LDR 200 Reflection

We came in to this semester knowing a little bit more about leadership than when we started the school year. The LAS 2015 cohort was ready to hop on the horse. This class was tailored for us to learn how to facilitate and to determine what our most ideal form of leading was. Through this discovery, we all were assigned a workshop to present to the class. These consisted of leadership theories that we had to dissect and facilitate, that characterize the many takes and forms on leadership. My workshop was Culture and Leadership which is a theory that paired these two separate sects together which showed the relation in how being in different cultures can affect your leadership effectiveness. The culture aspect was studied through the GLOBE project, which contained 160 investigators who went out and researched 17000 managers in 950 organizations through 62 societies. This study allowed for cultures to see there differences in leadership through dividing up the countries into 10 country clusters. The purpose was to increase our understanding of cross-cultural interactions and the impact of culture on leadership effectiveness. The first step is to learn about and understand the culture that you are in. If you don’t understand the people that you are working with, how do you expect them to understand you as well. Breaking the barriers and trying to understand all realms of culture whether or not your going to lead an organization, is something everyone should be invested in.

Another requirement of this class was to facilitate an initiative, which is an activity that engages a group in a fun and interactive way, while also teaching them about the many traits that build a leader. My initiative team had integrity which is defined as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles and moral uprightness. To present this we had everyone get in small groups and played a mock game of “never have I ever” where they would snap if they have done this certain activity and then put a finger down. The questions asked were solely based on situations where you would use integrity. An example would be “Never have I ever knowingly let someone cheat off of me for a test.” Then they would get in a big group and clap instead of snap. Our goal was to see if there level of integrity was challenged when they were surrounded by others who may not do those tasks. Being emerging leaders, its our job to hold a level of integrity not just within our selves but with our followers. If we hold our selves accountable and create a trustful and honest environment, then integrity will prove itself strong.

In the end, this class has showed me all sides to leadership and what forms I may need to use in certain situation, where I can better impact and motivate my followers. It has brought me closer to my cohort and has showed me what I am capable as a leader. I was able to work on my public speaking skills and really task my brain on other ways in which i can better my self and others. If you’d like to see my interpretation of leadership, check out my page on Leadership Philosophy.

NO, No, No!

A question was asked of us to answer in Leadership 200, one that was very compelling and has many sides one can take. The question was “Does leadership come form a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’?” Once I read the question I didn’t immediately know what to say. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even get what the question was asking. Being the person that I am, I didn’t write this post the second we were assigned it, and that was for the better.

no2.jpgYou see, this question had stuck with me for the past couple weeks or so. It kept me thinking and had me applying this question to the things that I have done in my life and about past leaders in history. Yes there is this whole debacle that says leaders are born great and it comes naturally, but no one has gone through their life without a single no. Trust me, even the greatest leaders have been told no on their journey to being great. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was told that his dream wouldn’t come true, but here I am today, an african american woman able to be in schools where race isn’t a factor on my education or the friends I make. The Beatles were told no by a recording company because guitar music was on its way out, but now they have the most number 1 hit songs on The Billboards Top one hundreds. If you were told no, you probably didn’t drop what you were doing and gave up. You kept on trying to prove whoever wrong. This is where leadership comes from; the rejection, the questioning, overcoming standards and rising to the top.

Some may say ‘yes’ to this question, but I simply disagree because a yes is success that simply leads you to being lazy. You think you know all the knowledge once you get there and then you crash and burn and wonder why it happened. A no leads you to look for things deeper and drives you to overcome the barriers that were set around you. Once you break through you realize that you have to keep going because there will always be people telling you no or you can’t do it. Well its their time to realize that YOU CAN!

COM267L Reflection

This class is a requirement for the LAS protocol. That means that I got to take it with half of the members of my cohort which was around 20 or more. At the beginning of the year I was excited to take this class because it would allow me to grow as not only a speaker, but in ways to be more argumentative. This did not happen though. I thought that it was one of my most dreaded classes. Our professor, Dr. Kai, was very well rounded and was able to let me see the areas I needed to develop more in, but he wanted us to debate primarily on politics.

He referred to us as his Master Debaters every time he walked into class by saying, “Good afternoon Master Debaters,” and we’d have to respond with, “Good afternoon Dr. Kai.” I feel like he was unsure if he wanted to be serious with us or joke with us during the semester. Eventually he warmed up to us and we would have our laughs.

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Our class Halloween party  where we all dressed up as “The Master Debater”.

Even though this class overall was not my favorite, I would have to say that it has made me realize what places I need to improve on while debating. Since I know the general areas I need to work on you’d think that I’d know how to fix them right?  I expected to get input from the debates so we could fix those problems the next time we went to debate, but we didn’t debate that many times anyways. Our first debate was dragged on because we had to do research on the resolved and form arguments which is understandable, but then he had to give us quizzes on material he didn’t go over which would have helped substantially in our debates. The only skill that I picked up from this class is how to find information on Cmu’s database in the library (even though he showed  us how to do this AFTER we got all of our briefs/information for the debate).

I can see how this relates to leadership in that every great leaders should possess argumentative skills, but we spent over half the semester doing basically everything reverse of how we were suppose to do it with little to no feedback. As a leader, I will strive to tackle these breaks in my argumentation and create ways to enable my ability to ague better in the long run. As the semester Dr. Kai warmed up to all of us and he did do a good job with the class, he just needed to come in a little more prepared.

Can I get a Wolf Wolf?!

Great Wolf Lodge was the place to be the weekend of November 7th-8th. They hosted a conference put on by Central Michigan University called Connections.

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The host of the 2015 Connections Conference.

The whole thing behind connections was to build your leadership skills within yourself for the organizations you went there for, but it was also to build connections with the others around you so campus could be connected a grow together. This conference was a success in my eyes. Once we got there we were separated into institutes named after people who impacted campus and promoted connections on campus as well. My institute was Coles Institute.

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Asset Map for Coles Institute.

Within those groups we created an asset map that connects all of our assets together to show that they all coincide and rely on one another. Whether it was an individual asset, institutional, organizational, whatever it was we wrote it down. We can all feed off of each other and become assets for one another.

Throughout the day we went to educational sessions that branched off onto many different topics on leadership. I loved these because they educated you on things that will actually help you tackle problems that surface either when you’re in a rut, struggling with time, or conversations.

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Sarah Wheeler, friend from class, connecting our friendship.

Everyone would say that the water park and the pizza speed dating was probably the best part about connections because it was the time to connect with the people around you. With the help of connections I was able to see that our campus is filled with several people, and probably more, who are filled with the passion to make a difference at CMU. If we could bring all of these people together, we could make Centrals campus a great one.