One of the greatest benefits of membership in Delta Tau Delta is personal development. However, this does not arise naturally or without effort from active chapter members. We have instruments in place to formally develop our members from our New Member Education Programs to the Road, but how can every Delt make sure they are developing others and growing themselves during their undergraduate time and beyond? The answer is simple: mentorship.
One of my greatest mentors during my undergraduate time left me with a piece of advice when I asked about how to create and leave a legacy of excellence. In order to continually develop my brothers and myself, he shared that we should always approach development as mentorship in three capacities: having someone continuously bringing you up, someone along your side helping as you progress, and someone that you are bringing up all at the same time. We need to prepare our members, not only for their future, but the Fraternity’s future as well. Therefore, it is just as important to find a mentor, as it is to be a mentor.
When searching for a mentor, it is important to make sure you are seeking out a teacher, rather than a hero. A hero is someone you idolize and represents someone who earns our amazement. While a mentor is someone you respect and earn our confidence and trust, mentors are concerned with teaching, and a teacher seeks to help a person become a better version of himself. Great leadership mentors show strength in their convictions and, specifically in our case, a commitment to our fraternal values and living the Ritual.
As a mentor in the fraternity world, it is important to remember that we are not just running meetings and planning events, we are teaching men how to recruit quality members, spread accountability and handle personal finance. Most importantly, we are instructing men on how to lead lives of excellence. The future leaders of our chapters absorb every little action we take. As John Wooden said in his book, A Gameplan for Life, “Whatever the case, you have what it takes to learn at the feet of someone else, and to offer up your own life lessons. You have the responsibility to be a mentor and be mentored.”
Will Logan (University of Tennesse, 2013) is a junior majoring in Spanish and world business. He is currently serving as chapter president for Delta Delta and attended the 2011 Presidents and Advisors Retreat and Bethany Leadership Academy.