“No, we are not the Circle K that is the convenience stores.” “We are not a dude ranch with horses.” “We don’t dance in circles, although you can if you want to.”
That was part of my normal speech when I was the District Administrator for the Georgia District of Circle K International. I was responsible for 28 chapters, including helping them to effectively recruit members. I went to campus after campus and watched our student leaders struggle with trying to explain what Circle K was—and what it was not!
If you belong to a club or organization on campus or are the advisor for a group and had to tell people the name of the organization and then have to explain what it means over and over again – you know the feeling. It really became a problem. That is until I came up with the idea of having a defining statement.
Tell people what you do, rather than using the name of the organization. For Circle K in Georgia, we went from asking students, “Would you like to join Circle K?” to “Are you interested in community service?” Our positive response rate went from “Huh?” to 85%!
Belong to a fraternity or sorority? I suggest using “Are you interested in leadership development? Or “Do you want to make lifelong friends?” If you spout out the name, it might all just be Greek to them. (Oh yes, I did just go there!)
Watch the accompanying video and the audio interview below for even more for more ideas. Feel free to share your defining statements below and I’ll give you some feedback.
Yours in service,
Dave “Gonzo” Kelly
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THE COLLEGE SPEAKER SERIES
“What is your campus organization’s defining statement?”
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Dave Kelly is the leading authority on Student Leadership and Community Service on college campuses today. As a professional trainer, motivator, and servant leader, Dave is an expert on all aspects of running and leading campus organizations and developing the character of a servant leader. Dave has 20+ years training leaders and advisors from Student Government Associations, Campus Activities Boards and campus clubs of every kind on Campus Organization Leadership and Community Service Projects. He has trained students and advisors at more than 140 different colleges and universities and is the national coordinator for the APCA Serves! Initiative by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities.