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.
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.
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.
As an LAS scholar, I have 3 required classes to take my freshman year of school. Introduction to Leadership Education (LDR 100), Introduction to Psychology (PSY 100L), and Introduction to Debate (COM 267L).
Psychology is the study of the human mind, and why it is the way that it is. Personally, I really enjoyed psychology. I found it extremely interesting to learn the things we learned in class. On the exams we took, he would give us an essay question relating leadership to different psychology components. Having to connect the two helped me understand why taking psychology was important to minor in leadership. As a leader, it is important to understand why some people think the way that they do. This class was one of my favorites for multiple reasons. One, I really liked the Professor, and the way he taught. Two, I liked the content we learned about. I found psychology very interesting, and considered minoring in it. Lastly, I really liked having a class with everyone in my cohort. It was nice to be able to ask questions to people you’re familiar with, and to study with them. Overall, I think psychology was a great class, and I am glad I had the opportunity to take it with such an amazing cohort.
“The Fred Factor” is a book written by Mark Sanborn. In my leadership class, this was the book I was assigned along with the rest of my group to read and present to the class. My group got together, and discussed what we liked about the book, what we thought its purpose was, and what we thought we should do for our project.