We are the Marching Chips All the Damn Time!!

Alma Mater
Alma Mater, hear us now; Ever more we praise thee.
Hear us pledge our sacred vow ever to defend thee.
Mighty Mother, Queen of Earth eternal, precious emblem of our lives Supreme; Ever symbolizing truth and knowledge in glorified esteem.
Alma Mater, hear us now; Ever more we praise thee.
Hear us pledge our sacred vow ever to defend thee.

Being in Marching band is like no other! There really isn’t any other group out there like the Marching Chip with such dedicated, passionate and driven people. Coming in, the marching band was my first real experience in college. Being able to enter in to what I didn’t know was going to be a whirlwind of 4/5 years, the people in it honestly made me forget all about that. Since I was a drum major back in high school, like many others in the band, our passion for being a cohesive team was evidently seen on the field. Having that background in leadership allowed all of us to see where we needed to improve as a group and individually. Continue reading

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.

Political Science/Government

govAs I went into this semester, I thought PSC105L was going to be a dread and a pain in the butt, for lack of words. In the end, this class wasn’t a total let down. I ended up learning a little bit about the way the government works. We learned about the legislative, judicial, and executive branches and how they all function together with checks and balances on one another.The constitution was also a classic piece of history that we went over as well. We touched on constitutional violations during the civil rights movement and on the Standing Bear vs. General Crook case. This dealt with the Article 1 section 9 right of Habeus Corpus. to not be arrested for not breaking a law. This class has showed me that in order to be a well rounded leader, I should have a knowledge of some government facts to lead multiple audiences. Every person should have government smarts in the sense that they know their constitutional rights. As an American we should know the little facts that make us the country we are today.

What? How? Why?

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Leaders create a view which allows people to believe what they believe. In Samuel Sinek’s Ted Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” he touched on how forming your why is critical before you try to lead a group or idea. Without knowing WHY you’re doing something how are you going to do it. He relates this golden circle shown below to the sections of the human brain, which was very interesting. The outside portion of the circle represents the neo-cortex, which is tThe-golden-circle-e1391717108503he language barrier and controls our speech. The middle two sections make up the limbic brain which controls the way we feel and the basis of our behavior, in other words it is our emotion center. The way the golden circle is suppose to work is to go from the inside out. This triggers expressing the way you feel about your passion and stating how and what your going to do with it, not the other way where you’re just giving the hard earned facts and not expressing what/how you feel about them. Stating the big thing first draws people in rather than stating the facts and losing people along the way.

One thing that stuck with me from this video was “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” To me this simply means that if you portray your visions and your goals as a belief and the center of your dream, then people will follow your dream because they believe in that same idea. It’s the one common bond that drives a whole group to the top. It allows people to succeed in what they believe. The followers that you have aren’t there for you either, they’re there for them selves because they want to do something with this passion that they have and put it into action. This spreads around and creates more followers on their ‘why’ as well. With out the ‘why’, there can be no how or what. All three of these parts in the golden circle depend on one another and without one, there is no action. “There are Leaders and there are those who lead.” Leaders hold a position at the top and and hold authority, but those who lead allow us to believe in something and inspire us all.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”- John Quincy Adams

 

 

 

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!

Fierce Conversations

As I attended Connections Conference, one of the educational workshops stuck out to me. That happened to be the Identity and Fierce Conversations workshop. It was put on by Stacy Jaska and Rachelle Stawinski. imageIt really portrayed how our identities really influence the way we communicate with one another. We need to break this barrier, and come out with what we are trying to say and not hold back. We must concentrate on the meaningful, beneficial conversations while keeping in mind that our identity carries a role in the triumph of being an exceptional communicator.

In these conversations as a leader we must step up to the plate and have these interactions with people. We must master the courage to interrogate reality, come out from behind yourself and make the conversation real, be prepared to be nowhere else except the conversation, tackle your toughest challenge, remain still to your instincts, take responsibility to your emotional wake, and finally let silence do the heavy talking. Those are the 7 principles of having those tough conversations, now put it to the test.

 

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.

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.