Leading From the Back of the Room

By Larry Lunsford, Order of Omega Board Member

My senior year in college, I ran for president of my fraternity chapter and lost. I was deeply hurt and felt rejected by my brothers. Luckily (and surprisingly) the individual who beat me took me aside in private afterward and told me that I was valuable to the chapter and to not drop out of involvement. Had he not had that conversation with me, I probably would have ceased involvement with the chapter because I also was heavily involved on campus.

I didn’t need to be president to be a leader in my chapter and on campus. I became editor of the chapter’s alumni newsletter, co-chair of the Homecoming Committee, chair of the chapter’s Founder’s Day celebration, and various other tasks assigned to me. My efforts were recognized at the year-end Spring formal when I was named Brother of the Year.

Recognize talent of members who are diligent in attending meetings by appointing them to lead committees and undertake projects that contribute to success. Ask for volunteers. Everyone doesn’t want to hold office and have a title. These individuals often become the best leaders.

As the philosopher Albert Schweitzer said: “Example if not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”