their time and money to meet him! Whatever his reasoning may have been, how do you think his actions impacted the kids ecstatic to meet their hero? What do you think their perception will be about those clubs or players affiliated with Messi? Read about this story here.

T.J. Sullivan wrote an incredible article about always wearing your letters. Greeks have made a pledge to be better than average in all aspects of life. Whether a Greek is at a community service event for a local philanthropy or out on a Friday night, our actions speak louder than our words. The decisions we make can directly affect the chapter, the Greek Life community, the fraternal movement and those who have no affiliation with Greek life!

Lionel Messi not only disappointed his fans, he is not leaving a footprint that future soccer fans will want to follow. The same is true in fraternities and sororities when we disappoint the community, the administration, families and our brothers and sisters-  we are making our futures just that more difficult. The choices we make today will affect the outcomes of tomorrow. So, how will you choose to leave your mark on those around you?

     Josh Ordonez
     Regional Leadership Coordinator
     Josh has been on staff since the summer of 2013. He graduated from Radford University and is now an alumnus of the Mu Hexaton Chapter.
 

 

 

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Fraternity in the Summer

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A couple weeks ago, Jason wrote a great article about the personal benefits and opportunities in summer employment. If you missed it, check it out here. Unfortunately, I read that post a few years too late, as I wasted a lot of college summers in a dead-end job stocking grocery shelves. He did get me thinking, however, about another great way members can spend some time this summer: improving our chapters. Here are a few free or inexpensive things that you can do this summer to help prepare for success next fall.

 

Set a Recruitment Plan. Our friends at Phired Up have some great resources on summer recruitment, and you should always be meeting new people who could potentially join the Fraternity. Aside from that, spend time getting organized and ready for scheduled recruitment in the coming year. Every chapter I worked with that had great results recruiting this past year cited better planning and organization as one of the reasons they improved, so make this the year your chapter eliminates the last minute recruitment scramble. 

 

Fix the By-Laws. One of the most common things I’ve heard from chapters is a general complaint that the by-laws are out of date. Unfortunately there isn’t an easy way to cut corners here… it’s a monotonous process and staring at by-laws for too long has been known to make eyes bleed, but trust me, it’s worth it. 

 

Clean House.  This applies to an actual house, on-campus facility or just the chapter in general. Fraternities have a tendency to just hang on to things for years that have no real value or benefit. If your Chapter has a house, I’d wager there’s a room or closet somewhere with boxes of things that haven’t been looked through for years. If you don’t have a house, it’s probably a giant bin that gets moved between executive boards. Take a couple rainy days to go through these things, get rid of what you can, and consider ways to find a permanent home for things you want to keep. 

 

Make Connections. If you’re in your college town for the summer, spend some time on campus getting to know administrators. With fewer students around, it’s a prime opportunity to meet and connect with professionals in Student Activities/Greek Life, Admissions or Housing. Learn more about what they do, the programs they offer and how the fraternity can help them in the coming year. 

 

If you or your chapter brothers are working on any other summer projects to improve the fraternity, we’d love to hear and share them.   


Matt Valleau
Director of Fraternity Operations
Matt has been on staff since the summer of 2011, after graduating from Ferris State University. Matt served our chapters on the road for two years as a Regional Leadership Coordinator, and continues to serve staff as Director of Fraternity Operations. 

 



 

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Work Smart

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Today has to be one of the worst work days of the year, right? Going back to work after a long weekend of good friends, times, food and maybe a few too many “barley pops” is tough.  Today has to be up there with the Monday after the Super Bowl, the first work day after Labor Day or any other holiday weekend.  You had the chance to sleep in for the past few days, so when that alarm went off this morning, you probably wanted to do nothing short of throw it out the window.  I could’ve seen myself in this exact scenario not too long ago in any of my previous jobs, but recently I’ve had a chance to change some of my work habits.

Our Expansion and Recruitment team partners with Phired Up Productions to help improve our program.  Typically, we have weekly calls with Woody Woodcock, Director of Organizational Growth, and our recent topic has been preferred work rhythms which make work more manageable and less stressful.  I’ve personally had some great take-aways, and I wanted to share a few with everyone.

3-5 Tasks per Day: This doesn’t mean things like updating your LinkedIn profile, replacing some copy paper and finding that really cool pen you lost last month. Pick three to five real tasks or projects that you’ll feel accomplished if you finished that day. If you break your workload into manageable tasks, you’ll make great progress without getting overwhelmed.  Be sure to look at all your current project and prioritize.  When you have several different things to do, it’s important to know your deadlines and work on items appropriately.

Creative Time:  Are you a zombie in the morning, and does it take a few cups of coffee to get going? If so, this probably isn’t the best time to do some of your more creative or critical thinking projects.  It’s helpful knowing when you are at your “peak” during the day.  Use your time accordingly in order to do your best work on each project.  If you aren’t a morning person, use that time to catch up on some email or housekeeping chores, and take time later in the day to develop a new proposal or work on a design project.

Take Breaks:  It is important to take a few minutes throughout the day as recovery time, otherwise you’ll burn yourself out.  Once you finish an important task, there’s nothing wrong with taking some time to read an article or to skim Twitter.  Just be careful this doesn’t turn into a multi-hour Youtube-related video search, though.

If you can begin to implement these steps and build a preferred work rhythm, you’ll see an increase in productivity and work won’t be as overwhelming.  Give it a try.

Ryan Budke
Fraternity Operations Coordinator
Ryan has been on staff since the summer of 2012, after graduating from the University of Delaware and is now an alumnus of the Mu Septaton Chapter.


 
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45 Linear Inches

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I HATE packing my suitcase, especially for shorter trips.  I’ll justify spending $25 to check a bag if I’m going to be gone for a few weeks, but when I’m making a quick trip to Philadelphia (which I’m currently on), it’s best to consolidate your wardrobe. Plus, who likes waiting an eternity at baggage claim for your luggage? Not me! If this job has taught me one thing, it’s definitely how to efficiently use every inch of my 9”x14”x22” carry-on. 

While I would love to fill my bag with gym shorts, t-shirts and a hoody (maybe a pair of jeans and my favorite button up for a night out), it’s not socially acceptable anymore for me to roll out of bed, brush my teeth and head out. Instead, I’ve started expanding my “grown-up” wardrobe a little at a time. You likely already have some of these items, and they all fit easily into that painfully small roll-aboard. Here are a few tips on packing and a few clothing staples that will have you packing light and dressing right!

1. Khakis /Chinos: Tried and true and work well in almost every situation. Stick to traditional, neutral colors (tan, off white), and you’ll be good to go. (Bright yellow might seem like a good idea at the time, but trust me—they won’t work in the business world.)

2. “Sport Style” Button Ups:  These style shirts are very low maintenance (minimal ironing) and give you plenty of options to choose from depending on your taste. (Solids, plaids and stripes are classics that will never go out of style.)

3. Nice Denim:  Investing in a pair of nice jeans will go a long way. Find a fit you like and spend the extra few dollars on a pair of jeans that will last. Darker washes look good with almost everything.

4. Blazer:  A traditional navy blue blazer is extremely versatile. It works in a more formal situation with shirt and tie, or looks great over a t-shirt for a weekend night.

5. Layering Options:  Solid color cotton Tees and a classic V-neck sweater can give you countless combinations that work with your button ups.

6. Shoes/Belt/Accessories: Shoes are very similar to jeans when it comes to investing money. A good pair of leather shoes will last you years. Go with brown over black, and pick a classic like wingtips or even Sperry’s in a more casual environment. Make sure to match your belt color with you shoes, and always have a few basic ties that match with several shirts.

When you are packing, decide which items give you the most options—and don’t underestimate the importance of neatly folding. Wear your blazer, jeans and a t-shirt on the plane (three less things to pack) and make sure your toiletries (3oz sizes in a clear Ziploc) are easily accessible for security. Happy travels!

Ryan Budke
Fraternity Operations Coordinator
Ryan has been on staff since the summer of 2012, after graduating from the University of Delaware and is now an alumnus of the Mu Septaton Chapter.

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