Leadership Education

Philosophy 118

Moral Problems: a LAS required Course

When you think about Philosophy many people think about wisdom and beliefs. When I think about it… I think of a semester with Gary Fuller and a semester of discussing how to decide if something is moral or not. The phrase “we are going to slow down our thinking” echos throughout Anspach every Tuesday and Thursday at 8 AM. This class has been very interesting to take compared to many of my other classes. I mean this in a good way because most of my class is based on discussion and I have learned so much about various issues in today’s society.

So what have I learned while taking Moral Problems? Somewhat building off of the Debate class we took as a cohort in the Fall of 2016, I learned more about how to create an argument and back it up with logic and reason. During the class we discussed many “hot” topics in society today. This included abortion, euthanasia, terrorism, war, and other issues in the news today. With each topic, we broke it down into smaller sections and talked about whether it was morally right, morally wrong, or situational based. When deciding whether an issue is morally right or wrong, we employed the idea of a teeter-totter. Picture the issue in the middle of the teeter-totter and one side being right and the other side wrong. As we added reasons for each, on the appropriate side, the teeter totter would metaphorically go back and forth until the class had decided. Additionally, during class it was okay to have opposing ideas to one another as long as we could back up our ideas with well thought out reasons. Mornings spent hashing through opposing views sure got our brains working at 8:00 AM!  One example of opposing views was that physician assisted suicide is wrong because it allows man to play God. While the opposing view was that physician assisted suicide is right because it acknowledges someone’s human right to die with dignity. Whatever side of the teeter-totter our personal beliefs stacked up on, we had to explain or defend with solid reasons and a strong argument. Finally, Moral Problems provided an opportunity for me to deepen my understanding about so many current topics or issues that I knew about and thought I understood. This class opened my eyes up to more aspects of euthanasia and terrorism and I now know more and can much more skillfully engage in discussion with others.

How does this pertain to Leadership? Overall, philosophy and learning a little bit about it can help a leader greatly. Specifically, I think it has helped me with understand how to decide if an issue is morally right. This is not a decision that a leader can determine simply from their own perception or beliefs. As leaders, we must carefully consider both sides of the teeter-totter and have substantial reasons to back up any moral determination. As leaders, it benefits us to deepen knowledge and understanding on both sides of an issue. Without deep understanding and the ability to engage in moral discussions, how can leaders truly influence others?

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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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