LDR 200L teaches us about many different Leadership theories and styles. Any class I take with my cohort is always a great time and bonding experience. We were lucky enough to be taught by Jesi Ekonen. Since the class is specialized for our cohort, we have a couple bonuses added to the class. These include getting to talk about things pertaining to future mentees, protocol, and of course going on LAS in the D. I had a blast in this class while also learning a lot about the different leadership styles.
The class is mostly based around presenting your specific leadership theory to the class and and running an initiative. Other activities include two short answer tests on the theories learned and writing a personal leadership theory paper. My group was personally given the Culture workshop to present to the class. A great skill taught and practiced in the class is how to facilitate an activity with a group. Facilitation is a skill I had before entering the class, but I had so much room to improve. I feel that I have improved my ability to facilitate and still many opportunities in the future to continue upgrading my ability. I can take the skills learned and the aspects of leadership theory that most apply to me and bring them into my future roles in leadership positions. Any class I take with my fellow LASers is always a blast and sense the class was 3 hours long on a Wednesday(thanks Jesi for rarely keeping us the whole time) it allowed us to all eat dinner together.
The question at hand is “does leadership come from a ‘yes’ or ‘no?'” In my opinion, leadership comes from no. Yes goes hand in hand with the easy answer. A no can cause you to think. No is taking the road least traveled. The road that you will find yourself among fellow Leaders.
When most people think of the word “no” they assume you are turning something down. This is most definitely not the case. The most monumental moments in history came from a firm no. Just look at some examples like Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson. They fought for something greater then themselves. They did not like what was going on in society and they stood up for what they believed. All this came from a simple no. The word no shows character. It shows that you have unique thoughts and opinion and that you are no afraid to show them.
“No” is more than just a word. It represents standing up for what you believe. It is making your own choices, not what other people want or expect from you. The answer yes requires no explanation. You say no it requires and response and to think deep. It takes guts to say no and challenge ideas. If you aren’t challenging yourself and the people around you, growth will not come. Being a Leader comes from making a change and following what you believe. People don’t follow someone who complies to everyone else’s needs and the status quo. They go against the tide. Do not say yes to please others. Stand at the top of the tallest building in the biggest city and yell at the top of your lungs, “No!”
“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” -Tony Blair
As apart of the LAS protocol we have two classes we take as a cohort our first semester and Intro to Psychology(PSY100L) is one of them. Our professor was Dr. Prewett and even though lectures were not the most exciting I think he did a good job teaching the class. I had previously taken Psychology courses in High School and had an interest, so I was excited to take the class.
There was a lot of information given out in PSY100L and I think i came out of the class with a good amount. In my career field I will not need to remember all of the small info learned in this class. However, I enjoyed and find useful how Psychology and Leadership can link together.
I think the information learned in this class with Leadership can help in the future. It never hurts to understand how people think and how to lead people so that you have an impact on them whether big or small.
The Spark Leadership series is put on by the Leadership Institute to give students a passion for Leadership and make connections with other students. Spark is a four week program that is 2 hours every Thursday night. More info can be obtained here. LAS is required to attend once our Freshman year. I enjoyed the experience and hope to be able to be a co-coordinator in the future.
Spark started with a presentation from our coordinators, followed by getting into our groups. I was lucky enough to be on Team Collaborated lead by Sophomore LASers James Barber and Angie Distelrath.
We got to do some activities to bond with our group. The next week got to learn our Leadership styles. I am a Direct Leader which means … The third session was a Challenge day with our groups. Each person got their chance to take a lead on a challenge. I love participating in team challenges like this. I love a good challenge and enjoy the comradery you feel in succeeding in a group. The last day of Spark put everything we learned and know about Leadership into one activity. Everyone was split into two groups that were given different cultures, ways of speaking, and rules to follow. It is hard to explain in full, but basically the culture I was in started every confrontation with a hug and asking about a male in their life. You proceded to play a card game. Students from the other group came over to participate in our group which lead to mass confusion. Personally, if you did not get to visit the other group the activity did not have much of an effect on me. This also might have been due to me being sick.
Overall, I thought Spark was a good event and I am happy I got to participate. The best part of my experience was being able to learn about my Leadership style. Now that I know my style I can work on my weaknesses and continue to do the things I do well. Spark is just one of the many things the Leadership Institute puts on to spread Leadership throughout campus at the wonderful Central Michigan University.
Every year during the second weekend being up at CMU the incoming LAS class and all of their Mentors go on a retreat to Eagle village in Evart, Michigan. This is a fantastic thing we do as a part of the LAS protocol. The first two weeks of college are very tiring and full of new experiences. This weekend is used to finally get to spend some great time with our Mentors who we are paired with to help us get through this transition. I was lucky enough to also have a brother in this process. My Mentor is Bellal Ammar and my “twin” so we say is Nate Stempky.
Bellal(middle), Nate(left), and me!
I was ready to have an amazing weekend of leadership and bonding and i was not let down!
The retreat started with breaking into small groups and us sharing our Road Maps which was a basic outline of big events in our life. We would be in these groups throughout the week. Each day we got to participate in one large event. The first day we got to go on a High Ropes course. It was a great experience and got to test people in many different aspects whether you were afraid to be suspended that high or challenged yourself such as doing certain parts blindfolded. After the activity got over we got free time to bond with both classes of LAS. I spent most of this time playing volleyball which was a blast! We ended the night by having a bonfire together and moving all of the mattresses into the main room and having a big slumber party. The first day was definitely a success with tons of bonding! The next day my group had some leadership activities we went through. We did 4 activities included having to move different sized tires from 3 poles with many rules that made it a challenge and getting everyone across a fake river of tree stumps. We ended the day on going over peoples best memories, what they learned, and some reflection. To see a video of our trip click here.
I had such a memorable time at Eagle River with my class of LAS and the sophomore class! This is just the start of the bond that I will form with all of these fantastic people. It was great to see how close the Sophomore class was and them telling us how that will be us. The future is bright and I am excited to participate in the Mentor/Mentee retreat next year as a Sophomore with my own mentee and to spend the next four years with the LAS class of 2015 at the wonderful Central Michigan University.