Theory Application: My Freshman Year of College

My leadership style has definitely changed since being in college, because I’ve been exposed to other styles and people. I have become more conscious of myself as a leader and think for the first time I’ve begun to identify how I can get better. In my leadership philosophy paper I tried to emphasize  the things I can already do and the also thing things I want to be able to do. It is really hard to look at yourself and be judgmental, but I think it is the only way I will get better as a leader, as well as a person.

The one experience I’ve had thus far in college with a leadership theory was my first group project in Business 100. We didn’t get to pick our groups, so it was my first experience truly working with people I didn’t know. I became the team leader, not even because I volunteered, but no one else wanted to. I have a very direct leadership style, similarly to the ideas discussed in Path-Goal theory. I know this often comes off as bossy and brass to people, so I consciously made an effort to ease into the group project and assess my group members before choosing which leadership path I was going to make. I also lack patience in many situations and expect perfection; perfection is different for everyone so I had to accept that someone else’s hard work may not be to my standard and I would have to roll with what I had.

Specifically how I applied this theory was in regards to my group members business ability. I felt like I was answering a lot of dumb questions regarding research, work ethic, and comprehension so I had to make sure my reaction to these questions was appropriate for the situation. When I was growing more and more frustrated I had to look internally and decide what type of leader I wanted to be. At that point, the needs of the group and the project required something different than what I wanted to give, therefore I had to choose to be a responsible, respectful leader instead of reacting in a way I personally wanted to. Leadership is definitely learning to put your emotions aside for the greater good of your followers. I think learning about leadership theories has made me see ways in which I can improve and grow and I look forward to seeing my growth over the next few years.

Year in Review 2015-2016

Well, my first year of college is nearly coming to an end, and for some reason I don’t quite feel like an adult. I thought high school flew by, but that was nothing compared to college. I think the difference was I truly enjoyed what I was doing and who I was doing it with. A lot of self reflection and growth has also happened for me, which I love; I like myself more than I did when I arrive at CMU.

You know how people say you meet your best friends in college, well they were right x10. If LAS gave me anything, it was a group of people better than myself that I could love and learn from. I really don’t want to leave this summer just because I don’t think I can handle that much time away from my people. I think I really learned what friendship and leadership is about through my cohort and feel like a better person because of them. At first, I only chose Central for the money I was offered; come to find out, it was truly meant to be.

Like every other freshman college student who doesn’t quite have their life put together yet, I changed my major. By changed I mean from one spectrum to complete opposite. I decided that I wanted to pursue Political Science instead of Biomedical. This was a crazy decision for me because I’ve never really liked talking about politics until I got to college. I think a huge part of me coming into my interest for politics was being surrounded by open-minded people who I could have a conversation with about our differences-adulthood vs teenager hood. I’m excited about my decision though. I’ve always been told I’d make a great lawyer, so maybe one day I’ll fulfill my destiny.

A year on a college campus has made me even more motivated to get involved. My sophomore year I’m looking to tryout for the Dance Team, join a sorority as well as an academic fraternity, hopefully find an on campus job, and participate in more IM leagues. I felt like I had too much free time this year that I want to utilize next year. I also started adding to my completed bucket list activities. I participated in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge which I can say was the best and worst thing ever. I became the 7v7 IM Dodgeball Champ and a IM Sand Volleyball 4v4 runner up. Academically, I got my butt handed to be for the first time by my Chemistry class.

IMG_0199Overall, I had a great year. I am incredibly blessed to be able to attend college let alone have such a positive first year. I’m getting my first taste of freedom which is equally exciting as it is terrifying. I went on my first spring break without my mama, paid my own lot of parking tickets, grocery shopped regularly, and tried to master the art of proofreading my own papers. I proud of the things I’ve done and the time I’ve spent in Mount Pleasant and look forward to what the next years bring. I know I have the potential to make change on this campus, and now that I don’t need a map to find my classes, I think I’ll have the time to commit to that.

Cards for Veterans

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LDR 200L Reflection

When you hear that you are required to take a 3 hour lecture course, most people wouldn’t be thrilled, even if it is your favorite topic in the world. So naturally, I assumed Leadership 200L would be long and tiresome. But what could be better than taking the longest class of your life with all your best friends who happen to also be smart, caring, and motivated….nothing really.

Leadership 200 was very different than leadership 100; first, it went from being a “for credit” to 3 credit hours, aka, a lot more work. And, we were already very much acquainted  by second semester, unlike LDR 100. We got into more depth on the philosophical, and theoretical aspects of leadership. I had never really taken much thought to the idea that leadership was study-able, because it was just a natural reaction for me.

I personally presented on the theory of Servant Leadership.  I personally enjoyed this theory as it related to our service project LAS in the D, which I have previously blogged about.  It was one of the theories that I felt to be the most personal. I can honestly say that after researching the theory, I wouldn’t consider myself a servant leader. Yes, I volunteer way more than the average person and I don my part to take care of others, however, I can’t say I possess all the characteristics that make a servant leader. One thing I know about myself is I am very considerate and very empathetic. Many people don’t see that in me. I realized that even though I know how I’m feeling on the inside, I need others to see it on the outside as well. Until I figure out how to expose myself to my followers, I can’t succeed as a servant leader.

I appreciate this class mainly for the internal struggle it forced me to address. I think I am leaving the class with more tools to be a better person and better leader.

 

Pre-Service Reflection

I have only been to Detroit twice and I wasn’t allowed to leave the GM Building. I haven’t experienced a huge urban city, let alone the impoverished communities of Detroit. I’ve heard stories about the downfall of Detroit and the crime that came with it. There are the white flight cities of Detroit and then the enormous homeless and impoverished populations. Many say that Detroit is one of the most racially segregated cities in state. I heard the most about Detroit in my society course in high school. Shockingly, living in Michigan my whole life, I really didn’t know as much as I should have.

The Leadership Institutes mission is to develop the next generation of ethical leaders. This trip is so special because it is molding leaders other than CMU students. We, as a community, are expanding our reach state wide. As the children we serve ascend to leadership, they will expose others, who will teach others, and in the end we have a world full of ethical leaders. Being a servant leader entails building a community and being a visionary. The LI is recognizing Detroit’s need for help and putting worth actions to serve those who need us most.

I am really looking forward to this trip. I think this cohort has a unique dynamic and fun personality that I believe will give Jalen Rose an excited weekend. I also am excited to serve the Detroit area because I personally believe all of their struggles are things we as their neighbors have the potential to change.

Detroit