“Everything I needed to know about leadership in the United States Marine Corps, I learned as a part of Sigma Phi Epsilon.”
Those words were spoken by General James T. Conway, Southeast Missouri State ’69; a man who knows a great deal about leadership. General Conway is one of thousands of SigEp brothers who have discovered that what you learn in your chapter is preparing you for the highest levels of success after college.
There is no better way to hone your leadership skills than by leading your chapter in an executive board position. The experience brothers have as officers builds vital skills in business administration, sales, consulting, finances, marketing and leadership development. SigEp officers in the upcoming year are particularly positioned to gain these valuable skills as they lead efforts building challenges in the BMP mobile app, recruiting a new generation of balanced men through the Balanced Man Scholarship, and implementing a substance-free facilities policy for our brothers. Arguably, there has never been a more personally valuable and organizationally pivotal time to hold a leadership position in our Fraternity.
Officer elections are just around the corner for many of our chapters. If you’re considering running for a position on your chapter’s executive board, read on for a few tips on how to best prepare for a challenging, exciting, transformational year leading your chapter.
- Do your research
Executive board positions vary widely in scope, responsibility, and skills developed. It’s important to match the skills you have and want to build with the the officer position you want to hold. The Fraternity provides several resources exclusively for executive officers — check out SigEp officer guides online for a helpful explanation of each officer position as you plan your year in leadership.
- Set a vision
Much like a corporation’s board of directors, executive officers are the driving forces behind every area of chapter operations. Each executive officer has an important role to play and can accomplish a great deal if he plans ahead. The most effective executive officers set clear goals for their position, broken up into 3, 6, 9 and 12 month periods. Setting this vision, and articulating it to others, will make your time in office as productive as possible. (Make sure that your vision incorporates milestones around the Grand Chapter’s recent legislative advances, including substance-free facilities and the Balanced Man Program app.)
- Work the halls
Once you’ve looked into the available positions and set a vision, spend time with other chapter members. Communicate your vision, ask what they would want to see in a someone holding your intended office, and enhance your vision as you get their input. Discussing your goals with other chapter members will make them part of your vision and will make you more effective after you are elected.
- Find a mentor
The best executive officers take advantage of the guidance, coaching and mentorship of SigEp alumni and volunteers. Meet with a member of the AVC mentor committee or with your chapter counselor to discuss the year ahead. Oftentimes, these volunteers have seen great executive boards come and go — and they will be happy to pass their wisdom onto you, if you just ask! On that same note, many executive officers have taken advantage of the advice provided by their Regional Director. These trained professionals are experts in SigEp and leadership who will provide personalized advice and support to anyone who asks.
- Get excited
Unless you start your own business after graduating, holding an executive board position may be the most autonomy you get to experience for several years. Executive officers practice real-world leadership and can dramatically improve their chapters in the process. Running for, and holding, an executive board position is an opportunity to experience some of the best personal development SigEp has to offer. Get excited!
As you begin planning your year in office, please feel free to visit SigEp’s website for more information on the Fraternity in general and individual executive positions in particular, and to find contact information for your Regional Director, who can help you prepare for the year ahead.