Leadership Education

LDR 200L

{Reflecting on my time in the LAS section of LDR 200}

As a member of the Leader Advancement Scholarship, we take LDR 200 the spring of our Freshman year as a cohort. Every Wednesday evening, myself, and the rest of my cohort attend a 3 hour class solely on building our leadership skills. At the beginning, I was a bit nervous about being in class for 3 hours because I do not always have the longest attention span, but LDR is not your average class and we were constantly doing activities in class. Let me share a few of the things we did or learned about in LDR 200. To learn more about some of them, I included links to other blogs that were specifically written on that topic.

Leadership Theory Workshop

All 50 people in my class were randomly assigned to groups where we were then  assigned a theory from our Leadership textbook. Mine was, the Adaptive Leadership Theory and I worked with Allie, Jake, and Blake. In general, Adaptive Leadership is about adapting to challenging situations or change as a leader and how you can do that in the best interest of your followers. For me personally, this theory was very interesting and helpful to learn about because we are constantly adapting as leaders and people. Our workshop and my findings will now help me be more of an adaptive leader who knows how to navigate tough challenges and lead an organization or group through change. This project was valuable because we were able to learn about so many different leadership theories, which will be very helpful in the long run. To learn more, click the link above.

Leadership Initiative

We took on this project at the very beginning of the semester. The class was  separated into groups of two and given themes to base our initiative off of. The theme my partner and I were given was motivation. As leaders, not only do we need to stay motivated, but we must be able to motivate others. With that in mind, Sadie and I asked all of our participants to pair up and write something motivating about one another. We did not want them to just write something nice about each other, we wanted them to dig deeper and motivate one another. Next, Sadie and I had everyone watch a motivating video about leadership. Finally, when all of the tasks were done, we debriefed and talked about how they felt about both activities and whether it was easy to get beyond saying something nice and actually achieving a level of motivation. In the words of John Maxwell, “Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them”.

LAS in the D Trip

This was one of the most outstanding activities in the class. As a cohort and class we were able img_4628to spend 30 hours in Detroit learning about the city, helping the city, and touring different parts of the city. My other blog talks about this experience more in-depth but while there we went to Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, Quicken
Loans, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Outdoor Adventure Center, and Cass Community Center. With each new location came a new experience and view of the culture of Detroit. It was just an all together valuable time our cohort spent together outside of the dorms and Central. To find out more, click the link above.

Signing our Leadership Minor

For those that do not know, the Leadership minor in mostly built into our LAS protocol. Due to that, most of us decide to minor in leadership because we only have to take one extra course. One of those people is me {yay}. So as a part of our class, Jamie Brown, the Leadership Minor Academic Advisor, came into our class and talked us through details and requirements of the minor. At that time, we are able to fill out the form and sign our minor. For me it was very relieving because it was one thing I didn’t have to worry about. With my Leadership minor signed, I have now signed both minors and my intent to major!

How to Be the Best Mentor

As a Leadership Scholar, we get mentors who are in the cohort ahead of us. Then at the end of our Freshman year in LDR 200L we pick our mentees for the coming year! To prepare, we learn about being the best mentor for all of the mentees. The workshop is based on the mentees and how we can make their experience the best. Also, we talk about what we want for the mentees and how to help them through their first year in college. It was a very helpful part of LDR 200L and really made me think about my mentee and what I want for her. To learn more, click on the link above.

Blogs

As you can see, I have this lovely blog documenting my freshman year at CMU. What you may not know about it though is that this blog is a part of LDR 200L and we have specific experiences we write about to display what we have done and how it has impacted us. A large part of blogging for us is the “What, So What, Now What” outline. “What” explains just that, what did we do at this event or in that RSO (Registered Student Organization). The “So What” section includes what you learned from the experience. Finally, “Now What” is the hardest piece because it discusses what you will do because of that experience. Overall, I actually enjoyed blogging and it has become an outlet for me to share my thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

Leadership Philosophy

This part of LDR 200L is the most deeply reflective portion. All of us were put up to the task of writing a paper and blog page about our personal Leadership Philosophy. It challenged us to dig deep into our beliefs and ultimately the core values of our leadership. This paper encompasses who I am as a leader and what I believe as a leader. The paper itself is personal and delves beyond the values I hold for myself and into what I value in other leaders. Finally, it has my philosophy which {spoiler alert} has to do with empathy and being an empathetic leader. This blog and paper will be a constant reminder of who I believe I am and who I continue to become. To read more, click the link above.

{After Everything}

Summing everything up, LDR 200L was an interesting, thought-provoking, and enjoyable class. Not only was I able to bond with people in my cohort, but I was also able to participate in activities that led to learning, and pushed me to further develop my leadership skills. LDR 200L was a perfect way to end my freshman year in college as a student in LAS.

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Leadership Education

HST 110L

 •Reflecting on my time in History 110L about Immigration•

This class was Monday nights from 3:30 until 6:20… a three-hour lecture on immigration. History 110L is a class about the American Experience and it is a Writing Intensive Course. Now don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy history and learning about our past, but I was very nervous/not thrilled about having a three-hour history lecture because lectures can get very boring. However, I think our teacher did a pretty good job at keeping the class going and mixing things up with something different once in awhile. Overall, HST 110L turned out to be more than I expected and I learned some very interesting information about immigration.

In our class, we learned about Immigration in America. Being that this class was a writing intensive course, we have multiple papers to write and a group project. The group project was where I learned the most from this class because it was on leaders who were also immigrants to America. Working  with Ethan Petzold and Ryan Timm, I learned about Madeleine Albright. This intelligent and strong lady was the first woman to serve as  Secretary of State for the United States. Born in 1937 in the Czech Madeleine-1120x600-ARepublic, the rise of Hitler forced Madeleine and her family to flee the country when she was very young. After living in Britain, a short return to Czechoslovakia, and time in Yugoslavia where her father served as the Czech Ambassador,  the family finally ended up in the United States where Madeleine attended school and eventually started her career in politics. Today we see Madeleine Albright as a strong female presence in politics who fights for women’s rights along with other causes. As a  mother of three daughters, Madeleine juggled family, education, career, and service and did so with grace and perseverance. During our research, I discovered some killer Madeleine Albright quotes.  She had memorable things to say that still ring true today.

After taking this history class, I want to learn more about leaders who immigrated. Whether a leader who immigrated to America or another country, I find it fascinating how they become so influential in their new country, while carrying with them the lessons and experiences from the country they left. Furthermore, I want to investigate how they become leaders in the country they immigrated to. What pushed that specific person to become a leader and how did they achieve their goals?  Another topic I want to learn more about because of this class and the current turmoil in our country, is different immigration exclusions. I wrote one of my essays on the Chinese Exclusion Act. My findings about this Act were very interesting and informative on current situation in the United States.

Leadership Education

Adaptive Leadership

Adaptive Leadership Theory •  LDR 200L Workshop

Adapt: (Verb) Make suitable for a new use or purpose, modify

When we received our topics for our Leadership Theory workshop, I was delighted. Since coming to college, all I (and everyone else around) do is adapt to every new situation thrown our way, especially freshman year. As stated above, when someone or something adapts they modify themselves for a new purpose. People adapt everyday and sometimes even multiple times a day, so for this theory we just had to think about everyday situations a leader may face.

History behind this theory: The Adaptive Leadership Theory made its first appearance in 1994.  Ronald Heifetz, the researcher behind this theory published his book Leadership Without Easy Answers, which was based on his findings regarding adaptive leadership. After publishing his first book, Heifetz continued his studies and brought multiple other researchers in to help with this process. A few of his associates were, Sinder, Grashow, Linsky, and Laurie. Prior to Heifetz and his associates, there were  not extensive studies on adaptive leadership so they are known as the founders this theory.

Information about the Theory: With this specific leadership theory there are four different perspective to look at and six behaviors. The perspectives include biology, service, psychotherapy, and systems. Each perspective has a different idea about adaptation in leadership and explains how each fits into the theory. The six behaviors, include; Get on the Balcony, Identify Adaptive Challenges, Regulate Distress, Maintain Disciplined Attention, Give Work Back to the People, and Protect Leadership Voices from Below. Each of the behaviors provide an outline of what a Leader should do when they are adapting. Also, each behavior flows into the next one, and a good adaptive leader will use all six behaviors when adapting to new situations. Finally, like all theories, Adaptive Leadership has its strengths and weaknesses. A strength of the theory is that it is very follower centered, so the leader is doing things specifically for the followers and both parties have responsibilities. On the other hand, a weakness is Adaptive Leadership is a very broad and abstract theory so it is sometimes hard to nail down what it precisely is.

This theory is about adapting to different leadership situations. So in light of that, a few examples of the Adaptive Leadership Theory in action are, LAS in the D, my Grilled Cheese Fundraiser, and in general getting a leadership position in any club. First, LAS in the D was the epitome of adaptive leadership. Throughout the trip logistics were constantly changing and we had to “willow” with it as Jesi would say. This trip encompassed the use of all six adaptive behaviors whether it was all at once or periodically throughout the 30 hours we were there. A specific instance of this, is regulating distress and how the leaders of LAS in the D always made sure everyone knew what was going on and what was expected of them. Also, I used the six behaviors the week I organized my sorority’s Grilled Cheese Fundraiser. I was constantly adapting to every new situation that arose, including the fact that we put on our first philanthropy week. For Grilled Cheese, one of the behaviors I was constantly using was “protect Leadership Voices from Below”. Throughout the week and even before, I always asked my sisters for their ideas and what they thought would be good for us. Finally, a more general display of adaptive leadership is when someone takes on a new leadership role.

Leadership Education

Yes’ vs. No’s

Mystery Blog • LDR 200L • 1/29/17

Yes, Leaders Say No!

When we received our syllabus for LDR 200 there was an outline for each and every blog post or page to be written this semester. However, all this blog said was “Mystery Blog”.  Saturday morning Jesi finally emailed us with this mysterious topic. Her message simply stated “Does leadership come from a yes or a no”?  BUT there’s a catch, we {the bloggers of LDR 200} must decide yes or no, there can be no sometimes or both. We have to definitively say that our own beliefs or practices of leadership come more from yeses or noes. As I sit here at my desk in Barnes 215 drinking tea, I am pondering whether I as a leader use more yeses or noes and whether I believe leaders who say yes more are more productive/ effective or if it’s the other way around, while also wishing I could say both. My conclusion is that I believe leadership comes from saying NO and here is why.

As I said above, after much tea (and Bach), I concluded leadership comes from saying no, but I will explain why and what makes me think this way. Earlier in the year I read the book Choosing Civility by P.M. Forni, which describes the 25 rules for being a civil human {an important characteristic for a leader}. One of the rules is “Respect even a subtle no”. In this chapter, the author talked about how saying no is critical in many situations and respecting when a person says no is just as critical. Forni went in depth about not pushing people when they do say no. As a result of reading that chapter, I realized that leaders need to be able to say no and that it is, in fact, okay to say no! Many of us know, as a leader, it is easy to say yes to everything and everyone but what makes a leader strong and impactful is the ability to say no. Leadership is about making the hard decisions for your group and being able to stand up for what you and the group believe in. Saying no is not a bad thing especially when as a leader you have your group in mind. The women who organized the recent Women’s March on Washington gathered around a heartfelt and resounding NO that stood for the beliefs of many. NO, we are not okay with this! NO, we will not remain silent! From that NO, four leaders rose and organized millions of voices around the world.  

To be effective as a leader, you need to focus your time and energy on the few specific things you are working on at that time, so you need to be able to say no to getting too involved. If you cannot say no to adding more and more activities you will eventually become overwhelmed and will no longer be the leader you want to be. I experienced this coming to CMU this fall. There were so many organizations and causes to become involved with. At first I wanted to say yes to so many of them, but I soon realized that the time requirements were taxing my overall efficiency and quality of work. I had to say NO and focus my efforts.

While we may believe that leaders say yes, some of the strongest leaders rise by saying NO! Image result for no

Leadership Education

We Become what We Think

LAS Protocol Class » PSY 100L » Introduction to Psychology » Freshman Year/ Semester 1

 

Overview:

This blog is about the Psychology 100L class I took. As part of the Leadership Advancement Scholarship each cohort takes the Psychology 100L class the first semester of our Freshman year. My cohort had Professor Matthew Prewett with class Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:45. It was an intro class so we touched on the many different parts of Psychology instead of going in-depth on one specific subject. Before taking this course I thought it would be one of the easy first semester courses that I would be able to breeze through, however I was wrong. Here is the description of my experience in Psychology 100L

What I learned:

I learned about the many different aspects of Psychology as I said before. A few things we learned about in this course were the different parts of the brain and their functions, disorders such as bipolar, anxiety, and depression, and we learned about the founders and history of psychology. Additionally, I learned about various aspects of Psychology that I can apply to leadership. I now know the value of using things such as positive reinforcements, and reward systems. I also learned how to successfully navigate a course that was half classroom time and half online. We had lectures every Tuesday and Thursday but in addition to the lectures we used Mindtap, which is an online learning source. All of our assignments were through Mindtap, so I always had to be on the ball when things were due because no one was there to remind me. Thankfully I had my whole cohort struggling with similar things so we all kept one another on top of everything in this class. Another thing I gained from Psychology was strategies to teach myself when I was not learning everything I should in class. This was the most difficult part for me especially the first few weeks but as the semester progressed I got better and thankfully my tests scores showed that.

What I thought of the class:

I found this class interesting and enjoyed learning about the different aspects of psychology. Also, the teacher, Dr. Prewett, was very understanding and helpful which always makes a class better. However, I did not like how we only touched on the extremely broad subject of Psychology. I struggled with how the class was taught and had a hard time learning the material we covered. As a result, I spent many hours in Club Lib {the Library} studying and making up for what I did not gain during class. Overall, Psychology 100L was not my favorite class, but I did learn how to deal with a class I did not entirely like and still succeed in it.

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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

Leadership Education

Choosing Civility

LDR 100 • LAS Group Project • December 7th

Overview:

This is a blog about the book my group read for our LDR 100 group presentation. The book was Choosing Civility and my group was myself, Sarah, Riley, Jacob, Billy, Julia, Ash, and Vanessa. The book Choosing Civility is about the 24 rules of civility which is by definition “formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech”. These 24 rules  describe how to live life and treat people with civility. Furthermore, it is explained that these rules help create caring leaders and overall, develop care for others. Personally, I appreciated the book and enjoyed reading the different rules. Also, I liked learning about how to adopt the 24 rules into daily life in order to become a better person and leader. Overall, the book gives the reader ways to become a better human in the world we live in today and with one comes many.

Project:

For our project that went along with the book we chose to do two smaller projects. Concerning the first project, we went around Barnes, the Leadership Institute, and North Campus handing out positive affirmations. A few of the quotes/ notes we handed out were… “Dream Big”, “Worry less & Smile more”, “Believe in Yourself”, and Happy mind, Happy Life”. With the positive affirmations we handed out over 100 little notes to many different people {Hopefully brightening their days}. It was wonderful to see the people smile when we handed out notes or say that it’s just what they needed today. Through this project we choose civility and spoke kindly to others. During the next project the 8 people in my group make positive notes for specific people in our LAS cohort. I had 6 people to write notes about and really tried to make them personal and loving. My 6 people were my best friend Ryan, my roommate Olivia, my AST sister Ellen, my friends Mary & Blake, and my soon to be roommate Alexa. Knowing these 6 very well, I was able to write more about them, refrain from idle compliments and acknowledge them.

What I Learned:

To become a good leader and over all human you must CHOOSE CIVILITY every hour of every day. Furthermore, you can make a huge difference by considering these 24 rules and living by them. Even if it’s just one person you will have a positive impact on their lives and positivity flows from person, to person. Also, it is ok to mess up, we are only human and it happens, but if you follow the rules they will become a part of your life and you won’t have to think about it. Finally, I learned how to adopt the rules into my everyday life whether I am a leader or not. It is about changing the world one civilized person at a time, but as I said before, you only need one person to start a movement and positivity is a movement.

The Rules:

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Acknowledge Others
  3. Think the Best
  4.  Listen
  5. Be Inclusive
  6. Speak Kindly
  7. Don’t Speak Ill
  8. Accept and Give Praise
  9. Respect even a Subtle “No”
  10. Respect Others Opinions
  11. Mind your Body
  12. Be Agreeable
  13. Keep it Down
  14. Respect other People’s Time
  15. Respect other People’s Space
  16. Apologize Earnestly
  17. Assert Yourself
  18. Avoid Personal Questions
  19. Care for your Guests
  20. Be a Considerate Guest
  21. Think twice before asking for Favors
  22. Refrain from Idle Compliments
  23. Accept and Give Constructive Criticism
  24. Don’t Shift Responsibility and Blame