Last June, SigEp – IA Theta had the pleasure of sending three brothers to the 20th annual Ruck Leadership Institute at SigEp’s Headquarters in Richmond, VA. The Ruck Leadership Institute is an intense 5-day event for SigEp’s top leaders aiming to “Teach the few to impact the many”. These three men, Hugh Zehr, Caleb Gipple, and Matt Barton, are among the brightest leaders in our chapter at UNI, and we are eager to see how this event can help them shape our chapter. They were asked to provide a short paragraph describing their experience at Ruck and how it impacted them. Take a look below!
Attending the Ruck Leadership Institute was an incredible experience that will go down as one of the defining experiences of my time in SigEp. From the beginning, all scholars were put into small groups and got to meet and grow close with brothers from across the country, all of whom were incredibly passionate about SigEp. Getting to share stories of shared experience with all of the men was a large part of what made this experience so impactful. A lot of our time with our small groups was spent learning about the 5 Practices of Exemplary Leaders. Through these lessons, I learned that I need to be more meaningful about inspiring a shared vision by ensuring that the people I work with know my values and can see what our vision for the future is. I am so grateful that I was selected to attend the Ruck Leadership Institute and I am excited to take what I have learned back to our chapter and continue the legacy of excellence at Iowa Theta.
The Ruck Leadership Institute was a truly life-changing experience. I learned about my strong and weak points as a leader and used this insight to craft a plan that will help me maximize my leadership potential. I was surrounded by strong undergraduate leaders and very engaging volunteers (many of whom I became very close with) who all helped me expand my comfort zone and challenged me to become the best version of myself I can be. Throughout the program, my Ruck team and I talked about tough issues we faced as leaders and collaborated to solve them using the principles in brother Barry Posner’s book, The Leadership Challenge. My favorite thing about Ruck was getting to have fun the entire time, and I felt deeply inspired over the course of Ruck to carry forward the lessons I learned to become a better leader. After Ruck, I feel more equipped than ever to lead my peers.
Going into the Ruck leadership Institute, I had heard several brothers speak very highly of it, however I was not prepared for the life changing experience that Ruck provided. Throughout the week, we spent several hours discussing the five key ideals from The Leadership Challenge. In addition to the small group lectures, we went through several large group sessions full of thought-provoking discussions. One of my favorites was “The Journey of Innovation”, where we learned about the SigEp’s past and greek life as a whole. Another highly impactful session was “When Leadership Goes Wrong,” where we heard from two incredible mothers who shared the story of losing their sons lives to hazing. All of these large and small group sessions not only instilled a tremendous amount of pride in being a SigEp, but also equipped me with the skills to be a change agent in the chapter. I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow from my Ruck experience, and I look forward to applying what I learned back at Iowa Theta and in our campus community.
If you are interested in helping future members of SigEp IA Theta develop their leadership skills by attending events and conferences such as the Ruck Leadership Institute, please consider making a tax deductible donation to the IA Theta Leadership Fund.