Stories from the Road: LDC Erica

This post is courtesy of Florida Epsilon Erica Landis, Leadership Development Consultant.

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Well, the LDCs have arrived at Headquarters and are spending the next few days wrapping up our spring semester (hence the title “spring wrap up”). For most of us, our time as LDCs is coming to a close so we have reflected on the different aspects of the LDC job, most of which do not fit into a typical job description. After approximately 35 chapter visits and interacting with thousands of people, you would think I have the whole, “What do you do as a Leadership Development Consultant?” elevator speech down. But because of the fluidity and ever changing nature of the job, sometimes I have to stop in my tracks and think about what I am truly doing as a consultant. So here it is, my best shot at “how I explain my job.”

  • Mentor: “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” –Booker T. Washington
    • As an LDC, I enjoy all of the one-on-one interactions I have with collegians. I love empowering leaders and working on a plan which allows them to realize their ideas for their chapter can become a reality. Sometimes chapters are accomplishing amazing things but they don’t always see it. As an outsider, I provide a fresh perspective and can acknowledge all of the wonderful and unique things our chapters are achieving.
  • Motivator: “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” – Henry Kissinger
    • When I visit chapters, I always try to serve as a cheerleader and encourager. I have been on visits when members have had the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I celebrate with them in the good times and remain positive in the bad, caring for members on a personal level and encouraging them to remain courageous.
  • Listener:“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” – Ralph Nichols
    • As LDCs, we typically spend less than a week with each chapter we visit. We must give personalized advice to each chapter and create specialized plans with each officer to achieve her goals even among various campus cultures and limitations. Listening is the key to good communication. Before I can provide feedback and suggestions to a chapter, I must listen and truly understand the identity of the chapter.
  • Visionary: “The secret of success is constancy to purpose.” – BenjaminDisrael
    • Traveling as an LDC has allowed my perspective of the organization to grow. I have gathered ideas from across the country and bring those ideas to each chapter. I understand small changes can turn into big changes through consistency of effort and manageable growth. I encourage Pi Phi leaders to be revolutionaries on their campuses as well. Risky behaviors or disrespectful campus cultures will only change when someone is brave enough to speak up.
  • Role Model: “Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others, as what he does fromday to day to lead himself.” – Thomas J. Watson
    • Every day in airports, hotels and coffee shops across the country, LDCs are meeting strangers and representing Pi Phi at the same time. So many times I have been asked what my job is or where I work, and I know I am one of the few Greek women that person has ever interacted with face to face. I strive to always serve as a role model for my chapters, but also a role model for everyone I interact with. We are always wearing our letters, in word and deed.

There you have it—my best version of explaining what we do as Leadership Development Consultants.

A Founders’ Day Message

This post is courtesy of Grand Vice President Alumnae Diane Bielman, California Eta.

Dear Pi Phi friends,

It’s that time of year again – Pi Beta Phi Founders’ Day. Each year, during the month of April, collegians and alumnae celebrate and honor our 12 founders in their own unique way. For some members, they’ll gather with Pi Phi sisters for a brunch, tea or maybe to participate in a philanthropy event. For others, it may be as simple as reaching out to a long lost sorority sister to say hello.

I like to think of Founders’ Day as a two-fold celebration. It’s a time to reflect on our Founders’ accomplishments and how far we have come as a Fraternity. After all, we just installed our 200th chapter at the University of Tampa this February! I also think it’s a celebration of the friendships we’ve made and the endless opportunities our membership affords us. Because of Pi Phi, each of us has a network of sisters worldwide, continued literacy service opportunities, graduate and continuing education scholarships through Pi Beta Phi Foundation and a variety of volunteer opportunities.

I’m excited to announce Headquarters is hosting a Founders’ Day social media campaign on the Fraternity Facebook page throughout April. In honor of our influential founders, they are asking members to reflect and share stories of Pi Phis who have influenced their lives.

That got me thinking about my own journey as a Pi Phi and the many Pi Phi women who have made a difference in my life.

As a New Member, I still remember Tammy Fogarty LaMont who helped me prepare for a tough Calculus final exam. She stayed up until 3 a.m. to review the material with me. She made sure I could pass that test and achieve the GPA requirement for initiation. And of course, I remember very fondly Kim Assaf Koehler and Kim Thompson Rietfors who led my pledge class through our New Member program and my Big Sis, Jill Stockstill, who taught me what it means to be a Pi Beta Phi.

As a Pi Phi volunteer, Jill Jensen Meynen, Margo Wilton Lesser, Jane Landreth Russell and Linda Noel Ibsen have been great mentors and role models for me in their leadership to the Fraternity.

I met Iowa Zeta Jane Burrows Ooms almost 20 years ago through the South Coast California Alumnae Club. We quickly became friends and have remained close ever since.

And of course, I still keep in touch today via social media with dear friends I made during my collegiate experience at California Eta even though we may live thousands of miles apart. I could go on and on but I have to save some for the Pi Phi Facebook page!

I do hope you will take time to reflect and celebrate 147 years of friendship and sisterhood. Founders’ Day reminds us that we are an essential link in a historically rich fraternity founded by remarkable women whose achievements were ahead of their time.

In Pi Beta Phi,

Diane Bielman, California Eta
Grand Vice President Alumnae

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