For my Leadership Advancement Scholarship, we are required to complete courses that follow along with our protocol. One of the courses is LDR 200L, which is all about leadership theories.
One of my favorite things we learned during this course was how to facilitate. Facilitating means leading an activity or project and then reflecting on how the activity related to everyday life lessons. This class not only taught us how to facilitate, it also gave us resources on activities to facilitate.
This course required us to put together an initiative and put it on for the class. We also were in charge of an entire workshop that taught our peers’ different leadership theories.
This course is different than other college classes. It is very hands on, instead of just learning what something was we learned how to do it and then actually got to do it. I appreciated the way we were taught, and how much support we received from the TA’s. I am so lucky to have been able to take this course with my cohort. It allowed for open conversations, easy learning environment and of course a fun class period.
I learned more in this class than any other course I have taken so far. I learned how to teach, how to learn and more importantly how to lead.
Now that I have taken this course I will most definitely pursue a leadership minor. This class inspired me to follow my passion of leadership. I will take the skills that I learned from this course and use them in my RSO’s on campus and a variety of different ways back at home.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” -John Quincy Adams
The definition of servant leadership according to Robert K. Greenleaf, is a philosophy and set of practices that enrich the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world. “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.” -Robert K. Greenleaf.
Servant leadership appears in our LAS protocol in a variety of different ways.
The first way it appears is the protocol of having to receive thirty or more service hours per year. This is servant leadership because it is volunteering to help someone or an organization in a positive way. You can serve your community, organization, friends and companies.
For my thirty hours of community service, I performed a variety of different tasks. I volunteered at Relay for Life, volunteered in Flint, I made blankets for a women’s shelter, I helped organized donated books for the Philippines, I made valentines day cards for a nursing home, I made lunches for homeless children and I volunteered at Potter’s House. Servant Leadership is supposed to enrich the lives of others around you. I have continuously pushed myself to help others on and off campus. This LAS protocol helped me push myself even further. Servant Leadership, in my opinion, is about dedicating time to help others in a positive way. I observed my cohort around me volunteering in so many different ways, we made in impact on so many people. The protocol of having to get 30 hours of community service hours encourage everyone in LAS to perform servant leadership.
Anther one of my favorite protocols for LAS is the service trip to Detroit. We are required to travel to Detroit with the Leadership institute to perform a multitude of different tasks to help the city. On the last day, we traveled to CASS Social Services to volunteer. We were all separated into different groups, some were in the kitchen making food for the homeless, some helped make mats out of recycled tires etc. It was the perfect application of servant leadership because we all contributed to a cause that would affect the city of Detroit in a positive way.
The Servant Leadership theory portrays itself in so many different ways. Anyone can be a servant leader. It takes time, dedication and passion for what you are doing. There are a multitude of different real life applications that are considered servant leadership. The Leadership Advancement Scholarship does a fantastic job encouraging their students to dedicate their time to a good cause. Receiving 30 hours of community service and the Detroit Trip are just a few ways that the LAS cohort show servant leadership. There are so many other ways that we as students use servant leadership in our everyday life without being directed by our protocol. Servant Leadership, in my opinion, is the most important leadership theory known today. Serving others without pay or reward shows an immense amount of character. I am so lucky to be a part of a scholarship that expects us to apply servant leadership to our everyday lives.
For my Leadership Advancement Scholarship, we are required to take certain classes to fulfill our protocol. During the second semester of my freshman year, we were required to take HST 110L: American Experience. This class explored immigration in early America and how it influenced our country to be the way it is today.
During this class, we were required to purchase two books, Post-Ethnic America by David A. Hollinger, and Major Problems in American Immigration History by Mae M. Ngai, and Jon Gjerde. We were required to write two five-page papers, four exam papers and we required to do a group presentation on a famous immigrant. Each one of these assignments challenged my beliefs and understanding of immigration. It caused discussions which enabled students to learn more about our history as a country and those who immigrated to it. We learned stories of the first settlers all the way up to those immigrated to America due to the Irish Potatoe Famine. This class gave me a better understanding on why and how immigrants during the nineteenth and twentieth century immigrated to America.
Now that I have taken this course I want to learn more about my ancestors and how they came to America. Over Christmas break, my dad was able to participate in Ancestry.com. He found out where his ancestors are from, when they came here and how they got here. I was not very interested during Christmas break when my dad first received his information in the mail, However, now that I have learned more about immigration during that time I have been more interested in my dad’s results.
This class challenged my beliefs and made me want to understand more about immigration into America in the past and today.
For my current Leader Reflection, I had many leaders I could have chosen from. Many people say our country has no leaders that have affected our country in a positive way in a long time yet, I disagree in many ways. Tulsi Gabbard is a thirty-five-year-old woman who has shown signs of leadership her entire life. She served in the combat zone in Iraq until 2006 and then volunteered to go again in 2009. Tulsi Gabbard also was the youngest women to be elected to a state legislature in 2002-2004 at the age of twenty-one, she served in the Hawaiian House of Representatives. Then in 2013, she was elected into the United States House of Representatives where she currently resides.
Tulsi Gabbard is a leader in a multitude of different ways. She served overseas, in the combat zone in Iraq. To me, this shows bravery and leadership. She has created credibility to lead by actually going into the field and working one on one with people she would eventually lead. To me, the most important part of being a leader is your ethos or credibility. If you are not credible, no one will want to follow you. I also believe she is a leader because she did not let being women get in the way of following her dreams. She was involved in the government as young as twenty-one. She made huge decisions and giant leaps for civilians at such a young age. She never let anything hold her back, and to me, that is a remarkable thing to do as a young lady today.
Recently, Tulsi Gabbard traveled to Syria to meet with the civilians and see what their everyday life was living under a dictatorship and having terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and Isis invading their country. During her trip, she discovered that what we have previously done to “help their country” is only hurting the people and it’s government. During her secret seven-day trip, she had the opportunity to meet with Syria’s president Asaad in which she discussed ways to help eliminate terrorist groups and the wars being fought there. She discussed with the president ways they can improve the country so that people who live there can return home.
To me, that shows an immense amount of leadership. She not only went to go and see what life was like there for herself, however, she also was brave and met with the President. She has affected so many people and she is still so very young. It is sad to me that her story will not be recognized on a national level, and she will not have the chance to be recognized like she should be. Our nation needs more leaders like Tulsi to be recognized so that our nation can have more hope for its people.
During the Connections Conference, we had a chance to listen to different speakers discussing different topics. The speaker that stuck out most to me was Jamie Brown. Her presentation was really quite interesting. She related leadership back to her garden her and her daughter started over the summer. I related to this so much because it was so different. I have seen so many leadership speakers so the way she related it in a different was very interesting. Her slides were very intriguing, she had different images of her plants and they each related to a different leadership aspect.
My favorite vegetable she related leadership to was this plant that had overtaken her garden with its leaves and vines. She and her daughter were unsure if they should pull the plant since it was taking nutrients from the other plants but they let it grow. The strange plant then ended up producing one single green pumpkin. The green pumpkin then became their prized possession. The main point of her session was to find a balance between taking care of people and getting the task done. It gave us advice on how to provide support for our followers and how to use the leadership style we have obtained in the past to lead a group of people.
Jamie Brown did a wonderful job interacting with the audience and keeping things interesting. I would definitely love to sit in on another one of her sessions.
For LDR 100L we had to read a leadership novel and create a twenty-minute presentation on our book. We were separated into groups of around eight. My novel was Choosing Civility by P.M. Forni. It was a novel that illustrated what it was like to be a civil person. There were 25 different topics and different ways of being civil.
This novel was very interesting because a lot of the topics they were saying were “civil” were things that I would not think twice about doing. The 25 topics were:
- Pay Attention
- Acknowledge Others
- Think the Best
- Be Inclusive
- Speak Kindly
- Don’t Speak ill
- Accept and Give Praise
- Respect even a subtle “No”
- Respect others’ opinions
- Mind your Body
- Be Agreeable
- Keep it Down (and Rediscover Silence)
- Respect Other People’s Time
- Respect Other People’s Space
- Apologize Earnestly
- Assert Yourself
- Avoid Personal Questions
- Care for your Guests
- Be a considerate Guest
- Think Twice Before Asking for Favors
- Refrain from Idle Complaints
- Accept and Give Constructive Criticism
- Respect the Environment and Be Gentle to Animals
- Don’t Shift Responsibility and Blame
Now that I have both read Choosing Civility and did a presentation on it, I have a better understanding of what characteristics a leader must possess in order to be a good citizen. I will take these 25 rules of civility and I will teach other people around me by my actions and words.
For our presentation we put together a slides show and made an “interesting” video to represent what it is like to be civil.
As a kid, I always wanted to go to the Great Wolf Lodge so when I heard a LAS requirement was to attend the Connections Conference in Traverse city I was very excited. The conference ran so smoothly; checking in and finding my room was a breeze. The people behind the scenes of the conference did an amazing job making sure everything ran smoothly. At the conference, I gained so much more than just leadership skills. I met new people, learned new things about myself and made CONNECTIONS.
After checking in, we attended a welcome type event. We received our booklets and we debriefed about how the conference was going to run. After that, we broke off into our separate groups where we reflected on the different types of leadership groups that were attending the conference. Next, we went to dinner in the ballroom. The food was spectacular; we ate food that was MUCH fancier than caf food!
After eating an amazing dinner, we were allowed some free time. My roommates and I were so stuffed from eating the food that we did not want to put bathing suits on but there was a water park involved so, of course, we did it anyways. The whole time at the water park I floated in the lazy river and sat in the hot tub. It was the perfect way to unwind.
The next morning we were served a delicious breakfast following that we went to the speakers we had chosen. The sessions were outstanding, I could not believe how much information I actually learned. It was an amazing conference! The people who put it together working so hard to make it perfect, and their hard work definitely paid off. I was so amazed by our LAS group and the others that attended the conference. Everyone participated in the conversations, it really did allow me to make “connections”.
Now that I have attended the connections conference I am closer to my cohort, I have learned what kind of leader I am and I have made new friends. I want to take back the different speakers messages to people at CMU. The connections I made at this conference have allowed me to join different clubs and friend groups. Now I am more capable of talking to anyone in my cohort.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” -John Quincy Adams