Building Courageous Leaders

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”   - C. S. Lewis

Origin & Purpose

 What is Building Courageous Leaders?

We are compelled by the above quote from author C. S. Lewis. In Phi Gamma Delta we talk frequently about our values of friendship, knowledge, service, morality and excellence. But it is one thing to talk about values and another altogether to act on those values when they are tested. It is true in life and in fraternity that so many problems could be averted if someone – whether a formal leader or a bystander – had the courage to assert his values, or the group’s espoused values, at the testing point.

Each of us is certain to confront many testing points in our lives. Some will be minor decisions, while others will have a profound impact on us and on others. Likewise, chapter leaders will face many testing points that will impact the future of their chapter, their brothers, and sometimes the Fraternity at large.

Building Courageous Leaders means that our brothers will understand and embrace the values of Phi Gamma Delta; will recognize when those values are being challenged and understand the implications of a particular choice; and at that testing point, will know how to confront and lead others in an ethical, productive way.

 How can Phi Gamma Delta develop and support courageous leaders?

We have identified three elements of courageous leadership:

  1. Understanding and committing to our values
  2. Recognizing the testing points - times when our values are challenged
  3. Applying our values at the testing point and confronting the issue

These concepts will be built into many of the Fraternity’s existing programs, including the Fiji Academy, Taking the Lead programming, Risk management education, Alcohol education, Hazing prevention, Sexual misconduct prevention and Chapter discipline. As appropriate and needed, they will form the basis of new programs.


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The Leadership Institute

The Leadership Institute is an exciting new program that supports the initiative to Build Courageous Leaders. This five-day experience is designed to help brothers become values-based, courageous leaders. The inaugural Institute was conducted in June 2016 with 80 undergraduates in attendance. Beginning in the summer of 2017, the Institute is available to one brother from each chapter (160+) every year.

Brothers who attend the Institute will return to their chapters prepared to educate their chapter brothers on what it means to Lead with Courage. The Leadership Institute will be provided at no cost to the attendees, thanks to the generous support of the Phi Gamma Delta Educational Foundation.

Building Courageous Leaders is good for our brothers and good for our chapters. If brothers learn to Lead with Courage, they will be better prepared for many of the difficult decisions they will face in their lives. It is one of the most valuable lessons Phi Gamma Delta can teach them and will secure their role in the upward march of humanity.

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Recognize a Courageous Leader

Do you know a brother who has made the choice to follow the values of Phi Gamma Delta instead of taking an easier path? Did they make the right choice instead of the easy choice? Did they take a firm stand when confronted with a challenge? These are examples of leading with courage.

If you know someone who has faced a testing point and made the courageous choice, then please share their story of Courageous Leadership. Submit stories of Courageous Leadership for inclusion in an upcoming Good News Friday Letter or on social media (#CourageousFiji / #CourageousLeadership).

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