“Describe your work, organizational, and leadership styles.”

In my work, I am tireless in my attention to detail, yet able to maintain a clear vision of the big picture.  Working as an electrical engineering student has helped me foster this skill.  Working on complicated software, circuits, or physics problems forces one to consider the most minute of details while ensuring that the solution still fits the problem.  With my work in Phi Sigma Pi, I have to consider the interests of the Brothers, the officers, the University, and the National Office.  I also have to consider the small-scale issues like undesired consequences, loopholes, and consistency.  My grandfather always preached, “If you can’t do something right, don’t do it at all.” This quote has stuck with me all of my life and is evident in all that I do.  I believe that not committing 100% to a task is a waste of time.

My organization style is best described as hierarchical, using hierarchies to group relevant information together.  Using these groupings, I am able to include a great deal of detail in my planning while still keeping the big picture intact.  The ability to organize effectively is the ability to manage information from a variety of sources.  I use Google Docs exhaustively for organizing my Phi Sigma Pi documents.  I created a folder shared by all the officers that includes all the documents from Nationals, meeting agendas and minutes, rosters, committee lists, family lists, bylaws, risk management policies, operating policies, committee business, requirements, attendance sheets, blank forms, previous form 110s, memorandums, and Powerpoint presentations given during meetings.  Each officer has their own drop box for sharing pertinent documents with the other officers.  This way of organizing allows the officers to communicate ideas easily between meetings.

My leadership style is a mix of transformational and participative.  The transformational style of leadership functions by creating a vision for the group and creating excitement and energy about that vision [1].  During my service as President, I have used the mantra “Let’s put PSP on the map!” to help create a vision for the group and to create excitement for the Brotherhood.  I adopted this slogan when I was running for office and have repeated it numerous times throughout the semester.  I see the potential of the group and my biggest goal has been to share that vision with the Brothers.  If they too could see the potential of the group, Brother apathy would disappear entirely.  Since adopting this mantra and working to make it happen, we have seen a drastic reduction in Brother apathy.  I realized early on that the best way to motivate the officers to do their job is not to tell them what to do, but rather to excite them to do the best job that they can.  Both semesters, I planned officer retreats that helped them bond as a group and become excited about the cause.  It was a gradual process, but the officers we have now are the most dedicated that the Fraternity has ever seen.

The participative style of leadership functions by allowing everyone to participate in the decision-making process [2].  The assumption behind this style is that people are more committed to a decision when they have invested their own time and thought.  This semester, we started implementing Robert’s Rules of Order to help facilitate the decision-making process.  The Brothers were very receptive to having a say in policy making and event planning.  Similarly, the officers discuss executive matters during Executive Board meetings.  I have learned through trial and error that the best alternative to a solution is usually one that consults a variety of opinions and resources.

Above all else, I lead by example.  I am not above any member of the organization and I have shown that by performing even the most menial tasks like cleaning up after events.  Officers can trust my advice because they know that if I am giving them advice, that I have experience with their situation.

[1] http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/styles/transformational_leadership.htm

[2] http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/styles/participative_leadership.htm


“In your experience, what are the best aspects of Phi Sigma Pi?”

Phi Sigma Pi’s uncommon distinction from other student organizations and greek life is the group’s best aspect. This uncommon distinction was obvious when I first joined the Delta Psi chapter three years ago, but what exactly is this uncommon distinction? My experiences with Phi Sigma Pi over time have helped answer this question.

I have benefited the most from the fellowship aspect of the Fraternity. The fellowship shared by Brothers of Phi Sigma Pi is a lifelong bond of brotherhood. The friendships I have made through the group have been some of the closest friends I have shared. There is no better place to meet a variety of people. Brothers of Phi Sigma Pi are high-caliber students from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds and fields of study. Where else can you have an electrical engineering student from California working together with an international business student from Hong Kong and a fine arts student from Denton, Texas? I have had the opportunity to befriend Brothers ranging the most liberal of Democrats to the most conservative of Republicans, agnostics to holy rollers, nerds to hipsters, west coast chillers to east coast preps (lets not forget the “third coast” playas), artists to scientists, athletes to mathletes to musicians, and philosophers to pop-culture fanatics. Who I am today has been influenced by these friendships.