One of the greatest joys for me, since I launched Destinyworks in 2019, has been the relationship I have formed with the national collegiate fraternity Alpha Tau Omega (ATO). It began as a breakfast meeting with ATO’s CEO, Wynn Smiley, simply to explore how I might help him think strategically about the future of the organization. It has blossomed into a key application of the mission of Destinyworks as I now help hundreds of ATO young men discover their purpose, their greatest contribution, to our world and humanity.
Truly, it is a wonder to me to watch a room full of young twenty-somethings light up as they consider their calling. You may be skeptical about how this works with a bunch of college fraternity dudes, but there is a key reason…maybe two or three, actually…that they are so attentive to the 2 ½ hours of teaching we provide through our Men of Destiny program.
Side note: We were excited to learn, just recently, that ATO’s Men of Destiny program won a national excellence in education award from the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors. Pretty cool!
So, why do these guys listen with such interest and participate with such energy as I lead them through a workshop on their destiny? Here are three reasons:
First, they’re not what you think they are. Yes, there are a few guys out there who continue to reinforce the Animal House “frat boy” partying image, but they are the minority. I continue to be impressed with the deportment and engagement of the vast majority of the guys I interact with. They are good kids. Their national and local leadership works hard to craft a healthy vision for each man in each chapter.
Second, these guys are so interested in the subject of calling because EVERYONE, at some point in their journey, wants to know why they exist. Purpose continues to be the hottest of hot topics. Side note #2 – don’t you wish YOU could have experienced a Destiny Workshop when you were younger? Still wish you could? Reach out and let me know!
Finally, there is embedded in the content of Men of Destiny a vibe, a sense that every single boy needs for their soul to survive and thrive in this world. That is, RESPECT.
In his book, Cracking the Boy Code, Adam J. Cox, PhD described what boys need: “Let me challenge a widely held assumption about how to get along with boys. Many believe that relationships with boys are built on lots of jokes, bending rules, and horsing around as much as possible. I know boys like these things, but they are not the qualities that win the day for adults who want a sustainable, respectful relationship with boys. The most important way to demonstrate your love is through respect. When treated with respect, a boy senses that he is being taken seriously. That seriousness confirms his positive status.” Respect is why these guys dig Men of Destiny. Our workshop is built on respecting their unique design and place in this world. Respect is what your toddler needs. Respect is what your teen needs. Respect is what your adult son needs. Shoot, respect is what I and every other man needs whose longing is to be significant in this world.
I’ll close with the motto that every chapter of ATO repeats frequently to each other (put in place long before I joined ATO, and yes, I am one of them, having been graciously honor- initiated into the fraternity.) Here’s how they wrap up gatherings, as a wish and commitment:
Love and respect!