Service

Circle K

Circle K is a collegiate service based organization (not the gas station). It is a part of the Kiwanis family which is an international organization. In the Kiwanis family there is K-Kids, Builders Club, Key Club, Circle K, Action Club, and Kiwanis. I became a part of this group when I joined my high schools Key Club. I loved my experiences in key club especially being a chair on the District Board for Wisconsin Upper Michigan. When I came to Central, Sean a friend from home who was in Key Club with me told me about CKI here. He let me know when the meetings were and got me to start going. From there, I got more involved in the club and continued to be a part of the Kiwanis family.

Service Chair: For my freshman and sophomore year in college I have served as one of Central’s two service chairs for CKI. I had a fantastic co-chair John and we worked together to create different service opportunities for the club. One of the larger scale service projects we put on is 12 Hours of Service. For this we partner with different places to volunteer around Mt. Pleasant and do volunteer work for 12 hours. This year we went to the Humane Animal Society, Discovery Museum, and food pantry. Also, we did in house service like making blankets and dog toys. I really enjoyed planning 12 hours and helping out so many people in the Mt. Pleasant community in just one day.

President: At the end of this year I had the pleasure of being voted in as the next Circle K President. I am so excited to take on this role in an organization that has made me who I am today. Circle K has given me so much already and I am thrilled to be able to be in this leadership role. I will be working closely with the Michigan District Board and my E- Board to revamp weekly meetings and get more members.

Circle K has made me into the person I am today and I am so excited to continue to be a member of this organization.

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Leadership Education

COM 461L

Communication in Leadership 461L → An LAS Required Course

Class Overview:

COM 461L or Communication in Leadership is one of the cohort classes we take as second semester sophomores in the Leadership Advancement Program. It is the last class we take all together and brings many aspects of our other classes into one course on how everything relates to communication. For me, this has been one of the best classes I have taken for the Leadership Minor. I truly enjoyed learning about the communication side of leadership while also connecting aspects from all our other classes. Our professor, Dr. Carlson always made the class engaging with different case studies, activities, and in depth discussions. She was a fantastic teacher for the course and I learned so much from her.

What I learned:

As I said above, this has been one of my person favorite LAS classes and I learned quite a bit from the class. We learned about different follower styles, leadership styles, and ways to influence people through communication. Also, we discussed the gender gap, ethics, and discrimination in today’s society.  An aspect of the class that has really stuck with me is the Pygmalion effect. The Pygmalion effect is when someone sets high expectations for the group or individual and they believe that they can achieve these expectations. The studies show that this increases performances in employees and individuals. Another concept from the class that caught my attention was the servant leadership behavior. This type of leadership is when a leader puts their followers before themselves and anything else. It is based on the relationships between the followers and leader. I personally, really enjoyed this topic because I am the type of leader that tries to make their followers feel important. I want to be a leader who listens to their followers and gets all the input I possibly can.

How I can apply it:

Through this class, we learned ideas and concepts that we can apply to leading individuals and in everyday life. The Pygmalion effect is something I can use all the time with everything I do. Setting high expectations and knowing I can reach them is really important and this class has shown me how much I can accomplish through that effect. Also, I can use servant leadership for my Circle K position as President. It will allow me to create better relationships with my e-board and general members.

Overall, I really liked taking COM 461L. It was a fun class that I looked forward to every week. I learned so much from the different course work and our professor and will be a better leader and person because of it.

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!

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 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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Community

LAS in the D {Post Service Reflection}

LAS takes on Detroit • February 10- 11

{WHAT}

First and foremost this trip was an incredible experience. I was able to bond with many people in my cohort and the facilitators from the previous LAS cohorts. While the entire trip was only about  30 hours, we fit in so many different and tremendous expimg_4635eriences in multiple environments within Detroit. Here is a little overview of the 30 hours we spent in Detroit or ‘what’ we did while there. First, we went to Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and facilitated leadership activities for 2 hours with some of the juniors and seniors there. We were placed in groups with each group having  two head facilitators from cohorts above us, 6 students from LAS, and about 6 students from Jalen Rose. One of the activities we did was creating community standards which is always important when working in a group setting. Group standards are based off of what you want for yourself, each other as participants, and from the facilitators. From Jalen Rose, we went into the heart of the city and got a tour around Quicken Loans. While there they talked to us about their internship program and about everything they are doing for Detroit. Specifically one of the Vice Presidents, John Fikany, talked to us and his drive and passion for the company was astonishing and inspiring. Also, something at caught my attention about Quicken is that every employee gets a certain amount of paid volunteer hours so they all go out and help the community they work in. The packed day did not end there! After Quicken Loans, we went to the DIA or Detroit Institute of Arts where we were able to explore and just spend our time looking at the magnificent artwork. Finally, at the end of the day we went to the DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center where we again were able to explore and basically just had a big sleepover. Saturdimg_4587ay morning we all got up and went to the Cass Community Center to volunteer for our last few hours. During our time volunteering at Cass, we were split into 4 groups that volunteered in 4 different places. My group, definitely had the coolest job; going to the warehouse to shed paper. Now you may be questioning why this was so cool to me. Let me wow you… they had bikes that powered their electricity and we
were able to ride them and make CLEAN ENERGY. How awesome is that? Once we were done serving at Cass we all loaded back onto the buses and made our tired way back to Mt. Pleasant where I proceeded to crash after an exhausting and exhilarating 30 hours.

{SO WHAT}

On to the actual substance of the trip and what we actual were able to do in Detroit for 30 hours. As a cohort we were able to do experience so many different environments in Detroit and impact so many different placimg_4636es. Now the question is so what did we learn while in all of these different places and how do they come together to create a learning outcome. For myself, being in Detroit pointed out how many times things are not as they seem. Living in the Upper Peninsula, we do not really go in-depth with places such as Detroit and what’s going on there. But after I went to Detroit and actually learned more about it I understood that it is no longer this sad once upon a time city but it is making a come back in many big ways. Also, I learned and built on my ability to put myself in others shoes and understand what they are going through. Finally, I did not so much learn this but was reminded about how fortunate I am. Seeing some of the more poor areas of Detroit opened my eyes because getting a B on a Phonetics exam in not even close to the problems that too many people who live in Detroit deal with.

{NOW WHAT}

The big question is now what? What am I and my LAS cohort going to do as a result of  being in Detroit and learning/ experiencing so many different aspects of it. Personally, I am going to look more into the history of Detroit and what really happened to make such a great booming city fall. I want to learn about the different aspects of Detroit’s fall and the different opinions of what happened to Detroit. Furthermore, I want to understand what people are now doing for Detroit. While at Quicken Loans  and the Cass Center we learned a little bit about what they specifically are doing but I want to go deeper and understand many of the different projects happening in Detroit to make it a wonderful booming city again. One of the specific projects I would enjoy learning more about is the River Walk and what the city is doing to make that place into somewhere everyone wants to be.img_4552

Another part of my “Now What” and what I want to do after being in Detroit is in general do more service for people who truly need it. I have always been passionate about volunteer work and since coming to college I kind of fell out of my hard-core service groove and have not done as much for others. This is not to say that I do not do any service, I am apart of a solely service based organization, it is just to say that I do not do as much volunteer work as I used to. However, after Detroit, I was reminded of how much I love serving others and how it not only brings joy to me, but also to the community around me. My ‘fire’ was lit again and I now have the desire to help more people and do more service for the communities around me.

Finally, the last part of my “Now What” is remembering to count my blessings. After walking through poverty-stricken communities within Detroit, I feel I need to go back through my everyday life and look at everything I have to be thankful for. People in Detroit are building their lives and city back up from nothing. Volunteering there really opened my eyes to this fact and the fact that I need to be more thankful for what I already have. Lately I have been stuck in a rut almost and frustrated with so many things like my major and other odds and ends in my life. In reality I am extremely lucky and needed to be reminded of that. I go to a wonderful school that I got scholarships for, I have met some of my best friends at college, and I have a bright future ahead of me. So here’s to acknowledging my blessings and counting than everyday

For more about this trip read my Pre LAS in the D blog. Also, for another service event I participated in read my Special Olympics Blog.

Service

Winter Special Olympics

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Michigan Special Olympic Winter Games 2017 • Jan 31- Feb 3

This year I had the privilege of volunteering for the Michigan Special Olympic Winter Games. I was one of the many Central Michigan students able to volunteer with the athletes all week in Traverse City. There were so many volunteers at the games and each of us was assigned to a specific place/ competition. I was lucky to be assigned to the best place of them all with the best volunteers and Games committee members; Cross Country Skiing! It is kind of weird to say, but it felt like we were a family after a week of little sleep, broomball, naps, and cross-country competitions every day. I felt close to everyone on our team and it was remarkable to watch people have very different and wonderful experiences throughout the week. I got to know even more people from CMU who share my passions. Something else that was really cool was getting to spend time with Paul, one of my parent’s best friends from college. He started volunteering for Special Olympics with my dad back when they were CMU students and he still volunteers. We hope to get my dad to join us next year!

Here is the week through my eyes: The bus full of excited volunteers left school on Tuesday morning. Upon arriving in Traverse City, we attended a meeting with our assigned groups and started to get to know one another. Then we all made snowflakes for the opening and closing ceremonies, and not little ones, but very large funky snowflakes to decorate the room. Tuesday night we had our first volunteer ‘party’ where we bonded eimg_4530ven more with our group and even got to eat some pretty delicious food. The next morning came with the bright and  early departure time of 6:30am to get us to the ski course to set it up for the athletes. Although it may have been cold and early, there was so much excitement in the air that no one really cared about the early hour. We spent the day with whatever task we were assigned to. My assignment was doing math all day! Math does not sound like the most fun activity but the actual assignment was calculating and recording all of the athlete’s times. I may have been able to sit in a car to do all of this math, but don’t be fooled it was still very chilly because I had the windows open all the time so I could hear and get the time cards (it was better than outside though). Paul thought it would be funny to take a picture of me sitting in the car and send it to my dad!  My favorite part about the job was getting to see the background work that went on and seeing all the hard work that had to happen to put the games on. This was basically the schedule for Thursday and Friday as well. We would go to our volunteer parties, sleep a little, wake up early, and head to the course. One of the best times of the day was lunch when all of the CMU volunteers would eat fast and then head into the lodge, put the fire on and nap for an hour. It was beautiful. Opening ceremony kicked off the games on Wednesdaimg_4525y and closing ceremony concluded the event with a dance on Thursday. This was time we were able to just have fun with the athletes and watch them have so much fun, it was a blast! Both of these events were fantastic, but the dance was a special treat because all of the volunteers and athletes just got to relax and enjoy the event all together. Let me tell you, all of the athletes really know how to enjoy a dance. Their joy and happiness to be there was contagious. Besides being with the athletes, I mentioned our volunteer parties and broomball. These all took place at night and offered a time for all of the volunteers to get together, bond, eat, and have fun.

Although I may have missed the week of school nothing can compare to what I learned at Special Olympics. I am now counting down until I can go again next year!

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.

 

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

 

 

 

Leadership Training

The SPARK of Leadership

 

On September 16th, a Friday,  instead of lounging my day away in my dorm room, I attended the Spark Leadership conference hosted by the Leadership Institute. This proved to be one of the best leadership trainings I have attended PLUS I had so much fun throughout the whole day. Throughout the day we participated in different group activities to work on each of our individual styles of leadership and to work as a team. Also, we took a test to figure out what type of leader we are and the advantages and disadvantages of our leadership style. All in all, it was a valuable day full of leadership, food, and fun. So here it is folks… my Spark Leadership experience.

There were so many cool activities to participate in at Spark but the two that stick out the most to me and the ones I’ll be talking about are the individual test on leadership style and an activity my group did with Jeremy (our wonderful LI secretary). First off, the leadership style test! For each question there were two answers and basically you had to rank them from 0-5 in order of importance. The questions were very specific so you could pin point your style. At the end of the test, you total everything up and that number you magically get, indicates the leadership type you are. My outcome indicated that I am considerate leader, which I 100% agree with. As a considerate leader I always want to hear about ideas from others and make other people are happy. Furthermore, I try to make sure everyone in the group is heard and that whatever we do, the whole group is happy or can support our decisions. However, there is a downside of being a considerate leader. As timg_2583his type of leader, many times I put everyone else before myself and end up suffering the consequences for that. Additionally, as a considerate leader, I may not always be productive because I try to keep everyone happy and ensure all ideas are heard. This can take considerable time. Next, my results conveyed that I am not a very direct leader, which I also really agree with. I always have a hard time being the controlling leader because I want everyone to share in whatever we are doing. I have a hard time telling people when they are wrong or are doing something they should not be. Basically, I have a hard time being direct with people when things get “ugly” because I want to keep everyone happy. Now that you know my strengths and weaknesses as a leader, I bet you are wondering about the next activity! For this, we were in groups of two and my lovely partner was my friend Ethan. Jeremy then told us that the pizza we ate earlier that day was poisoned and one person in our pair had lost their eyesight so we needed to find the cure in the tunnels of CMU. Then we had to decide which person in the group would be “blind” and which person would be the leader. In my group Ethan was the leader and I was blind. After we got all of the logistics, we were lead into a room with ACTUAL mouse traps (which ended up being really funny), creepy noises, and obstacles. Ethan had to lead me through the room with my eyes covered, AND he was not allowed to touch/ guide me except with his voice. I enjoyed this activity because it was something fun and I had to sit back and let someone else lead me. Ethan and I ended up being the first ones out of the maze and the only group to not set off one of the mouse traps so that was pretty awesome.

Finally, I will give you a small insight into what I learned and took away from Spark Leadership! One of the biggest things I learned was my specific leadership type and how knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of this type can help me grow as a leader.  In one of the sessions, I developed goals on how to become a better leader by enhancing my current leadership skills and gaining additional skills. My main goal is to become more direct as a leader and increase my skill at direct conversations with people, even when things might get “ugly”. Every day I am reminded to be a more direct person and grow into my leadership style.