Community, Leadership Development, Uncategorized

Campus Grow

Campus Grow is Mount Pleasant and CMU’s own community garden open to the public. I am a newer member to the organization, but have loved the time I’ve been involved. Campus Grow is a heavy summer RSO, since our Michigan winters don’t allow us to garden outside in the cold months. Since I work for the CMU Greenhouses and Fabiano Botanical Garden, I became involved with the RSO this school year. I have discovered recently that I really enjoy gardening and being with plants in general. Being in this RSO not only allows me to garden, but it also allows me to showcase some of my leadership and coordinating skills. This summer, I will be the Summer Garden Coordinator. With this position, I will plan different gardening events, organize the plots and plot rentals, and handle the business and financial aspects that go along with the organization. I have never managed anything to this large of a scale before–Campus Grow has over 60 plots available to plot renters.

I am excited to be able to showcase the leadership skills that I have learned throughout the years, as well as educate people on the benefits of having a plot and eating food that your grew yourself. While I haven’t had much experience in this position with this RSO before, I am excited to see what the summer will bring. I am eager to create a bigger community of local gardeners and farmers.

…more to come this summer!

Leadership Development

Seth Godin Reflection

This reflection today is written over a blog of my choosing from Seth Godin’s website. I had never heard of him before, but his blogs are really quite interesting and insightful. The blog I decided to reflect over is titled, “‘Connect to’ vs. ‘Connect’.” This piece was about how it’s easy for companies/people/teachers to ‘connect to’ their clients/friends/students. He says this creates a “vertical connection” which creates a window for communication. Less common/simple is to ‘connect’ clients/friends/students which builds “horizontal relationships, person to person.” “It’s what makes a tribe,” he explains. He says that companies are scared to connect because they don’t want to have less control over what happens when the customers like one another more than they like the company. I was slightly confused at this point, when reading, because I felt that there was a lot to think about regarding the little bit that he wrote. But his last sentence really brought his idea together for me: “Of course, connecting is where the real emotions and change and impact happen.”

This entry reminded me of the Ted Talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” by Simon Sinek and my reflection on it. Sinek’s video was all about how if someone has a reason for why they do what they do, and make it known, they are more likely to be successful than someone who doesn’t know why they do something, but rather only know how or what they do. I thought these two pieces were similar because when Godin referred to the organizations who only “connected to,” it reminded me of when Sinek talked about companies who only know what they do and how they do it, but not why they do it. These vertical connections made by ‘connecting to’ are only the ‘what’ and ‘how’ part of the equation. When we dig deep down get to the ‘why’ part, that’s when the personal, horizontal connections start to happen and relationships start to form. Using an example from Sinek’s presentation, he said: “MLK gave the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, not the ‘I Have a Plan’ speech.” With that, we could say MLK didn’t ‘connect to’ his audience, but rather he ‘connected’ his audience, creating strong army of people all advocating for the same thing, with the same “why” in mind. Real emotions, change and impact all happened here all because MLK connected his audience because he knew why he was giving his speech that day.

These two post from Godin and Sinek I think really taught me a lot about what great things, and not so great things, can happen depending on how I portray myself and influence others. Godin’s post relates to things on a bit of a bigger scale than just me, but the concept is still applicable. We need to not be afraid to connect other people because, like Godin said, thats when the real emotion, change and impact start to happen. Making connections and building relationships with people is a big part of how we grow as people. Think of all the “horizontal connections” you’re missing out on because you’ve been confined to only making those “vertical connection.”