Leadership Development · Leadership Education · Leadership Training

Theory Application/LDR 200L Review

With my leadership cohort, we took together LDR200L on Wednesday nights with our Professor, Jesi Ekonnen along with three amazing TA’s: Garrett Ritterhaus, Kate Odykirk, and my G, Jordan Salerno. LDR200L was very eye-opening. I was given so many great opportunities with facilitation, theory research, and just getting to know my cohort on a closer level. We discussed many different leadership theories, applying them in the real world, and on top of that, we got to create our own leadership philosophy.

One thing I am so happy to take away from this class was the skill of facilitation. I never really have facilitated an activity before this class, and I feel as if I gained confidence talking and using a leading role in an activity initiative.

Facilitation is so important when it comes to different activities. It sets the mood and teaches us how to effectively give direction and help people throughout course activities. This is very important, mainly when you are working with a team who wants to achieve goals and working hard in solving problems. Within my LAS cohort, we all know we have different leadership styles and skills, but improving them and working to help give others ideas and facilitate positively, will only be great encouragement for our future endeavors. The cool thing about learning how to facilitate is that it challenges you to think from different points of view, coming in with an open-mind, making the activity experience for others, a good one.

In our LDR200L class, we learned about dealing with silence or uncomfortable situations you are likely to be in when facilitating and asking questions/debriefing an activity. A facilitators job is to spark in conversation, asking questions and letting the participants grow deeper in conversation on their own level. While facilitating and debriefing, it is ideal to recognize that all people are different and take things in different ways, so it is very important to be respectful, having an open-mind. The goal of facilitated activities is just to learn or take away even just one small thing from it.

From my LDR200L class, I have observed many things. I have watched people gain knowledge from one another, and how to apply leadership in every day life. Active leadership was one of my favorite theories learned. I have taken away from this presented workshop theory. I was not always an active leader but facilitation came into this theory for me. About a month ago, I went on a sisterhood retreat with my sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, and as the Leadership Development Chair, I had the opportunity to come up with an activity and facilitate it for my whole chapter. I ended up doing one of my favorite activities called, Cross the line. This is a very serious activity and is supposed to be completely silent. I ask very personal questions and if the people behind the line agree with my statement or if it has happened to them, they were asked to cross the line. I had to take charge, quite people down saying, “this is a serious activity”, making it a big deal. Once the activity was over, I debriefed it briefly and everyone said how much of an impact it had on them. Also, a visitor from our headquarters came up to me afterward and said to me, “this is one of my favorite activities and you by far presented this better than other other person I have seen do it, great job.” I felt so proud of myself knowing that I took away this skill from LDR class and the theory workshops.

Overall, I am so happy I took this class and I can’t wait to apply everything I learned more and more throughout my next three years of college!

 

Leadership Development · Leadership Training

Mentor Reflection

A part of the Leader Advancement Scholarship protocol is that all sophomore LAS scholars have the amazing opportunity to become a mentor to a freshman LAS recipient. Going into my freshmen year, myself along with everyone in my cohort got a mentor. The purpose of mentors is to have someone as a resource, friend, and just someone to be there to answer questions, give advice, and to learn from one another at our first of four years or more at Central Michigan University. Given the opportunity to be a mentor is special, and I cannot express my excitement to be given the chance to mentor someone just like my own Mentor and G, mentored me throughout my freshman year.

My mentor, Marissa, had a clever idea to reveal herself to me with pizza. The big reveal was such a fun experience and it is so crazy to think that now it’s my turn to reveal myself to my mentee.

In our LDR 200L class, we went over an activity on how to be a good mentor and what ideas we had to bring to the table when we get our own mentees. We divided up in groups and were asked to write down our top10 things we wish we knew before coming to college or specifically Central Michigan. We all talked about what we wish we knew and it was fun but very good points were made. Then we talked about what kind of mentor we wanted to be for our mentees. Most of us wanted the same things, for example, being a friend, a shoulder to cry on, watching them grow, and just having someone to answer questions and being there. I realized that it is now my turn to step up and be a great role model/example for my mentee, while getting to know him/her and watch them grow and lead in their first year of college.

This workshop gave me so many ideas how to make my mentees first year one of their best. I want to be a good friend to my mentee and making sure that they have all the tools they need to succeed their freshman year. I will be reliable, and whenever they ask for advice, help, or just for anything in general, I will be their “go to” person. I want my mentee to realize that they got chosen to be a part of the Leadership Institute for a reason, and they are truly special. I want to have good conversations, being able to connect on a personal level, discovering what they are passionate about and how I can help them achieve there goals.

I’m determined to be the best mentor I can be. I want my mentee to know that they have the rest of my cohort as mentor’s as well. The whole Leadership Institute staff truly cares and are all mentors to the freshman. I am beyond excited for this mentorship program to finally start and can’t wait to see how unique and wonderful my mentee is.

Leadership Education

History 110LWI Reflection

One of the requirements of the Leadership Advancement Scholarship protocol is to take The American Experience history course (HST110). As a cohort, we take this class as a writing intensive so most of our tests and projects are all writing based. The American Experience course is all about American History, starting at the first civilizations in America and leading up to some more recent American experiences. This course was very beneficial to me because I learned far more in this class than I have in most other history classes taken. One of my favorite parts of this class was talking and discussing about leaders who aren’t always recognized. People usually hear  and talk about Presidents or people like Martin Luther King, but we learned about other leaders who made huge impacts on our country as well. 

This history class was enjoyable to me. I realized and noticed past mistakes Americans have made and also how we have bettered our country and have grown from what it once was. From leaders, technology, and education, our country has formed into a place where I am so proud to be a part of.

My brother Evan, and my dad absolutely love history. Listening to them talk about it has myself lost at times, but understanding the main points in history and staying attentive and interested in the subject will only make myself better more educated about what our country and world has been involved in.

Community · Leadership Development

LEAD Team Reflection

Part of the Leader Advancement Scholarship protocol is to join what is called a “LEAD Team.” It is mandatory, but there are so many different teams to get involved with. All of the events are put on by the Leadership Institute and it is a good way to publicize the Leadership Institute, getting more people involved. The event I took part in was the Relay for Life. The Leadership Institute created a group of LAS recipients to raise money for the American Cancer Society. At the event, I along with others walked, ran a table, and got to talk to a lot of people. I am so happy that I was a part of this LEAD team because I walked in memory of my good friend Addy Donahue. She was an inspiration to so many people and I was honored to walk on her behalf. 

Our LEAD Team had many issues to start did not go as I thought it would. Each LEAD team has a team leader, and ours had conflicts with meeting times so it was handled all last minute. Many of us were confused as to how we were going to do well being as our leader stepped down but we had a few girls step up, and take charge and made our Relay very successful.  We ended up raising around 1,300 dollars, took third overall raising the money for the Relay for Life.

Overall, I loved being a part of the Relay for Life team and I hope to stay involved with it. This Relay really spoke to me and I want to get even more involved with the American Cancer Society. The hope in everyone’s eyes truly touched me and any difference we can make, I want to be a part of. Every Relay at CMU has a theme, and this year it was “birthday”. It was fun because the Relay for Life wants people fighting with cancer to get the chance to celebrate as many birthdays as possible.

As a LEAD team we faced our ups and downs, but I really couldn’t have been a part of a better team. The money we raised, and the hope and comfort we gave others, makes me want to get more involved and be a part of all of Central’s future Relay’s.

Community · Leadership Development · Leadership Education · Leadership Training

LAS in the D Reflection

On February 10, 2017,  there were about 70 members of the Leadership Institute who all went to the city of Detroit. This trip was a requirement for my scholarship, but I know and saw the excitement on everyone’s faces attending this trip. Lives were impacted in ways that are indescribable and it was a trip that I will never forget.

We started off our weekend at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy where myself along with other LAS members led the students in Leadership initiative activities. I feel as if I took so much away from these students. They were so willing to participate and open up to stepping out of their comfort zones. With the few Leadership initiatives we got through 100%, I couldn’t help but recognize the excitement that was within each individual student. These students after talking with some, mentioned that they volunteered to stay after school to learn more about leadership. This was not required for any Jalen Rose student. As we went through the activities, they took time. The students gave full effort with only positivity filling the room. Even when the challenges were difficult, they never gave up and knew that working together and bringing each other up would be the best motivation to accomplish the tasks.

I had the opportunity to talk with some of the students in my group after our time was up at the high school. One student asked, “How do you define leadership?”. This made me so happy that the students, actually care about leadership and know that it is important. I responded to her and said that there is not just one leadership style. Everyone interprets leadership from different points of view. Some people like to talk while others like to sit back, watch, and evaluate. For myself personally, I told her to discover her “why”. Even though I recently just discovered mine, it makes it so much easier for me to explain what I think leadership is all about and what my purpose related to leadership is and why I do what I do. My “why” statement, “Inspire others to work together and strive for greatness, to maximize full potential” really went into play within the short few hours we were at Jalen Rose. I watched myself inspire students to work as a team and being positive the whole time, having them reach for their goals. The students accomplished that and reached the full potential. I felt as if I made an impact and I can’t wait for the many more opportunities for myself to help others reach their full potential.

img_2110

Next, after working with the students at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, we made our way towards downtown Detroit to have dinner at Quicken Loans. Driving downtown Detroit was nothing new to me. Growing up in the metro-Detroit area makes Detroit a city that isn’t too “new” for me, but what was new, was my reaction to downtown. The buildings are newer and taken care of for the most part. The new companies, businesses, and restaurants are trying to change the stigma that Detroit has. It is a city in progress but I believe places like Quicken Loans are building up the city. When we arrived at Quicken Loans we were taken to a new, modern styled conference room where they served us dinner and left us with tons of gifts. It was really nice having a CMU alumni, who was a recruiter at Quicken Loans, gave us a presentation on the many internships they offer as well as how great the opportunities they have are. Then, the Vice President of Quicken was took over the presentation, demonstrating why he decided to work for Quicken Loans by not just explaining what the daily job is. This was honestly touching. I got the “chills” after he spoke. Listening to how passionate about what he and his company were doing for Detroit was very moving and powerful. They are not just a mortgage company that I originally thought they were, they are helping Detroit move forward for the better.

After learning about the company, they took us on tours around their outstanding facilities. All of the buildings and offices so out of the ordinary and makes their company so unique. The values of Quicken Loans is focused around their “ISMS” or ideals of a genuine workplace. Just walking around their workplace, you can inquire that this company cares for its employees, customers, interns, or whoever even steps foot in their building.

After our time spent at Quicken Loans, my cohort and I attended the DIA (Detroit Institute of Arts). It was so amazing, especially from living close, I still have never been. For my first time ever, I felt connected to certain pieces of art. My favorite part there was looking at all the paintings. I never had an appreciation for art until after I left the DIA. The meanings and emotions behind every piece of art was incredible.

After the DIA, our cohort stopped for the night at the DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center on Detroit’s Riverfront. The purpose of the center is to bring the outdoors to Detroit in a fun, learning manner along with new development for people who sow interests in a career with environmental sciences or other related fields. We also had the opportunity to huddle up with our small groups, debrief the day in general and talk about our passions and goals for our lives. I stepped out of my comfort zone and learned new things about myself that I plan on bringing to the table everyday of my life. I learned how others view me as a person and some of my fellow cohort members touched my heart, describing what an incredible person/leader that they believe I am. I became connected with people I haven’t gotten the opportunity to bond with much and I feel like I understand others better now, especially learning more about each others personal lives.

On the last day of our service trip, we attended the Cass Community Center. Cass does so much to help out the Detroit community; whether it be donating food or clothes, or hiring people who would be out on the streets without a job, they are truly making a difference. At the Cass Community Center, there were four groups of volunteers. There were the paper shredders, the kitchen staff, the floor mat makers, and the food/clothing organizers. It was really cool because my senior year in high school, I had the opportunity to be a matt maker. They used recycled tires throughout Detroit to create neat mats of all different colors, along with flip-flop sandals and key chains out of tire as well. This time was different. I helped organize the clothing donated to Cass. It was eye-opening because I always have donated clothes from home to Purple Heart, or other places that take donations, but I realized now why I did that and how I am helping. So many people are homeless or can’t afford food or clothing and just by getting rid of stuff I can’t use anymore to help someone in need is inspiring and up-lifting.

Overall this trip was one I will never forget. I learned more about myself and others, and I learned how I am actually incorporating my “why” statement into my everyday life . I know that after my cohort left this trip, we all felt as if one person can change Detroit, but it will take much time and effort, but so far, Detroit is coming a long way. I believe in this city and I am proud of what myself and my cohort did over this weekend. I know now for my future leadership stance, I am going to work hard, dedicate myself to my goals, understand and work with difficulties to maximize my full potential in the rest of my college years.

Community · Leadership Development · Leadership Education

Pre-Detroit Service Trip

This Friday and Saturday, February 10th and 11th, my LAS cohort and I are traveling to Detroit. We plan on volunteering at the (JRLA) Jalen Rose Leadership Academy on Friday and Cass Community Center on Saturday morning.

I live not too far from Detroit; so going downtown, eating out, and going to Tiger’s games with family and friends has been a part of my life for a long time. Hearing about so many negatives about Detroit has really inspired me to seek and find the real good it has to offer so I am beyond excited for this trip.

The one issue that is discussed repeatedly when you hear and think of Detroit is its school system. It’s so sad having to hear how poorly run these schools truly are. Last year, not one public school in Detroit compiled with the cities health and safety codes according to time.com. From the cracked windows and mold found in classrooms, this only unmotivates students to attend school. The atmosphere you are surrounded in can either bring you up or tear you down, and for these students in Detroit, it’s usually down. The leaders in these schools also make an impact. My mother, has been a leader in a school district very similar, River Rouge, for over 30 years and I have learned about the situations she has to deal with and move forward with everyday. From all the first hand stories I have heard, these students need more leadership incorporated in their lives. From role models and support systems, these students need this. It is very hard for teachers having an average class size in the mid 40’s. It’s hard for teachers like my mom to get her lecture across, it is hard for the students who want to learn, but are distracted, and it is also hard for the students being surrounded in the bad school and environment they are in to want to learn when pressure is high. Change has been happening and it only needs to grow further.

This trip I am about to make with my cohort correlated to what we strive for in the Leadership Institute. Our vision and purpose is to learn about this city and its issues. We want to get involved in our city and contribute in any way possible.We want to show others the importance of leadership. I am very excited to be working with the students at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and helping them discover what they are passionate about while having a good time. I’m excited to learn more about the city, and discover all that it has to offer and see all the potential it has for the future.

I really believe that this trip to Detroit will help me grow as an individual. I have been blessed my whole life to never have to worry or struggle. I have been fortunate enough for the Catholic education I have received and I am only hoping to learn things from these students. I went to Cass Community Center my senior year of high school and volunteered by making floor matts out of tire. Something so small and so little can truly make a difference in the world. People coming together for the good of others and the community really fits with my “why” statement. I am excited to see so much passion and potential this weekend, seeing how much people care and want to make a difference in the city of Detroit.

 

 

Leadership Development · Leadership Education

How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Watching the TED Talk given by Simon Sinek where he discussed his “golden circle”, I have really thought about the “what”, “how”, and “why” of everything I do.

To begin, Sinek talks about how every person, organization, business, etc knows what they are doing. Some people know how they do it, but most people do not know why they do what they do. Few people can tell you what the purpose is. Few people can tell you what the cause and belief is. Even fewer people can really tell you why their organization exists (other than making profit).

This is a big deal. Why? Every single group has a purpose. Being part of a group means you should know the values of that particular group. Whether it be to help advance the world of technology, or helping people in need, or bettering the community, the passion behind the “what” is what brings out the “why”.

After watching the video and reflecting upon it, I can up with my “why” statement. I want to go forward and live out my why;

Inspire others to work together and strive for greatness, to maximize full potential.

My “why” statement basically describes how teamwork, groups, friends, or anyone in general working positively with one another, striving for the same achievements and outcomes, can really make the end goal great. Utilizing and motivating others can truly make for the best results.

Leadership Education

Yes? No? Maybe So?

Thinking about the question, “Does leadership come from a ‘yes’ or ‘no’?” My answer to this would be both. Overall I believe there are many ways to take this question into consideration.

Yes, I believe that leadership can be taken under a ‘yes’ perspective. As stated by John F. Kennedy, “one person can make a difference, and everyone should try”. It’s truly beautiful how one idea, one thought, or one person standing up and saying something that matters to them or coming up with an idea to improve the present really exists today. We see this in everyday life: protesting, speeches, movements. It only takes one person to get others involved or one person to start a campaign on their beliefs. Positivity is the best way to influence others, finding the moral problems or just saying ‘yes’ to new ideas and trying new things. If saying ‘yes’ is new, it is a start for change, attempting to make things better than they already are. So what’s wrong with change? If it doesn’t work out the way planned or wanted, at least there was an attempt for bettering the world.

No, leadership can be taken under a ‘no’ perspective as well. Leaders of today must have the strength to deny requests in the benefit of all. In my SOC220 (Intro Social & Criminal Justice) class, we have been learning in our book titled Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do? all about utilitarianism which is a theory that states that the best action is the one that maximizes ‘utility’ which is usually known as being humans or for the common good. I feel that utilitarianism can apply to leaders of today. Using myself as an example, being the President of student council my senior year of high school, I had to make decisions that not everyone wanted but I usually would end up choosing the majority opinion, to please the most people, while it being the most reasonable and appropriate request. At times, leaders have to say no. The goal that leaders should uphold would be to please people in a positive way and changing or leaving things the same, because it is benefiting the circumstance in general.

It is hard to chose just ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I really can see both perspectives and place myself in both situations while each circumstance should be taken with different precautions.

Community

A Leader who Inspires me

Pope Francis has many leadership qualities but I define him best as a man who shows acts of mercy, strength, integrity, service, love, compassion, and humility.

Pope Francis shows mercy by repeating consistently that God never gets tired of welcoming and forgiving his lost children home. The way that Pope Francis shows mercy is very heart-warming. Sometimes being the bigger person and letting things go, makes the world a better place. Forward thinking and how to move on from things in a positive way is mercy.

Strength is being able to uphold yourself in difficult situations and not backing down. Through all of the worlds struggles today, Pope Francis urges peace. He sets an example of this by taking in a refugee family that is Catholic from Syria. He believes there is a religious obligation to help these refugees in need. I believe this shows strength and integrity by wanting to help others who desperately need it because they are not safe living at their home. We are all God’s children and have a duty to help those in need.

Humility is another quality that Pope Francis holds because for example, he lives in a Vatican guest house. He could live in a huge palace but he chooses to only take what he really needs. He feels the need to be simple and to live life with just the basic necessities.

People are motivated to follow Pope Francis. There are different reasons behind this that are because they are either loyal to the Catholic Church, they like his acts of compassion and simplicity, he talks like a regular human being who is realistic and doesn’t act “above” the average person, and he is relatable. He understands how people aren’t perfect and how everyone is created in the image and likeness of God.

One quality that I really admire about Pope Francis is how he lives a simple life. I tend to forget at times how blessed and lucky I truly am to have a family, a house, friends, a college education, food, and just not very much to worry about. Sometimes, as humans we forget that how we dress and the brands we own really don’t matter at all. Some people don’t have family or a place to live and many times, people like myself will take that for granted. Being more self-less like Pope Francis would be a goal that all people should consider.

Overall the leadership style Pope Francis portrays, I feel is very relatable to how I want to live my life. Not taking anything for granted, living life to fullest, appreciating ALL life, serving others, and showing that I am a strong person will make me a harder worker and be more understanding of others and myself in general.

Leadership Training

Spark Leadership

Central Michigan University offers many leadership training programs that brings out so much from an individual: and that it was spark did for me. On Friday, January 20th, 60 students registered to attend this program. I along with a few other LAS recipients attended, I and truly believe it was such an inspirational, meaningful program. You can click here for more information on what SPARK is all about.

What I loved most about SPARK is that I found out my personal leadership style and I feel it fits correctly. I am a considerate leader and I learned all about what that means. There are four main leadership styles and they are being spirited, considerate, direct, and systematic.

The part I will take most away from SPARK is showing empathy more than sympathy. Empathy really shows that you are putting yourself in someone else’s shoes while sympathy is showing just pure sorrow or misfortune for someone. Saying that “oh I know what you are going through”, or “me too”, only takes away from the person and you are shifting the focus off that one individual and bringing it upon yourself. Instead, saying something to the effect of, “wow, I can’t imagine what you are going through, I’m glad you told me” or “let me know if you need anything, I am here” really can make all the worlds difference and I plan on fixing and switching from doing the first to doing the second, making others feel more important in that situation, as they should.