Leadership Education

Leadership Lectures

Leadership Lectures › Connections Conference › Workshop Sessions

While at the Connections Conference, I had the privilege of attending three Leadership Lectures that I would like to highlight for you. If you would like to know more about the conference in general I have another blog titled Connections are Leadership. But, here are highlights from the wonderful workshops I went to and I hope you enjoy them and find a little nugget to take away.

{Jesi Ekonen • Happy Hour}

Let me just start off with saying that this was one of the most amazing workshops I have attended. Jesi {although I may be a bit biased since she is the LAS advisor} was a great presenter and the entire workshop was engaging, well put together, and had great content. I seriously felt happy after this workshop and I felt ready to do more with happiness in my leadership and everyday life.

So, the first thing we did was write down what happiness is to us and what happiness is not to us. For me happiness is music, movie nights with friends, Facetiming my mom or boyfriend, spending time with my friends, skiing with my dad, life talks with Em, snuggles, mac & cheese, cozy clothes, family, Christmas time, and of course coffee. On the other hand, for me happiness is not fake people, disrespect, stress, people who blow things off, global warming, and very very cold weather {like right now}. Then we started talking about a company called Zappos and their goal of Spreading Happiness Globally. Zappos is an online company BUT their main priority is having the best employees with the best customer service. From that priority came their long-term mission to spread worldwide happiness. This goal is backed up by their ten core values which are below for you to browse. After talking about Zappos, Jesi talked about how we are leaders can adopt that enormous goal and live like Zappos. Also, she went over how as leaders or even followers we can be that happiness and bring it into our different groups to improve and enhance what we do. A few of the points Jesi went over were, the importance of love languages, positive team spirit, the ability to trust everyone in your organization, and in general how to make things more fun. Furthermore, Jesi expressed the importance of recolonization, building others up, and being intentional.

Now here are some of my personal takeaways from this workshop and what I am trying to do within my organizations. It is extremely important to connect with your group on a personal level because that will develop trust and overall happiness. Also, make the things you do all the time more fun and enjoyable for people. If you do that, more people will participate and they will be happy to do so. Finally, encourage your followers. This is perhaps the most important aspect I learned because if people are encouraged and supported they will be able to achieve anything and as a group you will be able to do anything and everything.

Zappos Ten Core Values:

  1. Deliver WOW through service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create fun and a little weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous, creative, and open- minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More with Less
  9. Be Passionate and determined
  10. Be Humble

{Kaela Humm & Royce Humm • Growing your Goals}

This workshop was an outstanding help for me because while I do have many goals, I do not always write them and I do not always plan specific ways to achieve those goals. Also, during this workshop we were very specific with the goals we developed. I found this very helpful because many times I am not the most specific person when it comes to creating goals. Finally, the Humm’s, our presenters, were fabulous in the way they presented and with their depth of  information. Here is what I learned from this workshop and some of the goals I developed during the session.

First, we talked about SMART goals which are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals. The Humm’s then went further and discussed objectives which are specific tasks you need to complete in order to accomplish a goal. They also talked about managing your priorities. A few ways you can do that are by deciding what makes the largest impact, what is the easiest, which one will take the longest, and what aligns with other goals. After explaining goals and how to make them, we {the participants} were able to create goals of our own. Several of my goals are; “get into the CDO major fall of 2018”, “Be on E-Board for my sorority for the 2017-2018 year” and “Get a position in my sorority for the 2016-2017 year”. One of the goals I already achieved is getting a position in my sorority this year as a freshman. I plan on achieving all my other goals with the help of this workshop and planning out exactly how I will accomplish them. After goals, the Humm’s went on to talk about mission statements, what they are and how to make one. Overall, mission statements are the purpose or what you tell someone when they ask why you’re here. Concerning mission statements, you have to think about what motivates people and why you are doing whatever you’re doing. The example we went over was Disney’s mission statement which is “We Create Happiness” and that comes before everything else no matter what. Consequently, they then challenged us to create our own mission statements. In the end mine states, “As a person I strive to be an accepting, respectful, and caring human. In the world I will be an ethical, compassionate, and gracious leader in whatever I do”.  All in all, I took away so much from that workshop and now will be able to make SMART goals and accomplish everything I put my mind too.

{Jamie Brown • Taking Care of your Leadership Garden}

This was another valuable workshop I attended while at the connections Conference. This session was all about how to grow your leadership and how to understand what your followers need. So here is the Taking Care of your Leadership Garden workshop, what we did and what I learned from Jamie Brown.

The first concept Jamie Brown talked about was different ideas to plant {like seeds}. A few of the ideas include identifying weak spots and working on them, intentional acts of kindness, making board positions more fun and interactive with the entire club, more reaching out throughout the entire club not just with friends, nurturing people so they are supported and productive, and having a great sense of trust with members or followers. Then we moved into discussing what followers need in our different organizations. For followers needs in my organizations, I put more encouragement, more interaction, better communication, incentives to complete goals, more direction, stepping in when needed, modeling enthusiasm and positivity, and more opportunities in general. Next, we talked about what a leader should be and how you can grow to become a great leader. Several characteristics that make a great leader are being able to engage people even after the first few weeks, having a vision, being able to switch between leadership styles, seeking input, and making people feel comfortable. Also, we talked about playing into your strengths and if multiple people are in a leadership role play into everyone’s strengths and some people can be direct and some be supportive.

10 Tips for Successful Leadership:

  1. Make Good use of your resources
  2. Start with engaging your team and keep improving it
  3. Plan a vision for yourself, team and organization
  4. Obtain good mentoring, advice and support
  5. Control for chaos and challenges
  6. Establish your moral principles and do what is right
  7. Listen to issues and identify before jumping to conclusions
  8. Visit your team, vision, and role daily
  9. Only lead when it’s necessary
  10. Work to get your team to peak quality

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