Leadership Education

LDR 200L

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

 

Leadership Education

Servant Leadership in LAS Protocol

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.

17904363_1549749585067592_4082459832143546204_nThe 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.16602029_1472658919443326_2582136798976815645_o 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.

img_2089Anther 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.

Leadership Education

HST 110L

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.

41kK2H2t92L._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_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 paper61jKVbeDAhL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_s, 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.

Community · Leadership Development

LAS in the D Reflection

On February 10, 2017,  74 LI members and I took off towards the beautiful city of Detroit. Yes, this trip was a requirement for my scholarship, and yes it looks good on a resume, however, I know for a fact that 75 students WANTED to go on this trip, and that 75 students lives were changed.

For my Leadership Advancement Scholarship, we are required to participate in the LAS in the D service trip. Every year the freshman cohort travel to Detroit to participate in service projects, such as working with students from Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and helping out CASS social services. This trip is planned by an entire LEAD team, put on by students. This trip was so amazing because of this special set of upper-classmen students and I cannot thank them enough for their hard work and dedication to this trip.

On Friday, February 10th at 10:30 the bus took off to Detroit. One of my favorite parts about service trips are the bus rides. Laughing and making memories with my cohort is a huge part of what this scholarship is about. When we arrived at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy we were all feeling the same emotions: excited, however, nervous. Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is a charter school aimed towards leadership. They use leadership in much of their studies and are also emersed in the culture of college. It is located on the Northwest side of Detroit and reaches 400 9th-12th grade students. Our job at this school was to get in groups with the students and participate in initiatives. Initiatives are small activities aimed at broadening your mind. They usually have a metaphor to relate alongside them. Their purpose is to teach a lesson in a fun way.

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Partaking in Initiatives alongside the Jalen Rose students was such an amazing experience. These kids know more about leadership than I do as a college freshmen. They have been immersed in so many leadership theories that I am just now being introduced to. They are some pretty incredible kids. Each and every one of them were excited to be there, and they had the desire to learn.

After working with the students at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy we drove towards downtown Detroit to have dinner at Quicken Loans. Driving downtown Detroit was absolutely mesmerizing. I had only traveled there as a kid, and I never really appreciated how beautiful this city actually was. When we arrived at Quicken Loans we were taken to a modern conference room where they served us Chicago Styled pizza and other goodies. We were lucky enough to have a CMU alumni, who was a recruiter at Quicken Loans, give us a presentation on the internships they offer there. Fortunately, the Vice President of Quicken was eating with us, and he took over the presentation. He demonstrated WHY he worked for Quicken, not what they do there. This was intriguing to most of us college students. He was so very passionate about what he and his company were doing for Detroit. They are not just a mortgage company, they are rebuilding Detroit. I thought that this stop on the trip was so amazing. The people that work for Quicken Loans have a reason for what they are doing, they come to work every day with a passion and drive to make a difference. The Vice President of Quicken Loans, John Fikany  actually left his job at Microsoft to work for Quicken Loans because he believed they had a better WHY for why they went to work every day, “Everything they (the Quicken Loans leadership team) stand for aligns very well with what I want to be a part of, how they take care of their people and the company culture over there, They have a sense of humility but also a confidence and grit that’s almost startup-like”- John Fikany.

After the amazing presentation put on by Quicken Loans, they took us on tours around their facilities. Their buildings and offices were above and beyond amazing. It looked like a play place for adults. Their culture at Quicken Loans is centered around family, fun and hard work. You can tell by just walking around their buildings that this company cares for its employees.

After our time at Quicken Loans, we traveled to the Detroit Institute of Arts to bond with our cohort and appreciate the art together. I bonded with everyone so much trying to figure out our way around the museum, and taking pictures with each other. It was such a great experience appreciating the art and recognizing how beautiful Detroit is.

After a long day of service and touring Detroit it was time to head to the Outdoor Adventure Center where we planned on sleeping. The Outdoor Adventure Center was created to provide the city of Detroit with the up north feel. It was created to open the minds of city folk to how amazing the outdoors actually are. Sleeping at the outdoor center was such an amazing experience. Not only did we get to tour the facility, and play on the structures we also got to listen to Linda Walter give an amazing speech about how the only way Detroit is going to keep improving is for people like us to have a dream and to bring businesses to the city.  It was very inspiring to witness her passion for what she does at the Adventure center. This trip was one to remember because I got to witness people in leadership explain their why statements. All of them had a dream or a reason WHY they were doing what they do. It only inspires me more to create and act on my WHY statement.img_2090

The next morning, as we all rolled out of bed, we all complained how tired we were. I complained, of course, however, after washing my face and putting my hair up I reflected back on WHY we were in Detroit. We were there to make a difference, my WHY for the weekend was to “be the change”. So I instantly decided to change my attitude and look forward to the busy day ahead of us.

On the last day, we were volunteering at CASS Social Services. They do a multitude of difference things to help the community. Saturday was the day I had my revelation of WHY we were there. As we drove to the other side of the city where things were not as nice as the GM building or Quicken Loans, I realized that I was making a difference. img_2043We drove through streets with buildings crumbling, trash all over and abandoned vehicles. It was an eye opener to see how differently people on this side of the city lived. It made me want to volunteer even more than ever before.

At CASS Social Services there were three groups, the paper shredders, the kitchen staff and the floor mat makers. I was lucky enough to be a part of the floor mat makers. It was really interesting to me because they used recycled tires that littered Detroit to create intricate mats of all different colors. They employed people with disabilities to allow a better future. I thought that was really inspiring because not only were they cleaning up img_2089Detroit from littered tires, they were also providing jobs for those who could not work a real one.

During my time making the mats I was able to talk with a man that worked there. It was really neat to hear his story. He told me his WHY was “to see kids like us working for common good”. I thought him expressing how thankful and inspired he was to see us volunteer was, even more, motivation for me. I want to inspire others to do good in the world. I want to “Inspire others to see themselves as the change in the world”.

Overall this trip was more than just a typical “service” trip. I learned more about myself, my why statement and Detroit than ever before. I have come to realize that you cannot change the world overnight, however, if people have a WHY statement or a DREAM things will be accomplished. I have 100% faith that Detroit will rise up again in my lifetime and I owe it all to the people who love Detroit as much as the people I met on this trip.

Now that I have been on this trip and I have been able to reflect more and more, I have decided that now I am going to be more aware of other people and the lives that they live. Going to Detroit opened my eyes. Everyone in the world does not live the life that I do every day. It is now more important to me to help other people, even if it is a small deed, everything counts. Life is too short to be selfish. Now I am more aware and I have a drive to help. I am going to bring up Detroit to my Rotaract club to see if there are any service projects we could do to help. I am hoping that we can do something with the money we have raised to help the city of Detroit. My goal is to raise awareness and allow people to see WHY people are so passionate about helping Detroit.

Leadership Development

Ted Talk

For my LDR 200L class, we were required to watch a twenty-minute video from the well-known show, Ted Talk. At first, I was skeptical. I did not want to watch another video pertaining to something “inspirational”. I was not looking forward to having to sit down and watch a guy talk about some confusing theory or concept. Little did I know that this video was going to change my outlook on so many different things. I now have a better understanding of why it is better to ask yourself “why?” instead of “what?”

This Ted Talk was one for the books. Simon Sinek used only his voice and a sheet of paper to explain how to be a successful person or company. He started with different examples to provide an understanding of how his theory worked. He believed that instead of selling “what” you should sell “why”. Selling what is only telling the customer WHAT you are selling. Telling them WHY allows them to be a part of not just your product, however, also the ideas and minds behind it. He used the example of Apple. A person is more likely to buy a MacBook than a Dell computer because Apple has been successful in selling their “why”. He used the quote, “you wouldn’t buy an MP3 Player from Dell would you?” this question is aimed towards sparking a realization that Apple is just like Dell, they are both companies that sell computers. The difference between these companies is “how” they do it. Apple tells people “why” they should buy their product, not “what” they are selling.

This Ted Talk sparked a lot in my head as a leader. Instead of requesting followers by telling them what I am trying to accomplish, I should tell them why I am trying to accomplish it. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. did not say, “I have a plan” he said, “I have a DREAM”. He exemplifies the “why”. He tells people what they believe too. He provides a background and credibility to say that he one day wants to see a better world. Martin Luther King Jr. had millions of followers, and I am certain there were other people trying to lead a movement too. So WHY was Doctor King successful in his attempt? He told people WHY he wanted to change things, not WHAT he was going to do.

In class, we created our “WHY” statements. I pondered so many ideas and finally came up with the perfect WHY for me. My why statement is: To inspire others to see themselves as the change in the world. I want people to know that they CAN be something more than a follower. I want my peers, family and the strangers in my class to recognize themselves as someone who is important to our world. This Ted Talk sparked a movement. A movement to allow people to believe they ARE enough.

Now after watching this Ted Talk I have been more aware of WHY I am doing anything. Everything I do now I think about the why. It is amazing how just being aware of the concept has allowed me to think bigger. I have tried to infuse this idea into my Rotaract club by talking about why we were helping people and volunteering, this helps all of us focus on the bigger picture instead of complaining because we are too busy.

Leadership Development

Leadership, Yes or NO?

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

Leadership Development · Leadership Education

Connections Conference 2016

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.picture2

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.picture1

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”.

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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