(L)ets Learn Some Lea(D)ership Theo(R)ies (200)!

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 2.50.13 PM.pngTo say LDR 200 was different than LDR 100 would be an understatement. In LDR 100, we just had fun and joked around most of the time. Not that I didn’t enjoy it but we didn’t really learn much about leadership. I was excited when I found out LDR 200 was all about learning what leadership really was. Over the course of the semester we were challenged in our ability to explain, show, and demonstrate. We had to facilitate a 15 minute initiative(not a game!) and a 40 minute workshop.

For my initiative, I had goal setting! I got to work with three other people and we created a fun, education initiative to teach the class. We worked really hard and created a really fun deserted island scenario. From what I saw, the class had a fun time and they had a good time competing with the other teams.

For my workshop, I had the path-goal theory. This theory talks about how leaders should motivate their followers through setting goals. According to the theory there are four different types of leaders. We wanted to base our activity on this aspect. I am so proud to say that I created the entire activity we did. We had a list of qualities from the book describing the four types. I came up with “Pin the Trait on the Leader!” The class was split up into groups and tried to figure out which traits corresponded with which type of leader. I was nervous to present but I think we did a great job and I am proud of the entire group.

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LAS in Detroit Post Trip

The LAS in the D trip was truly something I will never forget. So much growth was achieved while we were in the 313. I was very intrigued and challenged while we were down there. I got more out of the trip than I expected. I had fairly high hopes but it was a lot different from what I expected.

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We started at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. I was most excited for the part of the trip. We had some technical difficulties so we were a bit late so the beginning was kinda awkward. The students at JRLA seemed less than thrilled to be there but as soon as we started playing ice-breakers and creating chants they complete changed. You could hear the sound of laughter rising and it made my heart happy. Throughout the day we rotated to different service based activities. We did projects to benefit Children’s Hospital, OK2SAY, Special Olympics, and Veterans. For the students to graduate they must have a certain number of hours of community service per year. This was a fun, new way for them to get a lot of hours and they really enjoyed it. I loved meeting the students. They have so much potential and are just like us with their hunger to succeed. I really wish I could watch them become great leaders in today’s society. I hope the scholars I worked with learned half as much from me as I did from them.

 

Friday evening we got to experience Downtown Detroit. It is a pretty familiar area to me since I live a few cities away. I still gained a lot from the experience. For some odd reason, I never went to the DIA and it was truly amazing. The first room I went into took my breath away. I love the arts and that brought tears to my eyes. It was just so inspiring to me. These artists created these master pieces hundreds of years ago and they still make people think today.

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The Outdoor Adventure Center, where we slept for the night, was so much fun! We were so lucky that we got to stay there. I was really taken back by how old the building was. The history of the building and area were very interesting to me. The whole place is like taking a piece of the forest and sticking it in Downtown Detroit. The amount of work that Mrs.Walters has put into the center is so great and I am very grateful for what she did for us. While we were there, my group had a really great debriefing session about the trip thus far. We all talked about how the scholars at the JRLA inspired us. We all had our ups and downs for the day but we all agreed that we learned so much about ourselves, others, and Detroit.

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Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early to head to CASS community services. I was really unsure what to expect. I started my service for the organization at the soup kitchen. It was definitely different than anything I had ever done. Some of the things that were said to us were inappropriate but I just tried to remember what we were there for and keep a positive attitude. We cleaned the dining area, organized the pantry, and helped prepare food for the people living there. After that, we headed to help make the tire mats. This is was so cool! I was so intrigued by how passion some of the people working there were. They were so proud of their work so they accepted nothing but great. Some moments were frustrating but when Jordyn and I finally finished our mat I was so proud.

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I learned so much from this trip about myself, serving others, and relationships. I personally grew a lot from the experience. I also realized that service is always comfortable or easy. Sometimes you have to put your feelings aside to make the lives of other better and I fully intend on doing that when deciding where and when to volunteer from now on. I grew closer with a handful of people in my cohort while on this trip. I am continuously amazed by some of the people I am surrounded with. I am so grateful for the trip and the things I experienced while I was in Detroit.

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“How Great Leaders Inspire Action”

We have all heard something similar to leaders inspiring action. However, I had never heard a speech quite like this. The Ted Talk we watched was not like anything I had really heard before. The speaker, Simon Sinek, talked about how great leaders inspire people by channeling why they do something. We have a part of the brain that controls why we do what we do. He explained that if leaders can channel that then they can persuade you to do certain things. One of the examples he used was Apple. They are highly well known and extremely successful. They are successful because they channel the “why?” in people. Mot companies can channel what we do and how we do it but not many take the time to know why people do certain things. Heck, some of them don’t even know why they do certain things. Apple is great because they can do both of these. That is why they sell more than just computers. Other companies are just as well equipped to make the products, so why aren’t they as successful? Because they don’t channel the “why?” in us. When channeling the why a leader is directly channeling the decision making part of the brain. If they inspire us, they can convince us. Personally I really enjoyed this Ted Talk. I thought Sinek had some really great points. Some of which I am fairly unfamiliar with. I think as great leaders some of us “speak” to the “why?” without evening realizing. This is what makes me inspiring.

Connections Conference

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 12.00.36 AM.pngConnections is a networking conference for student leaders from CMU. November 7th we all headed up to Traverse City to meet new people, create new friendships, get new ideas, and grow as leaders. We attended speakers, had some great food, and bonded in the waterpark.

We started out with a delicious lunch then headed to meet our home group for the conference. We discussed all the resources we have on campus and how we can utilize them to better our organizations. From there we listened to campus leaders on different topics.

My first session was time management. We discussed time wasters. I realized I am better at managing my time than I thought. I rarely waste my time doing things that are not important. I also attended a speaker that talked about having efficient meetings. This isn’t useful to me yet but in the future I hope I get the chance to lead an RSO on campus. My next speaker was about having fierce conversations. I really needed to attend this. I often find it hard to deal with confrontation. This session offered a way to deal with confrontation in an appropriate, respectful way. My last session was dancing through social change. We talked about how important art is to society. The great thing about art, either physically or fine arts, is everyone interrupts it differently.

After we attended all our choices sessions, we met back up with our home groups. We talked about how we can put what we had learned during the weekend to use on campus. We also got the chance to compliment people in our group on all the great things about them. Giving and receiving kind words really brought us together as a group.

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Leadership Safari

mattLeadership Safari is a week long leadership event for freshmen and transfer students at CMU. We move in a week early and get acclimated to campus. During the week, participants attend workshops, speakers, and ice-breakers. Participants get put into groups of about 10 and we were paired with a well-rounded, educated upperclassmen.

One the first full day of Safari, we experience excursions and had a super fun, hype kick off event. We got the chance to listen to some pretty great a cappella groups. We also had a Safari wide ice-breaker with David Coleman. The following day, we started the morning listening to Michael Miller. In the afternoon, we participated in a bonding leadership challenge course. We went to an amazing performance by Ebony and The Asia Project, both are amazing poets, later that night. The next morning, we listened to a very funny, wild Ed Gerety. That afternoon we all learned a valuable lesson. For lunch we all got different colored lunch according to our name tags. Sounds pretty normal but when we got back to our groups we quickly realized something was going on. We all had a different amount of food. However, my group handled this well. We put all the food in the middle and rationed it out. The lesson was not everyone has it easy in life and the fortunate people, like us, should help in any way possible. We continued with that lesson in the following activity. We all packaged food for third world counties. This wasn’t a huge thing for us but our small acts of kindness could possibly change someones life. I really loved the idea of that. Our final day was excited and sad at the same time. We got the chance to learn some great CMU traditions. We ended safari with a great conference dinner and an awesome celebration!!

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Snow Leopards 2015