During the 2015 Connections Conference at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, I listened to four leadership lectures. My favorite one was by Central Michigan University academic advisors Kaela Humm and Georgina Main. Their lecture was all about improving time management skills. To better these skills, everyone was given a chart to map out where all their time was spend during the day. After doing calculations to see how much time is spent sleeping, studying, eating, showering, etc. on an average week, I found out I have roughly five free hours in the week (not including time spent on my phone or watching tv). Because I know where my time is spent, I can effectively use it and even map out when I need to do certain tasks during the day.
I learned the different quadrants on the priority grid: urgent and important, not urgent but important, urgent but not important, and not urgent or important. Tasks in the urgent and important quadrant (studying for a test tomorrow) produce the most stress. I learned it is more productive to be in the not urgent but important quadrant (studying for a test that is next week) because you have time to get
tasks done. This will reduce stress and help me when multiple tasks are on my plate. I must start and finish my important tasks before they become urgent and stressful. I also learned tasks in the urgent but not important quadrant (friends are going to the movies now) are fine to do, but they interpret productivity. It is smarter to get important tasks done before enjoying free time. In fact, this could be a motivator to get tasks done quicker to allow for more free time.
After listening to Kaela Humm and Georgina Main, I am going to start mapping out my weeks into time frames and write down when important due dates are for assignments. This will help produce more efficiency and productivity in my life.
As part of the the protocol for the Leader Advancement Scholarship, each student under the program was required to take Introduction to Debate. I took a debate class in high school, so I personally loved this class. Each of us performed in 3 different policy debates: a practice Parliamentary Debate, a Parliamentary Debate, and a Lincoln-Douglas Debate. The professor, Dr. Cory Hillman, did a great job with presenting the reasons for argumentation and the history of debate. One thing I learned throughout this class was the different fallacies people use to divert attention. It makes it easier to win arguments when fallacies are pointed out in arguments. My communication skills have become better throughout the semester from listening to other people’s points, processing them, and then effectively responding to the issues addressed. Overall, this class was very effective and enjoyable. I would encourage everyone to take this course.
The mentor/mentee retreat took place at Eagle Village, where we spent the weekend solidifying relationships with each other. There, I developed a deeper relationship with my mentor, Sam! Simply saying Sam is just my mentor is not an accurate description of her. She is there for me when I need someone to talk to or need advice. Together, we completed rock climbing walls, a high ropes course, and bonding challenges with the rest of our cohorts. There were times on the high ropes course where I put on a blind fold and trusted her to lead me through the obstacles safely. I learned it is okay to place your trust in others because it can lead you to success. I also learned it is okay to feel uncomfortable sometimes because it can make me grow in the long-run. Because my mentor has been such a positive influence in my life, I want to in turn do the same for my mentee. I will be a figure they go to for guidance and can trust in any situation. We do not only learn from our mentors, but they also learn from us.
I am very honored to say that I was part of the very first Spark Leadership Series at Central Michigan University. This program used to be known as the Alpha Leadership Experience, but evolved to become more effective in the development of leadership. Spark has taught me how to become a more effective leader by developing my view in a series of multiple workshops and activities. All of the participants were split into small teams of about 10 people (my team was Team Motivation). With our teams we set goals for our group as a whole, and for ourselves. My personal goal was to enhance my leadership skills and meet new people. Our team goals were to: have fun, motivate each other, develop skills as a group, be friends inside and out of the program, build each other up, and be supportive. To take advantage of the amazing opportunity we were given, we set standards on how to achieve these goals. We established a positive environment that was inclusive and free from stereotypes. Reaching out to each other was not a duty, but something we did because we cared. My group set our own definition for leadership-it comes in many forms and is unique to everyone. I personally learned my leadership style is spirited. Spirited leaders supply energy for their group and share excitement for everyone around. They make work enjoyable and motivate others to reach their full potential. I believe it is important to know my leadership style so I can coordinate with other leadership styles to work effectively. I know as a leader I excel at caring for and supporting others, but I need to work on giving feedback to others. Feedback is important because it helps individuals grow in areas where they need improvement. I am going to start letting others know how to improve instead of just what they are doing well. This will allow others to grow and expand their own horizons. Another area I am going to improve on is planning. I am going to write everything down that needs to be done that way I will finish before deadlines and ensure I have more free time. Lastly, I want to promote diversity. Not only will I reach out to everyone around me, but I will encourage my friends to reach out to others as welFollowershipl. I never want anyone to feel excluded. I will create an environment that promotes inclusion and not exclusion.
“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” -Bill Gates
Leadership Safari was the first experience I had at Central Michigan University. Over 2000 freshmen and transfer students moved in a week early and participated in activities that enhanced leadership skills. After arriving to campus and checking in, we were then split into animal groups of about 10 people and a guide. In the animal groups, our guides lead us through deep discussions. One activity I found really insightful was deciding what to do in a tough circumstance. We had to make the choice and let our groups know why we chose the option we did. This helped enhance my communication and listening skills by hearing what others had to say about topics, and applying that to what I should say. In the future, if a touchy subject ever comes up, I will have a general idea of what is appropriate, and inappropriate, to say. There were also multiple speakers that engaged deep thought about life, professional goals, and relationships. Because of Leadership Safari, I have made new friends who share similar values to mine, and strengthened friendships I had with the other Leader Advancement Scholars at CMU. I even got the opportunity to meet Central’s very own, President Ross.