Leadership Development

Competition Day {Behind the scenes}

A behind the scenes look at my LEAD Team

As recipients of the Leadership Advancement Scholarship, we all have requirements to meet every year. One of those requirements is to be on one of the many lead teams. A lead team is a group of LAS students who come together to plan a specific event(s) or make the program better. To name a few, there is the Diversity Lead Team, Grad Ball Lead Team, and my Lead team, Competition Day. This year I had the honor of serving on this lead team as the Sophomore Chair along with Hannah, the Junior chair and Bellal, the Senior chair. The three of us were in charge of our lead team and ultimately planning and executing Competition Day. Together, we spent months planning, having workshops, and getting other organizations involved to make this year the best Comp Day yet.

This year, we tried to shake the day up a bit and change things around to make it better. One of the biggest and more notable changes was moving the reception from a classroom into the Powers ballroom. Before this switch the reception was very cramped and hard to move around. As a result of the change, there was much more space to move around and talk with everyone. The switch made the reception less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone involved. Another change we made was having two workshops prior to competition day for the Student Guides and Interviews. This allowed us to go more in depth about our expectations for them and talk about how the day would play out. Also, with one of the workshops we focused on implicit bias and had a chance to discuss different aspects of that topic. Both of these switches were extremely instrumental in making this year’s Competition Day amazing.

Through being a lead team chair for competition day, I learned more about the LAS program and everything that goes into planning one of our biggest days of the year. There are so many different moving parts during the actual day such as the multiple student groups and parent groups. Also, we checked all of the rooms to make sure they were set up correctly and had everything we needed. Finally, we set up alternate dates for interviews for competitors who were unable to make it to competition day for various reasons.

For me, this has been one of the greatest experiences I have had here at Central and in the Leadership Institute. Helping plan a day where we are able to see the next leaders come to campus and help to grow the LAS program as well as the Leadership Institute was very special. The Leadership Advancement Program has given me so much these past two years and I am so excited to welcome the next group of leaders into the family.

Last but certainly not least, I am so grateful for the wonderful team I was able to work with for this event. Since it was my first year as a chair, most of my time was spent learning what to do. Bellal and Hannah helped me understand everything and we all supported one another. I look forward to working with Hannah as we take things up another notch and make the 2019 Comp Day even better!

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Leadership Development

Leadership Launch Round 2!

Leadership Launch: Round Two

Last year I had the honor of being one of the guides for the second Leadership Launch. This event is organized through the Leadership Institute and Special Olympics Michigan. In November, I was again able to join the Lead Team for the third Launch which was held in Ann Arbor. The Superhero theme illustrated that everyone can be a superhero. The team was thrilled to have representatives from National Special Olympics attend and take part in the activities.

Similar to last year, I was a guide for the athletes and their counterparts. As a guide, I led my group through different activities and watched them grow throughout the day. My team, Iron Man Yellow, consisted of 7 amazing student leaders. Together, we went through three different aspects of leadership imagination, teamwork, perspective, and empowerment.  During each section, my participants had great conversations about various aspects of leadership and how they interpreted each aspect. We also had many laughs throughout the day within our group and bonded in the hours we spent together. At the end of the day, every participant made an action plan about how they wanted to continue after that day. The plan included aspects like what they wanted to do at their school or in their community, resources that could help accomplish their plan, and specific actions they could take to accomplish the goal. Also, before leaving, each person at Launch wrote a Thank You letter to their personal superhero. My participants wrote letters to a teacher or parent and described how much that individual had helped them and made a difference in their life.

Every time I work with Special Olympics and the athletes involved, I am reminded of how much fun it is. Whether I am participating in Leadership Launch, Polar Plunge, or the Winter Games, I always learn something and have some of the best experiences. Special Olympics allows for athletes to grow in so many aspects while also creating fun opportunities.

Leadership Launch Round Two was a definite success.

Leadership Development

Leadership Launch

October 28th → Special Olympics Leadership Launch → Team MilkyWay Magenta

First and foremost this blog is a reflection about my Lead Team for the Leadership Advancement Scholarship. A Lead Team is a group of students in the LAS program who all work together for something specific like a workshop, Competition Day, or Grad Ball. My Lead Team was the Special Olympics and we facilitated a program called the Leadership Launch. As a team, we met once a week and planned for our day of facilitating and fun. Within our Lead Team we were paired together to be co-guides for the students coming to Leadership Launch and were given cool space names. My co and I were MilkyWay Magenta and I must say, we were the most out of this world group.

The Leadership Launch is a part of Special Olympics Project Unified. Project Unified promotes equality in schools and athletics for students with disabilities. Through this project, we created a day full of leadership and fun for students with disabilities and their “buddy”. All of the activities they participated in helped these kids see and think of themselves as leaders whether that be in their schools or on different teams. It was a period of time where these students could be whatever and whoever they wanted no matter what. It was fascinating to watch all the kids think about what they were learning and talk about applying it to their lives and how they could be the “leaders of today”, as Dan Gaken would say.

Something from this day that stuck with me more than anything was one of the activities we did with all the students. This particular activity was about their dreams for the world and how they wanted the world the change. In my group participants said things like they wanted a world that did not use the R word, a world with more happiness, and a world that was inclusive for everyone including them. When they were going around and saying all of their dreams and aspirations for the world, it was a very powerful moment for me. I have always wanted to work in Special Education and my family has always been very involved in Special Ed BUT that day, I had a moment where everything seemed to fall into place. It was a powerful moment for me and a time when   I knew what I wanted to do with my life and how I wanted to live. I knew then, that I wanted to make the world a better place for people with disabilities even if it is only one person.

Overall, this day was one for the books and it will forever have an impact on my life and how I want to live. Besides having fun and being involved with my passion, I learned something from the students there and from them I learned things about myself that I would not have learned without them. I now count down the days until I do my next event with Special Olympics because of the pure joy it brings to everyone including myself. ♥

 

 

 

Leadership Development

My Why Statement

Simon Sinek Ted Talk : How Great Leaders Inspire Action • LDR 200 Reflection

This lovely blog is about a Ted Talk we watched in class. Simon Sinek is the speaker and it is entitled How Great Leaders Inspire Action. Overall, it is about how leaders create action in their groups and how they inspire their followers. He talks in the podcast about the way people or companies display things using the what, how, and why model or the GImage result for how great leaders inspire action simon sinekolden Circle. Sinek goes on to explain that throughout the world people or companies convey ideas and products in the order of what, how, and why which is the normal everyday bland way to do things. However, places that really get people to do things or buy there products are the ones that do the system “inside out” so why, how, what. People do not care about what you’re doing, they care more about why you are doing it. From there, Sinek goes into explaining that the ‘golden circle’ is actually apart of biology and that each section of the circle is part of the brain. When people take from the inside out you’re talking to the part of the brain that is in charge of behaviors. Furthermore, he gives the audience examples of companies that do this such as Apple. Lastly, if you would like to watch this wonderful video press the blue Ted Talk above and it will take you to the link {YAY}.

Through this video I leaned how to be a great leader and inspire my followers. Although he may talked about companies like Apple he related it and we can relate it to our everyday lives and our own leadership. In order to be a good leader you need to be passionate about what you are doing and you need to understand your why statement. If you personally do not know your why statement no one else will know it and they will not be as motivated to follow you. If you start with why you can get people hooked and inspire them to do something amazing. 

Below is my “Why Statement” which is a statement that displays why I do what I do and what I want to gain from my involvements. It is something I strive to live by each and every day and now I will be able to literally see it whenever I need a reminder of what my purpose is and what My Why is. Also, we went in-depth on our five core values and what they mean to us as individuals. {My five core values are acceptance, Compassion, Leadership, Trust, and Respect.} Additionally my number 1 value is Respect because especially in today it is extremely important to respect one another. As a leader you need to respect your followers so they can in turn respect you. Finally, from watching this Ted Talk I will now live by my Why Statement and my core values. I have all of them written down to remind myself when I struggle. I will be able to remind myself the values I strive to live by in my everyday life and continue living them even when I falter. 

My why Statement: {Inspire others too make a positive impact on the world, love fearlessly, and find their true passions}

You may be asking yourself “Now What” are you going to do with this WHY statement? Well, now I will live, learn, and lead by my statement. This statement will forever be a reminder of why I am here fulling my passions. Now I want to do everything by this statement to everyone in my community can also understand WHY. Also, now I was to dig deeper and go further with my WHY. A few ways I can do this are going to Leadershape through the Leadership Institute and other conferences. I want to further develop this statement and make it something I can use for the rest of my life. I want to go out into the world and inspire others which exactly what I am going to do ♥

 

 Image result for how great leaders inspire action simon sinek

Leadership Development · Random

Flourishing Friendships

Mentor Mentee Retreat > September 11-12th > Eagle Village

The weekend of September 11th I had the opportunity to go to Eagle Village with my LAS cohort and our mentors from the cohort ahead of us. During the retreat, we organized into smaller groups with 7 mentor/ mentee pairs to work on our relationships and our leadership skills. Time was spent bonding with our mentor as well as getting to know more of the people in LAS. Overall, it was an amazing weekend and I really got to know some of the most incredible people in the world.

I bet you are wondering what we did to grow in our relationships and as leaders. Well, here’s a little blurb about a few of the activities and what I learned from them. First, when we got into our groups we shared our “road maps”. All of the mentees had to make some type of representation or “road map” of who we are and highlights about our lives. Mimg_2254ine was a tree with the roots being the people who root me in life and who support me, including my mentor, parents, friends, and family. The trunk of the tree was who I am today, a Leadership Advancement Scholar, Communication Disorder Major, daughter, and friend. Finally, the leaves of my tree were pictures with the most important people and pivotal events in my life. After sharing our “road maps”, we got into groups and completed various tasks. One task my group did was the ameba. We all were blindfolded
and our ‘guide’ tied us in a clump together. Then, he randomly placed a stuffed animal somewhere in the room and we had to use teamwork aimg_2368nd strategy to find it together. From this I learned that there are times to be a vocal leader and times to listen and follow. I thought this ameba task was something fun and different than many other teamwork activities I have done. The final activity to highlight is the high ropes course. This was by far my favorite event
of the weekend because it really pushed me completely out of my comfort zone. I am terrified of  heights, so being on the high ropes course scared me a lot. BUT I did it and spent over an hour going through the course. I realized that fears can be overcome and I can accomplish things that at first seem impossible or frightening. Just take that first step. This activity also made me realize what a difference support from others can make. Together we are better! I honestly had so much fun and I was so proud of myself for fighting my fears.

The best part of the weekend was not the activities or learning to be a better leader, it was having time to bond with my mentor Em. During the retreat, she and I were aimg_2539ble to just chill, talk about everything and anything, and even take a nap. Em was there the whole time to push me out of my comfort zone, encourage me, and take risks with me. The moment I first met Emily, we connected and learning she was mentor gave me so much to look forward to this fall. Since coming to college Em and I have become so close that she is like the sister I never had growing up…in fact I think we are more like twins! Spending time with Emily, getting to know one another even more, growing together as leaders, and learning how we can support each other was truly the highlight of the LAS retreat at Eagle Village.

Overall, as I said above it was a wonderful weekend. I was able to bond with my phenomenal mentor Emily, meet/ get to know so many people in the Leadership Advancement program, work on my leadership, and just have a fun weekend.