Category Archives: Leadership Education

PHL 118 Moral Problems

As a LAS scholar I had to take PHL 118, Moral Problems. This class was about moral problems in the world and different philosophies behind what should be done solve them. A few moral problem examples are abortion, euthanasia, or legalization of drugs. When we look at these topics, all involve heavy ideas that bring in people’s morals. It is important to understand these issues, as well as opposing views and why your point is valid through efficient claims making.

I found this class to be very similar to a previous LAS class, debate. However, we dove more in depth into just moral problems and connected our opinions on these issues to reasons other than just a “because”. We learned to dig deeper into why we feel a certain way about an issue as well as why certain things are morally debatable. This class was important in enlightening our minds to explore topics that are difficult to talk about and creating a discussion on them. A specific example is abortion, where women get to decide to abort their baby. The moral argument that is raised is when is the fetus a human regarding the latest a women can abort, does the women have say over her body, or does the baby have the right to life? When taking a stance on this topic it is important to give reasoning and connection to why your opinion is right, without backing up a claim there is no validity in it. This idea is universal in tackling any moral problem and I found this beneficial because it makes you slow down your thinking and really focus on the problem.

Moving forward I feel better educated on topics that are highly debatable. I have the confidence now to bring valid arguments and the use of philosophy to back my stances. This class has and will help me in slowing down my thought process to truly analyze situations and problems. I will continue to stay educated and informed in moral problems because they effect everyone and as a leader it is something that should be aware of.

 

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COM 461 Communication in Leadership

COM 461 is a course taken when being a part of the Leadership Program. Communication in Leadership was a class that explored how communication is crucial in a leadership role. There are so many different facets to communication, so it was enlightening to learn so much about how as leaders we can communicate in certain situations and the importance of how we do it.

I found the communication is so important for a leader. It can be the most difficult thing to master, especially in times of trauma or conflict. My favorite lesson learned about communication is transformation leadership. This is reflective of the Maslow Hierarchy. Transformation is at the top of the pyramid and only a few achieve it. What this leader does is lead by example to influence others for a certain change. This resonates within me because the leaders that have had the greatest impact on me were ones that were driven to make me a leader and inspire me to change. They were selfless in going beyond their innate ego to encourage others to become leaders, not just steal all the leadership power. Transformational leadership as well as the other lessons I learned in the class are so beneficial in understanding how to be a great leader. Leadership is not black and white. Many things are situational and should be dealt with differently by having the understanding of different communication skills and their results.

This class will help we in my future as I hope e-board positions in RSO’s, as well as when I continue in my career path. Event planning requires much leadership and communication skills to effectively execute an event and delegate tasks to others. I will use this class to better assist me in working with others and leading others. I am now encouraged to become that transformational leader and help others reach their goals in life because a true leader is inspired to turn followers into more leaders. Also, I have more confidence in dealing with traumatic events and conflict because of the lessons I learned in class. I will use it to best acknowledge the situation and better the relationships involved.

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SOC 221 Social Problems

As part of the Leadership Scholarship it is required to take a sociology class. Through this class I learned about social issues in our world today. I found this class to be very relevant as leader. As leaders we want to change the world, but to do that we first must know the inequalities and problems being experienced. The class uncovered injustices and revealed answers to how we got to where we are and the present prejudices holding us back.

The class made a huge impact on myself. It open my eyes to injustices and why things are the way they are. It was intriguing to learn about different social classes and the perceptions within each. I found that it is important to understand that a society is so complex and it is are duty to educate ourselves on the complexities and problems in the world. If we are not educated we lack an understanding that can help change these injustices, as well as mindsets and prejudices that sometimes put us in these situations. For the final project in the class we had to research a social problem and I choose to do mine on hunger in the United States. For a country so bountiful it was surprising to see that millions of people had food insecurities. Also, I found that 1 in 5 children are food insecure. Children who do not have choose or much of a voice to change their circumstances. My concerns were how in the U.S. can we see people starving, as well as obese. How did we get both extremes. Learning about social problems was very eye opening and the class has inspired and impacted me to stay educated and aware of the world’s problems.

For the future I will use what I learned to stay enlightened about social problems, as well as the subconscious prejudices I might even have. I will continue to educate myself on social problems and what I can do to help the cause. I believe small acts towards many people can change the world. And this class gave me the knowledge and passion to do so.

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LDR 200L Reflection

As my freshmen year is coming to a close it’s astonishing how far I have come. Time is such a funny thing to think about and to even see. You may not notice how certain things each day can change you, but months later you stop and you can see a big difference. From the first day of college to now I faced many new challenges and new experiences that have helped me grow. Reflecting over the year it is interesting to see my transition to being a freshmen mentee in the Leadership program to preparing to be a mentor! Also, this new experience being at college has allowed me the opportunity to find myself and help me figure out what I want my legacy to be. This time in my life is crucial in creating my own brand.

My LDR 200L class has helped me grow as a leader and push me to the place I needed to be. In LDR 200L we learned about many different leadership theories and how they apply to our own lives. Another major idea we discussed in LDR 200L was on how to transition to a mentor and that we needed to be more independent now. My favorite theory we learned about was Servant Leadership.

Servant Leadership began in 1970 by the writings of Robert Greenleaf. This theory identifies that leaders put followers first and embrace growth. This is the only theory that frames the leadership approach by serving others and the idea of altruism. Common characteristics of people that apply servant leadership to their life would be emotional intelligence, strong ethics, high integrity, empowerment skills, empathy, and many more.

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I chose this theory as my favorite because it reflects back to becoming a mentor. I want to be selfless for my mentee. I want to be able to provide anything and everything I can for them. This year my cohort and I realized that next year it is not about us anyone more; the mentees need us now. The idea of centering the importance off of yourself relates back to servant leadership. We must put our own selfish needs to the side and be there for our mentees. I remember how scary it was coming into college and having so many questions, but my mentor helped me through it all. I believe that a mentor’s main goal is to have that servant leadership and help their mentee through their new experience at college.

Becoming a mentor is not the only experience this year that has exemplified servant leadership. Throughout the year I have found that my passion is servant leadership and not just sharing that passion through my mentee. In class we talked about leaving a legacy and that we all are creating one each day. After analyzing one of the assignments in LDR 200L, which was to write about our leadership philosophy; I found what was most important to me and what kind of legacy I want to leave, which brings me back to servant leadership. I have found love for servant leadership through many of the organizations I am now a part of. For example, I am a part of Rotaract, which frames it’s mission and volunteer work around service above self. I appreciate this club very much because it symbolizes what I want my legacy to be. I want to be known for being selfless and giving to others, without expecting anything in return. It is exciting to reflect back in the year and see the strives I have taken in giving to others and using servant leadership to help build the foundation of my legacy. I am going to continue to use my college experience to enhance my servant leadership.

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This year I have also grown in understanding myself and what I want out of life. I learned that I can be a versatile leader. I now know the importance of adjusting my leadership style to each setting by knowing what kind of leader is needed. In general though I have found that I am a spirited leader, which is one that encourages there team and gets them excited about the task. I found a connection between being a spirited leader and using servant leadership and that is you embrace others and work with them. I have a love for people and encouraging them. I can not wait to continue using my spirited style to work towards more of a servant lifestyle.

Additionally, when working with groups in class or in clubs I learned to be more trusting. I came into college wanting to do all the group projects myself and to make sure everything was perfect. My need to make everything perfect denied me the opportunity to work with others and listen to new ideas. I learned it is okay to trust others and that teamwork is crucial for success not only in school, but eventually in the work place, too. I  now try to not let my OCD take over and just have faith in the team. I believe servant leadership is very broad theory and can embody a lot of ideas. Even though the servant leadership means to serve others, I believe it could also include serving others through love in intangible ways like, respect, trust, active listen, and so on. Now that I am aware of my flaw of lack of trust, I can work on it. I believe trust is a sign of love and respect to another person and if I can improve on it I can be a better servant leader.

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Overall, I am proud of what I accomplished this year. I am excited to keep learning and growing here at CMU as I discover myself. I can finally say I am ready to have a mentee! LDR 200L has helped me get there and I cannot wait to share my love and passion onto them.

 

The American Experience

To fulfill the LAS protocol I took a class called HST, The American Experience. In class we learned a lot about the history of America and it’s residents. We analyzed the dynamics of America and immigration there. Looking at different immigration waves we got to see different nationalities, as well as the repercussions they faced after being in America like discrimination or injustices.

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An assignment we did was to research an immigration period or a certain group of immigrants. There was no rigid guidelines to follow, the reins were free on this one. I thought it was fascinating to use this assignment to dig deeper into my ancestors and where they came from. I myself am a walking example of a melting pot being many nationalities, but for this project I choose my Polish descent. I got to learn about the hardships they faced just getting to America, as well as when they got here. My ancestors worked very hard to make a living and to eventually try to be somebody. Now, I live representing my ancestors and I am honored to come from hardworking immigrants. Also, I am grateful. Grateful for the freedoms I have that my ancestors did not. I am grateful for in general having an easy life, where there is labor laws, actual freedom of speech, and many other resources put into place to make sure that a person is not abused of their rights.

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Another assignment I did was to pick an immigrant that came to America and was a leader and contributed to the country. I learned about an incredible women. She faced many hardships in her life, but she never dwelled on them she just gave more to others. She understood the importance of being a part of something bigger than yourself and that your small tribulations are nothing compared to what could be fixed in the world. This incredible human was Mother Mary Jones. She got the nickname Mother Jones because of the care and dedication she gave to others, especially labor workers. She lived from 1830-1930, just at the beginning of gaining women’s rights. She was a strong women and that was feared by many. She was considered the most dangerous women in America. Mary was threatened to be sent to prison or even killed, but she didn’t care she kept fighting for labor workers rights. Her dedication and passion was exemplified when she went to a labor strike site at the age of 82! The strike got violent and she was arrested and sentenced to prison for 20 years, however her followers convinced the governor to let her out on pardon.  Mary could have spent the rest of her life in jail and that did not scare her because she went right back to organizing labor workers. Mother Mary Jones was a true leader. She led with passion and dedication. For the future I want to work at being more like Mother Jones. First, I want to find a cause I am passionate about. I want to have the courage to stir trouble and not be afraid of what other people have to say. When and if I turn 82 I want to be just as driven and dedicated to my purpose, just like Mary because a purpose in life should never be given up on.

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What I learned from this class is it is important to learn from history, in order to not repeat the wrong decisions or injustices from the past. Also, this idea can be related back to oneself, learn from your own mistakes you make in life and keep moving forward. Now, I will be more aware and mindful to the mistakes from the past in order to make a better future. Also, I am going to cherish my heritage more from now on because I have a greater sense of who my ancestors are and greater appreciation for what they had to face. Lastly, I am going to be more driven to find my passion and purpose in life, so I can make a difference like Mary. Going into a History class I thought it is done and over with why learn about it and I found the answer, and that is to apply the good the bad the ugly and use it what you learned in the future.

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Ted Talk Reflection WHY

How great leaders inspire action is a Ted talk I was assigned to watch in my leadership class. Simon Sinek, a visionary thinker, explains the golden circle and explains why people follow certain ideas.

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Simon encourages to do things working inside out. Why are you doing this? How are you going to get there? And what are you doing?

In life we see a lot of people starting from the outside working in and those people do not know their purpose because they work on why last. With anything in life you should no why you are doing something and work off of that because that is more impacting because you started with a purpose.

People will start following you when you live by your why, because you will bring people on board with the same beliefs as you. You empower others by the purpose you have, not by what you are doing.  By starting with why you are able to explain why something is important to you and gain support from others who believe in the same.

I can admit I am guilty of working outward in occasionally, but after this video it has open my eyes and refocused me to focus on my purpose in life and why I do the things I do. I now have a clearly meaning of how working with why first can be more powerful when leading others. The best leaders are those that inspire others and by doing so I now will stay determined in incorporating this theory of starting with why in my life. Everyone wants to have their own legacy and work for a purpose by realizing this it helps with attracting people with your why. The way I think has changed and everyday I challenge myself to live more with purpose. Some people float by going through the motions, but I want to bring meaning to the things I do.

Where does Leadership come from? Y or N

As a blog post requirement, we were given the prompt of answering the question, “Where does leadership come from a yes or no?” I encourage you to ask yourself that and then evaluate your life and see if you are a no or yes leader.

I believe leadership comes from no. Anyone can say yes, saying no takes courage. And that is true leadership.

There are 3 ways Leadership can come from no.

  1. A great leader knows when to say no.
  2. A great leader doesn’t back down when they are told no, they are built up.
  3. A great leader will say no to the crowd.

 

Every leader can say yes. It is easy to say yes, but a great leader can say no.

It starts with no. Being able to say no and being strong enough to know what you can handle.

Most amateur leaders will spread themselves to thin and say yes to everything thinking that is what a leader has to do.

When you learn to say know is that point you truly become a leader. When we have enough courage to say no we are then able to concentrate on things that are most important to us.

When we are spread thin we are doing less work on a lot of things, but when we cut down on what we do we are able to put in our heart and full effort into what we choose is the most important to keep in our lives.

Another key thing a leader learns when there are able to say no is the ability to confront others and how to deal with disappointing people because in the end we cannot please everyone.

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Another way no plays into leaders is by standing up and persevering when we are told no.

The best leaders take it as a challenge to keep going.

As a leader I grew the most when I was told no. I had to innovate, find different ways, and work harder. If you truly want something in life no one saying you can’t do something should matter. The only thing in the way of getting to a dream is yourself.

I also grew my character by staying determined, confident, and self assured.

Many famous people were told they could not do something, but they were leaders and leaders do not let no stop them. For example, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school team, but not he is a famous basketball player.

There is strength and beauty in being able to be denied, but find the will to continue on and prove others wrong.

 

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Lastly, a leader will say no to the crowd when they need to.

So many people stay in their comfort zone and are afraid of upsetting others and standing alone.

Sometimes the crowd is not right. Sometimes something is not right, but no one has the courage to say something.

Leadership is being able to say no when no one else is and stop something that is not good from being done. That is true leadership.

It starts with recognizing the problem and knowing that true leaders say no.

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 After answering the prompt, I want to be more of a no leader.

Sometimes I take on too much to handle and in the future I want to be more comfortable with saying no and giving myself more time for things.

Also, I mentioned not letting no stop you as a leader. That idea is really important to me because I have experienced others telling me I can not do something.  I never let that stop me and I hope to continue being bold and passionate about things, even when I am told no.

Lastly, I hope to gain more courage and confidence in being able to say no when I see something wrong. I believe we have a human instinct to stay clear of convict, but I don’t want to play into that. I want to be that person that makes a difference even if I am standing alone.