PHL 118L

Tuesday/Thursday 8am philosophy with the one and only, Gary Fuller. I don’t know if there could have been a better way to start my Tuesdays and Thursdays. While this class was hectic and was often times hard to keep focus in, it really did allow me to think about important issues. We discussed euthanasia, capitol punishment, “hooking up,” homosexuality, and many others. While I had though about most of these things form time to time, there were some issues that I was personally undecided on whether or not I thought they were morally acceptable or not. This class really got me thinking and now I can confidently state my stance on these issues. I believe that it is very important for each individual to have educated beliefs on important issues, and this class allowed us to do just that.

LEAD Team

The team I was on this year was the Social Lead team. We organize social events for all of LAS. This year, we planned LAS on ICE, which was an ice skating trip to the local arena, and LAS in the D, which is a trip to a Tiger’s game that will take place in June. The team was wonderful, and the meetings were never too long or boring. For every event that we planned, each person had a specific job to do, and without him or her, the event wouldn’t get planned. For LAS on ICE, I was placed with the social media position for my cohort, so I had to create and event and advertise on our Facebook page. Other jobs were making posters, emailing our advisor or calling the Ice arena.

A picture from LAS on ICE

Having these responsibilities really taught me something about leadership that I already knew, but it kind of solidified it. A leader isn’t necessarily the person in charge, but it can also be the person who works behind the scenes to make the magic happen. Each person in my Lead Team held some kind of leadership throughout the year because we all had some type of responsibility to make sure each event happened.

Next year, depending on what lead team I’m on, I will try my best to convey that message to my team that you don’t have to be the person in charge to be a leader. I also hope to have as good of a lead team as I did this year. If I’m on the Social Lead Team again, I hope to do a few more smaller events, like a Christmas dinner or a Halloween gathering within cohorts. This way, that would bring in even more leadership roles to the members of the team within cohorts.

HST 110L WI

History 110L WI: The American Experience

As a leadership cohort, we have to take required classes with an L at the end of the title, signifying that they have something to do with leadership. This semester, we all took HST 110 L, a writing intensive history class, taught by Catherine Tobin. Tobin is a tiny, Irish woman who is so very enthusiastic about the subject, and loves talking about great historical leaders.During this class, we looked at presidents, and other significant people from Columbus, all the way to Nixon.

During the class, we really didn’t focus to much on the events of history, but rather the historical figures who led the country throughout the years. Tobin put a lot of emphasis on what these people did, and how that related to what happened throughout history. I think this class related to leadership the most out of our other “L” courses just because she focused on teaching us about these great leaders. We wrote around 5-6 papers that were solely about different leaders and what traits or background experience they had that made them such great leaders. Right now, at the end of the semester, we were assigned a research paper on a great leader who we could pick from, and I chose to write on Eleanor Roosevelt (EL). Writing this paper has taught me so much about EL and how much of an impact she had made through her life, and well beyond.

I learned that EL had a passion for social justice and helping people, and even if she wasn’t married to a president, she still would have made quite a difference. I feel that it is important for the leaders of today to learn about the leaders of yesterday. This way, they can see what to do the same and differently to make just as big, or even bigger, of an impact. After taking this course, I think that I am going to appreciate history and the leaders from it a lot more. History, for a lot of people, is just a boring subject that is required for us to take, but I now think that it is important to know. We can learn a lot from history and avoid a lot of misfortune by knowing what to do and what not to do.

Even though this class was quite challenging at times, I’m very glad I got to take it because it opened my mind to a whole new part of a subject that I had dreaded before.

Mystery Blog

This week, all we got for our big mystery blog prompt was: “Does leadership come from a ‘yes’ or ‘no’?” As you can see, there’s not much here to go off of, it’s all up to the imagination. I wasn’t quite sure what to think of this question at first… my initial thought was actually, “what the hell?” After some thought, (but not much more confidence) I think I have a decent answer.

Leadership comes from neither a ‘yes’ nor a ‘no’. Or, perhaps leadership comes from both a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’. (I really just hate picking sides, Team Switzerland all the way.) Since team_switzerland_by_mylescarlyleleadership really is so situational and there are so many variables involved, I really don’t think it would be fair to conclude that leadership simply comes from yes or no. There really is no straight, correct answer when it comes to leading, especially when everyone does it differently. When we lead ethically and morally, we could tie that in with my second idea which is that leadership comes from both yes and no. If I am in a tough situation where I have to preform ethical leadership by making decisions based on my own beliefs and morals, this would be a case where there is more of a straight up answer, thus coming from a yes and/or no.

I think/hope my answer encompasses what exactly the question was asking, since it was so open-ended, but at the same time, I really don’t think there was a right or wrong answer for this. Leadership is so broad and really quite hard to define and explain when considering every different aspect and point of view. There are few instances when leadership is strictly a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ situation. With that, the openness and plentiful opportunity that come with leadership is something really exciting that, (in my opinion) keeps people all the more interested and invested with learning more about it. It is definitely why I love leadership!

Ted Talk Reflection

If you have never visited www.ted.com, I strongly urge you to check it out and become inspired. This “Ted Talk” reflection is based off of a video by Simon Sinek. In this video, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” Sinek explains the reason behind why extraordinary people can achieve the unthinkable and the differences between how they versus normal ted talk golden circlepeople think, act and communicate. He came up with what he called “the worlds simplest idea,” the Golden Circle.The Golden Circle Using the circle,he explains that every one on earth knows what they do, most people know how they do it, but very few people know why they do what they do. He explains that the average people or companies start with the clear answers on the outside of the circle to the unclear inside. Great leaders who inspire people, on the other hand, communicate from the inside out. He explains that this is how Apple excels in business compared to another computer company; they don’t just explain what products they have, but rather why they made these products, and this makes the buyer more interested in the product and more willing to buy. He also uses the Wright Brothers as an example. They succeeded in flying the first diffusion-of-innovationsairplane because they were driven by the belief that they could change the world, not by a desire to become wealthy.

Next, he talks about the Law of Diffusion of Innovation (pictured left.) In our population there are innovators, early adaptors, early majority, late majority, and lagers. The first two groups are the ones who are more comfortable going off of their gut feeling. They are the people who do things for themselves, not for others. These are the people who attended MLK’s speech in the middle of August not for MLK, but for themselves.

This presentation really got me thinking. Throughout the video, Sinek kept repeating the phrase, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” He uses a lot of business and commercial examples, but this applies to our daily lives, too. This made me realize that if I don’t know why I’m doing something, I might as well not be doing it. I think everyone should all know their reasons why just so that we know why exactly we need to get through each day. Within my leadership cohort, we all made our own “why” statements regarding how we want to inspire others. Our statements are kind of like a motivation for why we do what we do: lead.

My why statement is Inspire others to always feel extraordinary and important in whatever they choose to do in life.

My “why” statement keeps me on my toes about how I interact with other people and how I might make them feel. I strongly believe that every one should feel important and special for at least one thing in their, and I have made it my goal to make everyone feel that way. Whether it be just saying hi to someone in the hallway, or engaging in deep conversation with a peer, I want to make sure everyone feels a since of belonging. My “why” definitely isn’t the same as Apple’s, or MLK’s, but it has the same concept. I know what I am doing, I know how I am doing it, and now, I have a reason why.