SHSU Greek Life speaker, Pete Mockaitis, gives leadership talk
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 01:09
Pete Mockaitis was on the SHSU campus Thursday to give Greek students suggestions on how to overcome four frustrations of student leadership. His lecture was geared towards the Greek community, but he also gave tips for any student interested in student leadership.
Mockaitis has traveled in more than 30 countries assisting clients as an author, coach and motivational speaker, including “Fortune 100” corporations, high-growth startups, major nonprofits, and assorted student groups. He has led nine different student organizations and believes “students [can] make tremendous impact right now, rather than waiting for when they become leaders”. These principles led Mockaitis to begin his work speaking about student leadership, as well as writing his first book, The Student Leader’s Field Guide.
Mockaitis urged students that “the ultimate objective is to come away with at least one thing that will make you say ‘Yes, that’s awesome!’”. He then listed the four frustrations of student leadership as burnout, attendance, idiots, and flaking.
Mockaitis introduced ways to prevent burnout are “a matter of getting in the driver’s seat and being proactive about your time, about your energy, and about your passion. If you’re in the passenger seat ... that's where a burnout emerges.”
His tips for preventing burnout also included listing the passions a person has for their organization, such as reasons for being involved and good memories associated with leading the organization. In addition, he said students can take time away from the pressures associated with being a student leader such as a free day, and eliminating the distractions that cause people to lose their focus on the tasks at hand.
Mockaitis’ suggestions to boost attendance were to come up with unconventional was of advertising, such as balloons or a flashmob, spreading the word one-on-one since more than 90 percent of attendees come because of a personal relationship, and asks event planners to remember the rule of 700,000.
“It’s the number that is approximately the amount of hours you’ll be alive on this earth,” Mockaitis said, “so don’t waste their time, go big or go home if you want to bring them in.”
Mockaitis’ third topic expounded upon “annoyance with idiots”. He explained that miscommunication and personality differences are often interpreted as “that person is an idiot”, and problems occur within the organization as a result of these misconceptions.
He urged students to remember “everyone’s brain works differently” and had them participate in an exercise that demonstrated the way each person thought and how it could be different from those around them.
The final issue Mockaitis went over was the irritation that comes when people “flake out” and end up not doing the tasks they originally promised to do. To help avoid this, Mockaitis recommended that leaders use different types of influence to encourage people to stay, like participating in reciprocity, recognizing people’s consistency, highlighting the specialness of certain jobs, and setting an example for members.
Mockaitis spoke to approximately 450 students and encouraged them to take his tips and put them into practice in the Greek Community, and student organizations, to bring stronger leadership to SHSU.
“The reason you put up with this stuff is because you’ve seen the glory, the cool stuff on the other side that comes from your work” Mockaitis said. “This is what student leadership is all about.”