It's Just That Simple

Our nation’s college campuses, where youthful exuberance clashes with growing wisdom and prudence, are among the most energizing and challenging leadership environments imaginable. Like a linebacker meeting a quarterback on any given fall Saturday, college campuses are where youthful idealism and the encroaching reality of the “real world” meet head-on.

Students have been “heading off to college” since the first university opened nearly a thousand years ago. In today’s modern collegiate system it seems that the mission of achieving a diploma should be a simple process:

  • Students enroll;
  • Students work hard at their academics;
  • Students enjoy enriching activities and sports;
  • Students earn a degree and graduate morally, mentally and physically prepared to lead our
  • society toward great things.

Simple enough, right? And yet we all know that campus life – and campus leadership – is not this simple.

I witnessed my own alma mater – the U. S. Naval Academy, an institution focused on honor – endure a much-publicized campus cheating episode.

Most Greek fraternities and sororities would tell you that their mission is to prepare young people for lives of service and leadership. But too often in recent years, the headlines have been about other issues. A good friend of mine recently was hit hard when the son of his college roommate died of alcohol poisoning in what appears to have been a fraternity hazing gone wrong.

Episodes like this – which occur on too many campuses each year – illustrate the need to actively teach positive group leadership skills in the college setting. And with years of experience building volunteer-led men’s and women’s workout groups rooted in fraternal bonds, The Iron Project is uniquely qualified to offer college-directed programs that develop campus leaders.

Our programs are memorable, inclusive and impactful for all who participate. They produce students, athletes, faculty and staff who are equipped and enthusiastic to spread the virtues and challenges of shared leadership in a campus environment.

Campus leaders who have the vision and skills to build “leader-full” organizations are a magnet for all who want to accomplish the college “mission” we outlined above. It’s just that simple.

Rob Cannon