M is for M(entee)adeline

Woowzah! That is one in a million things I can say about this amazing individual! Sometimes you will meet people who you know will make such a significant impact in so many lives that you are just honored to have them in your life. Madeline is that person! Being a mentor was something I didn’t think I would be great at but it ended up being such an honoring experience. You go into this relationship wanting the best and hoping to teach your mentee something, and hoping you did just that. Somewhere along the way, I feel as if I’ve learned more from Madeline than she has learned from me! Here are some things I’ve learned:

  1. Find what makes your heart burn with passion and stick to it
  2. Love endlessly
  3. Christmas is THE best season
  4. Puns are great
  5. To serve God in life
  6. Music speaks to the soul
  7. Family is forever
  8. BREAD IS AWESOME
  9. To embrace the weird
  10. SO MUCH MORE….

BEing a mentor has continually made me a better person everyday. I strive to be that person others can look up to and that will always be there for them in the end. Being a mentor is a blessing and Madeline is truly one to get to know! Thank you for not only being the beautiful person you are but for impacting my life and many others! You will for sure make a bomb mentor and gma is here to spoil her gbaby rotten.

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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.

I got A Spark in my Leadership

“Leadership is influence; nothing more, nothing less.”                                                                                                     ~John C. Maxwell

Spark leadership is exactly what the words say. You’re sparking and starting a fire in your leadership. Although some people may say this series was a lot like other leadership camps we’ve been to, I would say that they were right but it was different in a  way as well. imageSpark not only introduced me to different people here on campus, it introduced me to the many things I can portray my leadership into such as clubs, organizations, and volunteering. For me, Spark was an enriching experience.

Session 1: Apple Pie!

As we all came in,everyone was split into different group. My groups name was Team Motivation. We all were there for a common reason that we all shared. That was leadership. As the day went on we created our goals and other guidelines that we wanted to complete as we went through this series. My goal was to get more involved, develop more leadership skills, and to get out of my comfort zone. Our group goal was to build each other up, motivate one another, smile, and to keep our goals in the long run. Also, apple pie was implemented in that as well (group inside joke).

Session 2 & 3: Leadership Style/Development

I came is with the previous knowledge that my leadership style was spirited. To take the test again and get the same thing was no surprise to me. I like to get a group pumped up and have enthusiasm for what we are doing.

I am also on the considerate side as well so while I get people hype I like to make sure everyone feels included and has put in their two cents. While I know that being too spirited can get in the way of the goal, I know how to control the situation when its at hand and I’m able to work with other leadership styles to enhance mine. Some things I said I needed to work on was to think more thoroughly instead of just encouraging people and to speak up. I can begin to practice the act of time meaning using time to think through a situation rather than rationally acting on it. Develop a plan before jumping in is how I will continually try to reinvent my leadership skills.

“A good leader inspires others with confidence in her; a great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves.”     ~Raymond Dreyfack

Session 4: Culture

As we were put through a so called game we had to abide by our cites rules and not step out of the boundaries or you’ll be frowned upon. Several of us probably thought that this game was silly and all the things we were doing. Ever so often they would send a group of our people in exchange for another group of people from the other territory. laI happened to be one who went over to the other side and boy was it confusing. Everyone was speaking a different language and were treating you differently and walking away. As we reflected back on this game, it came into realization that it was supposed to resemble cultural diversity today and how people aren’t accepted for who or what they are just based on the way they do things. This brought aspect into my eyes in showing that its important to communicate and be able to learn world views so you can become widely diverse.

 

Mentors, Mentees and Retreat OOH MY!

One of the most unique things about the Leaders Advancement Scholarship is being able to have a mentor there for you, as well as your cohort, as you transition into college life. One way for you to develop that relationship and get to know every one in your cohort more is at the Mentor Mentee Retreat at Eagle Village. In my case, the day when the retreat started just happened to be the same day as a football game where I had to march for band, but that didn’t stop me from going! As soon as the game was done we worked our way up there so we could be there for the last day of activities.

My mentor, Taylor Brown has been a huge help in my first year here at CMU. The fact that we have so much in common, according to goals as to where we’re going in life with our careers, and random things in general just makes her the absolute best mentor. Once I arrived at Eagle Village everyone was surrounding a camp fire after a long day of activities. The campfire talk was prime bonding time where everyone opened up and shared tips, stories, friendships made, or just information about college in general.

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The next day was a day filled with challenge. In order to take a relationship/friendship further you have to instill a level of trust with in one another. This obstacle was going to be on a high ropes course. Being a natural dare devil at heart, I have completed ropes course before as well as my mentor so we decided to take it a step further to implement a challenge on ourselves. We went on the course BLINDFOLDED!!

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The struggle in my face from taking this course the hard way through!

It was a challenge we were willing and ready to take. Being blindfolded created a level of vulnerability that you had to overcome. Having Taylor there through this task made it a whole lot easier. We were basically each others set of eyes as we went across the obstacle. For the most part everything wasn’t too bad and the course was pretty easy! But then came the jump! The jump at the end didn’t seem like it would be the worst part, but if Taylor wouldn’t have been there to give me support and everyone else there saying it was okay it would have taken me forever to jump! At the end I feel like the mentor mentor retreat is great and they should keep it going on forever! Even though I didn’t get to spend the full fledge time with every one, I was still able to create those bonds everyone says comes out of this! I love my class and I love LAS!

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My LAS family tree!

Watch this * video here* to see what the fun is all about!