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.
I am the president of my fraternity. I just got an email from our formal chairman saying that he has to step down from his position because of ‘health issues’ I am not questioning his health concerns, but from his email it seems like he realizes he has not done anything to plan for formal and realizes he has a huge work load ahead of him.
Also, I have recently received an email from our fundraising chair saying that his job this semester is going to be more involved than he thought and he does not know if he can juggle all his responsibilities.
How do you recommend dealing with scenarios like this?
Having two guys quit right before the semester starts definitely raises a red flag about your fraternity. There may be deeper issues that you need to address about the health of your chapter.
With this immediate situation though – do not beg these two brothers to keep their positions. If you do, they will give a half-hearted effort and the fraternity will suffer as a result. Find replacements who are eager and motivated to fill these roles.
For the two new guys, as well as the rest of the committee heads, there is a simple leadership formula to follow.
First, be sure to give them clear expectations of their position. The social chair should know how many parties/mixers/formals/brotherhood events that should be planned. The fundraising chair should know how much money he is expected to raise. The philanthropy chair needs to know how many community service hours are expected. The athletic chair should know what sports that the fraternity wants to field a team in. Ect..
The point is everyone in a fraternity leadership role should know the expectations of the brotherhood. If these brothers know the expectations, they will know what success looks like and will know how much of a time commitment is needed to get there. It also gives them a goal to strive for.
However, just letting the brother know the expectations of the fraternity isn’t enough. You need to give him the support he needs to achieve the fraternity’s goals.
Be sure to give the chairman an actual committee if it is warranted. Some committees require a ton of work. If you are expecting one brother to do everything, then you are not going to be successful.
As fraternity president, your role is to get these chairmen and their committees everything they need to be successful. You need to be able to remove any road blocks that stand in their way.
Finally, be sure to give public praise to the committees who are doing a good job in your fraternity. People who give their all to the brotherhood need to be recognized and appreciated.
You will not have brothers quitting if you can set clear objectives, provide all the support they need and then follow up with praise. Furthermore, you will be following a very clear formula that ALL successful leaders follow. This will maximize the potential of your fraternity.