My role and responsibility serving in a leadership position within the fraternity and campus community can be easily defined by the Zeta Beta Tau pillars. The four pillars are Intellectual Awareness, Social Responsibility, Integrity, and Brotherly Love. I have found that by modeling my leadership style after these four pillars I have just scratched the surface of my full potential as a leader. I often use these traits and pillars to guide me when I find myself in a difficult position or one that puts my values to the test. Although there are times when mistakes are made, these mistakes help me take a step back, see where I went wrong, and then modify my leadership to do better in the future. These pillars help me do this.
Intellectual Awareness is defined as Fraternity creates an atmosphere conducive to the expansion of the individual’s intellectual horizons, the interchange of ideas within the academic community and the pursuit of scholastic excellence. Although we all take different roles at the University of South Florida, the reason we are all here is foremostly to be students. As a member of Zeta Beta Tau we hold academics at a high point of our organization. All leaders must find a balance between academics and their roles at this school to be an efficient leader. The more knowledge you have on any topic will result in a higher success rate when taking on the task. This also helps you gain respect among other people, by showing that you know what you are talking about with concrete evidence or factually backed opinions.
Social Responsibility is defined as Fraternity requires the individual to commit himself and accept his responsibility to participate. This helps to explain how, in order to be successful, you must fully commit to everything you do. When I took this role as a leader it was because I wanted to fully invest my time in this position and help my chapter become the best it could be. In order to do this, I had to realize there is an obligation for me to act for the benefit of the organization as a whole. Social responsibility is a duty every individual must perform so as to maintain a balance in the organization. Certain issues can be beneficial in some ways but can also be detrimental in others. Being socially responsible is all about weighing the pros and cons of every decision for the betterment of the organization.
Integrity is defined as Fraternity generates a standard of personal integrity – a framework for the individual to maintain honesty, exhibit loyalty and retain a sense of self-discipline. In my opinion this can be one of the tricky parts in leadership, especially when it comes to organizations in college. The organizations we participate in, throughout our years in college usually lead us to develop close relationships to the other members. As a result, situations arise that can cause internal conflicts between doing what is right and friendship. One of the toughest things my advisor told me that I would have to do as a leader is to act in the best interest of the organization, rather than doing what might help you maintain these friendships. Although this can seem harsh to the individual, it usually works out when you explain the bigger picture to them. Some people do not always know the difference of what is right and what is wrong, so it is always helpful for a leader to have a clear distinction between the two. This is especially helpful as a leader, sometimes you must explain this to certain people because they might not have distinguished between the two in on their own. Having integrity in this way shows that you are honest and lets people know they can trust and respect you.
Brotherly Love is defined as Fraternity inspires and expresses the interrelation of the individual with his fellows, his pride in the institution and respect for the wisdom of its tradition. This can be one of the easiest ways to help keep all members of an organization integrated. You can use ideas like these, as a leader, to help form bonds and make sure they are kept. If everyone works well together the success of the organization will be much higher. For every organization this is different because each one has a certain way of being run, and as a leader making sure everyone follows certain procedures is very important. Another important thing about leading a successful organization is acknowledging and maintaining its past or traditions. Having the knowledge about things that were negative in the past keeps them from happening again, you do not want history to repeat itself. Things like this can always happen even if you are prepared, so you must make sure everyone learns from negative events in order to assure that it was a learning experience rather than something that will happen again. On the flip side if someone does something that proved to be successful then you can continue to do these things in the future.
In conclusion, the traits of intellectual awareness (which teaches me the importance of a balance between academics and extracurriculars), social responsibility (which shows me it is imperative to fully commit to the roles I chose to take), integrity (which reminds me to hold myself to a higher standard), and brotherly love (which imparts on me the true value of being able to rely and work cohesively with the people around me) , provide me with a positive template to model my leadership after. These four traits all encompass different meanings that combine to make a great leader. Although it is hard to always strictly model my decisions and life after these traits, they motivate me to take my challenges in stride and to continue strive to be the best I can be.