Development and Training – Chapter Advisor

January 1, 2020 John R. Hatfield 0 Comments

Advisors need to be equipped yearly, period. With the complexity of current fraternity and sorority life issues and the rapid changing university culture this is imperative.

John R. Hatfield


Every time we push personal development aside, we invite personal struggle into our lives

Hal Elrod

Advisors need to be equipped yearly, period. With the complexity of current fraternity and sorority life issues and the rapid changing university culture this is imperative.

The advisor team plays the most important role in the health and success of the active chapter, not the national fraternity. In respect to the hierarchy of the food chain, advisors too long have been in the lower half and need to be at the top. There needs to be a clear and consistent strategy for advisor development that has mandatory training. They must be able to navigate the chaos, with help from the national fraternity. Funding needs to be allocated to their training, aka, from external firms; attending AFLV or AFA yearly conferences, or other training from say, Phired Up, or hiring a consultant to augment their team. Many chapters pay a live-in house mom who quite frankly fulfills a role but has minimal impact on the chapter. Why not allocate finances to hire a leadership consultant to work with active chapter, advisors, and house corps weekly? Wouldn’t this be wise, having a greater impactful for both the local chapter and the advisor team?

Personal development is the belief that you are worth the effort, time, and energy needed to develop you.

The national fraternity should have professional on-line modules covering key issues advisors face that address a variety of learning styles, rather than boring factual data points.

National fraternities should have webinars each semester that the advisor values and are willing to give up the time to attend. The last webinar I attended from a national fraternity, the twenty-four-year-old simply read from a script. It was boring, disengaging, and everyone walked away with the feeling it was a waste of time. Perhaps a panel discussion or a moderator that throws out a topic that advisors can share what they have learned on the topic and why. Nationals could invest in a regional day across the country of advisor training or a national conference just for advisors each year. The key to getting the advisors to attend will be the quality and professionalism in the content presented. A respected older leader who has been in the role and understands its complexities and creates challenging dialogue with significant application for when local advisors return to campus would be impactful. They should walk away both energized from what they learned and the relationships they built.

“When you share space, share responsibility, share ownership, and share rewards, everyone wants to contribute.”

John Maxwell

I work for several national fraternities. I’m the national leadership and culture consultant for Beta Sigma Psi. They are committed financially to provide the best development each year for me. It keeps me current and I am a better leader and mentor to their men. I am grateful for their vision and sacrifice to make me the best, believing in turn it will make their chapters the best!

“A good mentor has been there”

Eric Greitens

“A mentor is someone with knowledge and skill that empowers a learner through example, instruction, dialogue, affirmation, challenge and support, preferably, in the context of an authentic relationship.”

John R. Hatfield

As advisors we need mentors and leaders who have been where we are going. Those who know more, that we can listen and learn from. He or she teaches us from their life experiences not from the theory of a book or paper. They have wisdom and knowledge. These are the mentors who share their mistakes and show us how because they are living it. We desperately need mentors who have the experience, stories, practice, and perspective. We need expert judgment not novice judgment. A twenty-two-to-twenty-eight-year-old hasn’t been where local advisors are and have no life experiences as a chapter advisor.

The Messenger Matters

Resilience is the character of working through suffering, pain, and adversity. We listen and respect these mentors who have struggled themselves. They understand us and can bring us to the critical point of insight and perspective.


How can I continue to develop myself to be a better fraternity advisor?

What is one new training workshop, seminar, webinar, conference or book I should participate in every year?

Who can mentor you?

What are your semester goals for the chapter?

How do you help active chapter bring in key speakers?

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Development and Training – Chapter Advisor was last modified: June 21st, 2021 by John R. Hatfield