“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.
This weekend, was one of the most memorable weekend of my Freshman year of college. Finally getting all of the LAS cohorts together was such an amazing thing. Being new to college, and not really knowing anyone let alone LAS scholars, this was a great way to meet and get to know everyone in the cohorts. I had no idea what to expect going on this trip, and I think that’s what made it even more fun. All I knew was that all of the mentees (including myself) had to create a poster about themselves. Two buses full of LAS Mentors and Mentees left CMU at 9:00 on September 10th. When we arrived, we unpacked our things, and then met in the field outside the cabin to see what we had to do next. Inside the cabin, they had pictures of the mentor/mentee pairs hanging on the walls, with numbers on the back. The numbers written on the back of the pictures is what they used to put us into our groups. In these groups we got comfortable with each other, and then did some different leadership activities. This was one of my first times in a situation surrounded by so many leaders, all working together. We were given different things to accomplish as a group, and overcome. I think that one of the things that people struggled with was knowing when to be the leader, and when to be the follower in each situation. It was interesting to see who stepped up at different times in the retreat, and what situations they were in when they did it. I found myself stepping up when things weren’t going as good as we’d hoped, and the group needed some new ideas. One of the activities we had to do was to get the whole group across the room using only skinny logs, and planks. This was our most difficult thing we had to do together. Instead of getting frustrated with one another, we all worked together and contributed what we could. I discovered more about my leadership role, and leadership style while on this trip. When I am faced with a situation with other leaders, if someone steps up first, I am the best follower I can be. However, if no one is going to step up, I am the person who will get it done. The next day we tackled the high ropes course. I didn’t think this was going to be difficult for me at all… and I was wrong. The high ropes really challenged me physically, and mentally. My mentor Rachel and I worked together through the course, and managed to help each other through the whole thing. I don’t know how to explain the connection that was formed when we went through the whole thing together. I feel so close to her, and I know we can conquer anything. I can’t wait to be able to help my mentee next year the way Rachel helped me. It was a great trip, a lot was learned, and bonds were made. I am so excited to be able to experience this one more time, but from such a different perspective.