Leadership has very different interpretations. It is a concept that only each individual has to decide for themselves how it will be interpreted. For me, leadership is credibility, understanding, confidence and delegation.
- Credibility: in order to have followers you must earn the trust of those followers. TO be a leader, people around you have to want to follow you, if they cannot trust you, nothing will get done. As a leader, I want people to see me as one that makes good decisions, has made good decisions in the past and will make good decisions in the future.
- Understanding: As a leader, you must understand different concepts, you must understand your followers and you must understand how to lead. For me, understanding and being relatable are the two best ways to have the credibility to be a leader.
- Confidence: People want a leader who knows what they are doing, or at least act like they know what they are doing. Confidence is key in gaining follers. If you are not proud of what you believe in and do not take full faith in what you are doing then people will not see that you are confident and will not want to follow you.
- Delegation: now here is where we answer if leadership is yes or no. Delegating tasks and duties has to be one of the most important things as a leader. Sometimes as a leader you must say NO. To truly be a leader you must lead people to things that you believe are right. For example, if Steve Jobs did not delegate he would never have had the fortune and product that he did. He delegated who made the phones, who marketed the phones and who sold the phones. It was not a one man job. To get a task done you need to recognize that you can say no to a task and you can delegate it to someone else.
Leadership is sometimes saying no. For your mental health and for your sanity, you must say no from time to time. Everyone is human, yes they may have a gift in leading, however that does not mean they must do everything. No is a strong word and allowing for yourself to see that it is okay to say no is something every leader must do to be successful in that they believe in.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” -John Quincy Adams
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.
LAS has changed my life for the better. I still remember the phone call saying I received the scholarship like it was yesterday. The people and connections I have made through this scholarship in just 3 months has already affected my life in so many ways.
The Leadership Advancement Scholarship is a scholarship offered through Central Michigan University. It is made up of 49 students that all live in the same residence hall and are awarded $2,000 annually. The money honestly has nothing to do with how amazing this program is. The staff at the LI have given me a shoulder to cry on, scheduling help and I even babysat on of their baby’s. It isn’t just a scholarship program, it is a family.
The protocol for LAS the first year is as follows:
- We must receive 30+ hours of community service annually
- Involvement in a registered student organization
- We must be a part of a LAS LEAD team
- Attendance at 3 leadership lectures each semester
- One seminar or workshop pertaining to leadership
We also are required to take some classes with our cohort. Those include for the first year:
- COM 267L – Intro to Debate
- PSY 100L – Intro to Psychology
- LDR 100 – Leadership Colloquium
- HST 110L – The American Experience
- LDR 101 – Leadership Colloquium
The people in LAS are beyond amazing. They have helped me so much adjust to the college life. I have already made so many life long friends in such a short amount of time. Receiving this scholarship has been the best thing to happen to me since getting into CMU. I cannot wait to see what my future has in store for me. FIRE UP CHIPS!!!
“You are not the leaders of tomorrow, you are the leaders of today!”
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
1. a formal discussion on a particular topic in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward.
COM 267L was a required class to fulfill for the Advanced Leadership Scholarship. The class consists of debates between the students. We first did a round of Lincoln-Douglas debates and then a cross examination debate. My debate partners were Abby, Ryan, and Lauren. Our first practice debate resolution was, “Beauty pageants in America should be banned”. Our second debate resolution was, “All assault weapons in America should be banned”. Lastly, our cross-examination resolution is, “Every citizen of the United States should be required to vote”.
This class has taught me more than just the basic forms of argumentation. I have also learned how to stand up for myself, argue smartly and I have gained more confidence in my public speaking. Learning the different types of fallacies has helped me understand the way people try and avoid arguments. I have learned how to form beneficial arguments and I have learned how not to argue. This class has taught me so much more than just debating, I am so glad to have had the opportunity to take this class with my LAS cohort.
Now that I have taken this course I will argue with purpose. I learned how to be educated in my arguments and how to support my arguments with evidence. Now I am going to use what I learned to be a better leader on campus. During different RSO meetings, I will be more confident in speaking in front of large groups due to the practice I had during this course. I will also have the confidence to argue my opinion. I am so glad that this course was required to take as a freshman, it allowed for me to open up and learn how to speak in public.
I walk into a big banquet hall. It’s full of chairs and tables and people. People are conversing, people in charge are directing and I stood there watching with a close eye, scanning the entire room, waiting to find my place. It may have seemed to me at that moment that it was just a room full of people. In some ordinary ballroom. Yet, this wasn’t some old ordinary ballroom. It was my home; it was my future.
We had been in the same ballroom for competition day. Competition day was the day I competed for the LAS scholarship. That is the day I got to prove that my leadership in high school actually meant something. The Leadership Advancement Scholarship is the reason I was currently in this ballroom again. One of the requirements was to attend a Women in Leadership Conference.
At the conference, we met new people, made connections and learned our leadership style. The funniest thing was my leadership style had changed in such a short amount of time. In February of 2016, I attended a Women in Leadership conference in Lansing. At that conference, I took the usual leadership test and received a lion. A lion was the dominant leader; it compared to the direct leadership type at spark leadership. The weird thing was during the Spark Leadership experience I was a spirited type. Pretty much the complete opposite of what I was in February. At the Women in Leadership conference, they told us to work on managing our leadership types and try and be more versatile. So it was very exciting to see that after taking the leadership quiz at Spark I had actually managed it more than I thought! I was now a spirited leader.
After eating lunch, we broke out into different groups where we performed different team bonding activities. One we had to direct our partner blindfolded through a “cave” and we couldn’t step on the mouse traps. Another activity we had to lead our partner blindfolded to pick up different objects around the room. We
learned teamwork and how to not get frustrated with one another.
At the end of the day, we reflected on what we learned. I enjoyed these sessions because the people who signed up actually wanted to be there. Everyone put forth a great effort and allowed me to learn so much!
Now that I have been able to experience Spark I am going to encourage others to attend. I learned so much about myself in such a short day. I learned that I have progressed as a leader in such a short amount of time, however, I also learned that I have room to grow. I am going to take the information I learned about myself and use it to become a better leader. Now I will be conscious of my decision making according to my type of leadership. Now I am going to use my leadership skills I learned during Spark to help others.