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.
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.
The Flint Active Crisis Team and Service is an organization that assists the community of Flint through service trips. Flint, MI has been without clean water since April of 2014. That is what piloted the creation of this organization. As a freshman I was able to be a site leader and a volunteer through a few of the Flint trips and from there I knew I wanted to make a difference in the city of Flint. The trips taken have ranged from medical trips to trips dedicated on blight. Some of the work done is cleaning up homes, parks, or public areas and restoring them for beautification efforts, as well as having a safe places for community members to enjoy. As well as donating water to local churches to pass out.
This year I was on the executive board of F.A.C.T.S., as well as preparing to be vice president. Holding this position I got to see behind the scenes on how to make a Flint trip happen. It is a lot of hard work, but the hard work is easier when there is so many people willing to help the cause. We partnered with local organizations to help place where we serve and what service we did. The planning process took a lot of effort because it included promoting the event, registering participants and site leaders, staying within a budget, planning the logistics of day, feeding and providing a shirt for everyone, having training, and much more. The day of the trip we did not get the amount of volunteers we wanted. However, it was okay because I knew that if one life can be changed because of the trip it was worth it. These trips change the lives of those we serve, as well as the participants. I can speak from experience that it changed my life when I attended as a participant. Being engulfed in an area of need and seeing those hurting in an area is eye opening. It leaves an impact on you to do more, be more to serve others in the world. As we unloaded the buses after the trip you could tell people were grateful for the experience, and like it did for me left an impact on them. But what we do in Flint is also important because they need help and our service can help change lives, too. As we were going to our next service sight we gave water out to random people outside and the gratefulness expelled from them was heartbreaking. These people should not have to struggle for a life necessity. I am proud of the work being done to help serve Flint and inspire others to not only serve Flint but to have greater compassion, gratitude, and love in life.
Continuing beyond the trip I want to educate others on the problems Flint is facing as well as inspire others to create change. I want to pursue serving Flint to enhance my leadership and event planning skills, as well as spread my love to community in need. I have found that with love many things can be accomplished and I will use that ideology in life. I will lead with passion and love to make a difference not only in Flint, but in the world.
Rotaract is a service organization I continue to be a part of in my college career. Being elected Social Chair for this year I was able to implement new ideas and grow my leadership skills through the organization. To learn more about Rotary visit my previous blog post What is Rotaract?
Previously, the social chair was responsible for icebreakers and socials to bond the club. Also, as an e-board member I had say in what fundraisers, socials, advertising events Rotaract did. As I took over the position I used my leadership skills and event planning knowledge to take more roles as a social chair. I volunteered to create, enhance, and run the annual state conference. This is annual conference where all Michigan Rotaracts are invited to attend. I had never attended one previously, but I was filled in on the general scope of what they were. I wanted to amp it up and infuse the conference with fun leadership activities.
I was able to produce a fantastic event, as well as learned and received many valuable experiences. I had to create a conference from scratch being that I was using a whole new concept. From there I learned on how to manage a team to execute my vision. Also, I gained more public speaking skills being the emcee of the conference. The event gave me confidence in my leadership and event planning skills because I was able to take an idea and recreate it into something beautiful. Everyone enjoyed the leadership activities and it allowed many Rotaract clubs to network and build stronger relationships with others. Moving forward I am excited to continue to use my new ideas to enhance our old traditions, as well as inspire and enlighten others through my leadership skills.
Beyond the conference I was able to be a part of great things that our club did that is illustrated below. I was able to promote Rotaract at main stage and excite others to serve the world through our service organization. I was given the opportunity to lead leadership icebreakers in general meetings to get to know new and old members and unify our organization. Once more I was able to emcee and host the annual conference. My favorite parts were our service opportunities like making tie blankets to donate, making Valentine crafts for the nursing home, delivering the cards and spending an afternoon at the nursing home, volunteering at the Rotary beef dinner fundraiser, and many more not pictured. Also, pictured below I was able to promote our annual dodge ball tournament by being interviewed at local radio stations. This was an incredible opportunity to share Rotaract, as well as enhance my speaking skills.
All these experiences have helped me grow as a leader, as well as instill passion for service into me. I want to continue to share my passion for service to others and continue to be a part of such a great organization as I enter my second year as Social Chair. I have many more ideas and I cannot wait for them to put in action.
Rotaract is a collegiate level club rooted from the international club called Rotary. Our slogan is service above self and we do many projects locally and internationally. For example, last year the Rotaract club made a ball field for a local trailer park. This year through the organization I was able to make blankets for a local homeless shelter. Also, we sent books to the Philippines and made a mini library for a local trailer park. Not only do we do a lot of service projects, but we get a lot of guest speakers that offer individual volunteer opportunities.
I joined Rotaract because of learning about Rotary in high school. Junior year I was selected to go to a leadership camp called RYLA, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. I was selected along with one other student and we were both funded by the communities Rotary club. Who or what is this Rotary club? Well, let me tell you! Many Rotary clubs can be seen in communities around you and even in other countries! There are over 1.2 million Rotarians in the world. The first service project of the first Rotary club was in Chicago where they worked on the installation of public toilets in the city. Also, Rotary and it’s partners are the reason for reducing polio cases by 99.9% worldwide. At the time I did not know what Rotary was and how much this organization does for their city and world. I would say Rotary is like a hidden gem, many people do not know about it, but they pass things that were made by the local Rotary club. For instance, here at CMU I was walking through a park and I went over a little bridge with a roof on top and it had a sign on it saying sponsored by the local Rotary club. Other places you could see this hidden gem is even on highways, many Rotary Clubs like to adopt highways and clean them up or even build little libraries. Rotary clubs do so much for the community, but they do not get the appreciation or even awareness they deserve.
After the RYLA camp I found that there was a thing called Rotary Interact. Most of the students at the camp came for their high school’s Rotary Interact Club. That is when I began to ask my self, why do we not have one! I came back senior year determined to get a Rotary Interact club. I was able to present to the local Rotary about the camp and thank them for the opportunity, but also ask them to partner with me and the new Rotary Interact club I wanted to start at my school. In different terms, Rotary is the international organization’s name and this club is made of community members. Rotary Interact is the high school name for the club it is just high school students. Lastly, Rotaract is the college level of Rotary made up of college students. After a few months of promoting the club, getting members, getting approval of the city, and partnering with another high school by us we finally started our Rotary Interact club. Since, it was all new to us and we started later into the year, we decided to just do a local service project, in which fulfills part of the club’s requirement to do a local and international service project each year. We actually were able to do two local service projects the first was to help out the local businesses. I come from a small town and most of any funds we need at the school come from the community. I wanted to do this project because all the support and donations the local businesses have done fore us. What we did was contact a few businesses and asked them what we could do to help them. What we ended up doing at some of the businesses was mostly sweeping the parking lot and picking up trash, it may not have seemed like a big deal, but you could see the difference and the owners were very appreciative of the work we did. Secondly, I wanted to bring education and passion back to the outdoors. My home town is located on the Saginaw Bay. Many people in the community do not even know that we have a county park on the bay. For me I love nature and it was sad to see people not appreciate what was in their back yard. This is when I had the idea to have a nature day camp, free for the children in the surrounding county’s. I worked very hard in getting donations so that the children would have a provided lunch, as well as fun activities to do. Through this organization I found my passion(s). I learned that the youth is important because they will soon be our working generation, so I make sure I can be a role model for any child. Also, I learned that service for others can make a huge difference in individual lives, as well as for the community. If we all take a little less and give a little more we can be the ripple effect of the change we want to see.
When I graduated I knew that I had to find a Rotary club in college and did. I mentioned some of the service projects we have done this year in Rotaract and I am excited for all the new service opportunities for next year. I have such a strong passion for this club. It has brought me joy to give back to the community, as well as internationally. You get to give and be a part of something bigger than yourself. I hold the values of the club close to mine, especially service above self. Rotaract inspires me each day to better the lives around me and help change the world. I learned through the club the importance of service and I got to first hand see the impact it makes for others.
While, the year is coming to a close I decided to run for an e-board position. I was elected the social chair meaning I am in charge of making social for the group members and with meeting other Rotaract clubs. I am excited for this position because I feel that the club members internal cohesion with others is important to the success of the club. Also, by being able to socialize with other clubs we will be able to learn new ideas and opportunities we can take back to the club or even partner with them and make an even bigger impact on the world.
I am incredibly excited for the future and being able to have a voice on the e-board. I want to do more service projects. I also want to do a project that brings nature appreciation to Mount Pleasant. I want to raise more funds than we ever have before, so we can help more people. In the future I am going to live a more self-less life because I know the importance of service and a living a life that is beyond just my own. Lastly, it is my mission to educate the community on what Rotary is and what is had done for others and myself. It is important for others to know about this great opportunity in order from them to be a part of a great club devoted to service.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inspire others to be a part of something bigger than themselves.