What do you Admire in a Leader?

The inaugural Pi Beta Phi Leadership Institute is weeks away. We thought it would be a good idea to check in with our three guest bloggers to learn more about what qualities they admire in a leader and why. Let’s see what they have to say!


Erika Michalski, Missouri Alpha
Pi Beta Phi Leadership Institute Facilitator

  1. Authenticity — In a world where people put out so many “versions” of themselves, I find leaders who are confident enough to consistently embrace and present their “authentic self” to be the most inspiring.
  2. Appreciation — Leaders who intentionally communicate their appreciation for the value others add establish a meaningful sense of purpose for their team members. People who FEEL valued generate better contributions and remain committed longer.
  3. Ambition — Ambition innately comes with the pressure to boldly try new things; the ambitious leaders I admire chose to push themselves out of their comfort zone while supportively encouraging others to join them.


Vanessa Hsia, California Eta
Pi Beta Phi Leadership Institute Attendee

I believe a good leader is a balance of these three qualities: assertiveness, versatility and humility.

  1. A good leader is an assertive one — one who is decisive and not afraid to speak with conviction and take an unpopular stand if necessary.
  2. A good leader is a versatile one — one who understands the needs of those they serve and can change and adapt their leadership style to best fit those they lead.
  3. A good leader is one who has humility — using empathy, sympathy and morality to guide those they serve and adopting these perspectives in their non-biased decision-making.


Sara Stremmer, Tennessee Delta
Pi Beta Phi Leadership Institute Attendee

There are three traits I admire most in a leader:

  1. A positive attitude because it is easy for others to feel discouraged when times get tough, and if you lead by example with a positive attitude, others will follow that lead.
  2. The ability to empathize, which in my opinion, is the most important ability a leader can have — to be able to put yourself in another’s shoes and understand their point of view makes you the best leader you can be.
  3. Last but not least, strength because to be a strong leader means you are willing to make unpopular decisions for the betterment of the group, no matter how the group may feel or react.

Pi Beta Phi is hosting its inaugural Leadership Institute July 21–24 in St. Louis. To learn more about the event, click here.

Stories from the Road with RLDC Nicole Ballou

This post is courtesy of Minnesota Alpha Nicole Ballou, Resident Leadership Development Consultant.

It’s not four years, it’s for life.

As sorority women, we are constantly bombarded by quotes attempting to capture our experience. Sharing the excitement we feel for Pi Phi is addicting. We post cute photos with witty captions, design T-shirts, paint banners. The list is endless. But what does it truly mean to embody the value of Lifelong Commitment?

As members of Pi Beta Phi, we promised to embrace the beauty, and growth, of our organization beyond our collegiate years. So often we lose sight of the reality that Pi Phi is larger than our chapter. We are an organization of 140 active chapters across the United States and Canada, with almost 300,000 initiated members and more than 200,000 Pi Beta Phi alumnae.

The benefits of embracing alumna life come at small moments. For me, they are sitting with the Alabama Alpha Alumnae Advisory Committee (AAC) over dinner and feeling instantly at home. They are calling Carol Warren whenever I need a little confidence boost, or just miss Minneapolis. They are learning how, and when, to ask for help. They are enjoying dinner at an Indian restaurant in Toronto, awestruck by talented and empowering alumnae in Canada. They are creating new friends, and mentors, in my move to Atlanta. They are the moments where I think to myself “I’m thankful Pi Phi brought me this.”

The foundation for our organization is to promote friendship and foster sisterhood. Without these ideals, what would separate us from any other international organization? Alumnae life brings with it a deeper and more meaningful friendship, sisterhood and comradery.

Lifelong Commitment doesn’t have to mean serving as a volunteer from the moment you graduate. It’s common to hear alumnae say: “Pi Phi is a highway with fast lanes, slow lanes and rest stops along the way.” Volunteering as a Critical Conversations facilitator or an AAC member brings benefits and personal growth. It’s rewarding to work with chapter members, see them lead, feel their spirit and learn local chapter traditions. But if you find yourself without the time to volunteer, exemplifying our values in your every day life is the best way to honor our sisterhood. Your involvement with the Fraternity as an alumna will vary, and that’s okay!

So, as you enter your post-grad years remember your time in Pi Phi has only begun. And if you’ve felt like something is missing since graduation — lean in. Pi Phi has always been here.



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