20 Jun Leading Boldly, Not Blindly
By Justin Lo
As Leaders Among Men, we must accept the idea that being a leader is not always easy. When you are elevated to serve in a leadership capacity, it’s like you are thrown into an ocean, expected to know how to swim. In reality, you may actually be drowning and struggling. Being a leader is a learning process. Making mistakes are almost necessary for leadership development. But we should not stop at the mistakes we make. We must learn from them to become exemplary figures. As Leaders Among Men, we must continue to uphold our fraternity motto and be a role model to our brothers, to our active house, to our potential new members, and even to alumni and members of the International Board.
I believe that our fraternity is unique because we stress the value of authenticity. To be not just a leader, but to be an authentic leader, requires trust and vulnerability—and lots of it. We must learn how to be honest with ourselves and trust our active house because being a leader is not necessarily a one man job. Trust and vulnerability teaches us the value of authentic leadership. However, being an authentic leader in the context of fraternity life means looking beyond our new member education processes. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to reflect on your process because it is your individual, unique experience. But we should be reminded and look forward to setting our chapter, our brothers, and our potential new members for success while seeing the larger picture: the success of our fraternity as a whole.
To be an authentic leader is to be ahead of your time and to anticipate success. Authentic leaders do not act with their heads down. Instead, they see around corners and shape their future rather than only react to it. Authentic leaders appreciate difference and understand that having a more diverse network is a source of pattern identification at greater levels and also a source of solutions from people that are thinking differently than you. Lastly, authentic leaders dare to be different. They are men who continue to prepare for the unknown possibilities of tomorrow.
We should always continue to rise as Leaders Among Men and keep our passion for our organization alive. I believe that passion should always be translated into action to help our organization rise. Empty passion without action is simply obsession. It’s easy to fall into Lambda culture with blind passion, but we should continue to set goals, achieve our goals, and turn our passion into action in order to benefit our fraternity. Leadership is never a final product. You can always add to your leadership ability and development. Therefore, I challenge and implore each and every one of us to add to our leadership, to overcome difficulty, but most importantly to uphold our fraternity motto: Leaders Among Men.