The Wrong Guy Was Elected Fraternity President

harry truman fraternity

Here’s how fraternity elections went down: 2 candidates for president, one with qualifications and a bunch of plans (me), one with more qualifications/work-with-the-house, he gets elected.

I’m pretty down about this election, but I think what worries me is that this man is not a politician/diplomat. He had zero plans laid out and his job requirement is to work mainly with relations in regards to the university, other fraternities, etc.

I had all of my ideas, but I know if I share them, I’ll never get credit and therefore no one will know for the next election. I don’t really care about credit for myself, I just want to be recognized so I can move forward in the next elections.

My question is: should I really share all my ideas knowing the executive council will take all of the credit and I won’t be able to mention it during elections?


I get where you are coming from. I lost an election and it hurt. I thought I was more qualified than the brother who won, but it wasn’t my time. Eventually it was. Hopefully the same will happen to you.

About your situation – here is what you should do:

Give your fraternity everything you have. Give all your ideas to the executive board. Offer to help in any way they need you. Be their biggest cheerleader and supporter. Have a positive attitude. Be the model brother.


That is what leadership is all about. It is about serving others. It is about doing what is best for the fraternity and not caring about personal accolades. It is about giving – not receiving.

One of the times in my life I was held in high esteem as a leader was when I was in Officer Training School when I entered the Air Force. I joined because it was post 9/11 and my country needed me. I was there to serve, not to get personal accolades. So I did the very best damn job I could, and helped anyone who needed it. And I did it all without wanting or expecting recognition. I poured every ounce of my heart into what I was doing, and no one more passionate about being there than me.

It didn’t take long before others noticed, and I became the unspoken leader. It didn’t take long after that that I was assigned to be responsible for my squadron. It was an extremely rewarding leadership experience.

I became the leader in that situation because I cared about making the team better. I didn’t care about myself. That taught me a valuable lesson.

My advice to you is to do what’s best for your fraternity. Don’t worry about giving away your great ideas – you will come up with more. Help make your fraternity great now, and you will be able to take it to even greater heights when you are president.

The secret of all this is every single brother in your chapter will recognize your contributions. The brotherhood always knows who is responsible for the success of the chapter. They will respect you more if your focus is on improving the chapter and not worry about the credit you receive.

This is how you will get elected and this is how you will become the future president of your fraternity.

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
— Harry S Truman (1884-1972)

This question was submitted by one of our readers. If you have a question you want me to answer go here to submit it: Fraternity Advice.

To learn more, check out our most in-depth article on being a fraternity president: How To Be a Great Fraternity President

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