For a girl who has never had any trouble getting involved, college was a different story for me. I was intimidated by some of the clubs here at CMU. Many of them have been around for a while now and have built up their members, and I was unsure of how welcoming they would be. The idea of not fitting in scared me, so I didn’t try very hard to find an registered student organization (RSO) that really worked for me. Since I was a part of LAS, I felt like I already had my own little community involvement and I didn’t need to find anything more than that.
LDR 200L, or “Introduction to Leadership”, is another class required for my leadership minor. The class branches off of LDR 100L, the other introduction class I took my first semester. In LDR 200, much of the focus was put on learning about facilitation and how to properly facilitate in a group. We got to practice with each other, and even got some hands-on experience on our LAS in the D trip in February. Since the class is just for the Leadership students, some of the things discussed were specific to LAS. We prepared as a group for 2017 Cohort competition day, and we completed LAS in the D training. Most of the second half of the semester was spent learning different leadership theories, and listening to workshops about them.
Our entire class was split up into groups and then we were each assigned a different Leadership Theory to present on. My group was lucky got to present first. The theory we were assigned was Leadership Ethics. Our presentation on Leadership Ethics can be found here. The exams we took in that class were all based on the material from the presentations.
As a part of my LAS protocol, I am required to complete 30 hours of community service. I chose to log my trip I took to Flint as my service hours. When I was researching more about Leadership and Ethics for the presentation I did in my LDR 200L class, I was making connections to how I apply that in my day-to-day life. Part of the Leadership Ethics theory analyzes why people do the things that they do. That really got me thinking about what drives me to make the decisions that I make. Post conventional morality is the mindset most people should have when making choices. Thinking post conventionally is always having others at mind, and not doing things for personal gain. When I volunteered to go to Flint, I initially was thinking about myself, and needing to get the service hours that are required in. However, when I got to Flint and saw what needed to be done, I only had others in mind. I was thinking about what I could do to help out their community, not about how good it would make me look that I was volunteering today. Thinking deeper into what is the reason I do things made me more self-aware. Now that I have a deeper understanding of this, I have been trying to think about it in every situation I am in. It is very easy to be selfish, and think pre conventionally. This is what I am trying to stray away from. I am keeping my eyes open to my decisions, and others in mind.
As part of the LAS protocol, I am required to take a class called the “American Experience”. This class falls under one of the classes I am required to take for a University Requirement, and it counts as a writing intensive credit. We read two books in this class. The first on we read was a collection of documents and essays put together by Mae M. Ngai and Jon Gjerde. The second book was called “Postethnic America”, and it was written by David A. Hollinger.
Spark Leadership is a one day conference about discovering your leadership style, and tapping into pinpointing your leadership identity. At the beginning of Spark, I was split up into a small group along with everyone else. We started off with a few icebreaker activities toget warmed up to the other members of our groups. The first, and for me the most impactful activity we did was taking a test to see what our leadership style was. The four options were Considerate Leaders, Spirited Leaders, Systematic Leaders, and Direct Leaders. After getting a brief description of what each of those meant, I had a hunch of what my leadership style was going to be. I knew I wasn’t a Spirited leader, because that just not how I role when i’m in a leadership situation. I also knew that being a direct leader wasn’t my thing either. That left two — systematic and considerate. In my mind, I knew that systematic was going to be more of my style.
LAS in the D was one of the most life changing experiences for me. On February 10th, 2017 my LAS cohort took a weekend trip down to Detroit. A few days before the trip left, our class met and we were told exactly what this trip has in store for us. We had a jam packed weekend ahead of us. We left Friday morning around 11 am, and our first stop was at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy just outside of Detroit. Our itinerary included going to Quicken Loans in downtown Detroit for dinner, stopping at the Detroit Institute of the Arts, and ending our evening at the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center to sleep. The next morning we woke up bright and early and went to Cass Community Social Services Continue reading “A.D. – After Detroit”
Living in northern Michigan, I have been blind to a lot of the issues Detroit has gone through. I’ve always known that it took a turn for the worst, but I didn’t know when and I didn’t know why. Detroit isn’t something connected to me personally, so I never went out of my way to learn the history of what happened. With the LAS scholarship, my cohort is taking a trip to Detroit to work one on one with the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.
Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk: How Great Leaders Inspire Action is my favorite Ted Talk. I watched this Ted Talk my Leadership class, and it truly changed my perspective on how I live my life. The video is about the importance of starting with “why”. Simon goes on to explain what the “golden circle” is. Without even realizing it, most people start explanations with the easiest point to hit on the dart board – the “what” on the outside ring. Explaining what you are doing should not be hard to do, and most of the time how you do it shouldn’t be too complicated either. The difficult part is deciding why you’re doing it.
Does leadership come from a “yes” or a “no”?
My initial thoughts were: “No. Leadership comes from a “no. Leaders have to make tough decisions, and saying no can sometimes be difficult to do.” However, the more I’ve researched and looked into it, my thinking was completely wrong. A leader might be able to make tough decisions by saying no, but not a GOOD leader. In most cases it is more difficult to answer something with a yes. Answering with a yes to things opens things up for discussion. Answering with a no doesn’t leave room for discussion to travel anywhere, it ends it. The word no leaves no room for advancement of any kind. When I researched this online, I found a quote that I really liked.
1.) Be Relatable – One of the best things about Jimmy is how he reaches out to his audiences, and seems genuinely interested in everyone he encounters. One of the reasons he was such a wide fan base is because he is so in-touch with modern media, and his audiences. He has such a wide variety of stars on the show, and skits to keep the audience entertained. One of his skits on the show is even taking the Tweets from his followers and reading them aloud on the show. He is always thinking about what his audience is going to want to hear about and trying to please them.
All CMU students are required to take a speaking class. For LAS, our debate class (COM267L) is our speaking class. Our cohort was split into two different classes, and split up into smaller debate groups. Over the course of the semester, we learned about argumentation and what it should really be like, the processes of formal debate, different forms of persuasion, and common flaws with arguments. I have never been very good at speaking in front of people, and this class was good practice for me. My first debate in class was a little rocky, but things only got better from there. By our last debate, I felt like I had improved a lot, and I got good grades on the debates. The majority of the class was learning about the history of debate, and how things have progresses. My favorite part of the class was getting to learn about the different logical fallacies people use when they are arguing . We only got to learn about 16 different fallacies, but there are around 115 different fallacies. Now that I know about the different fallacies used in argumentation, I will be able to pick them out in other’s arguments, and make sure I don’t use them myself. The skills I gained from practicing speaking in front of people will stick with me as well.