Sparking Up Leadership

This fall, I attended a leadership seminar hosted by the Leadership Institute here at Central Michigan University. WOW was it a great time. Upon arrival, participants entered a room full of other leaders just waiting for the day to begin. We were given our name tags and also given a group of students who we would spend the day with. I ended up in the “Red Group” and was really happy to see that i had minimal people I knew in my group. For me, in these sort of events, I like to meet a bunch of people and reach out to those I do not know. Spark opened with a presentation from Dan Gaken, Director of the Leadership Institute. Dan reminded all of the students that, “you are the leaders of today.” This caused everyone in the room to hype up and be ready to take the day on with large smiles. Our first activity was to meet everyone at our table with some ice breakers and mixers. After we were asked to fill out a survey that would help us determine our leadership styles. We split off into groups and discussed our individual leadership styles with others who shared the same style. I ended up in the Systematic leader category, which is a leader who pays very close attention to details, but lacks the emotional empathy. When I explored more of my self, I was able to discover my strengths and weaknesses as a leader. I knew that I needed to try to improve my emotional connections with others, and I am working on improving these skills everyday. After this activity, we had some really good Mexican food which definitely boosted morale for everyone, because who doesn’t love food? After lunch we went back into small groups and did partner activities that made everyone work together and trust their partner. One activity included leading a blindfolded partner through a room of active mousetraps without stepping on them. Such activities built team building between groups and instilled a trust within everyone participating. After some group activities, we came back together for a closing debrief. The day was wonderful! I was able to know my leadership style, practice bettering some of my weaknesses, and working in small groups.

Now what?: Such activities have definitely made me more active in team oriented activities and I will use what I learned in these group activities more in the future. Overall, Spark Leadership was a wonderful experience and I encourage everyone I can to participate in this wonderful experience! Being a leader, it is important to evaluate your strengths and work to improve some of your weaknesses in leadership. A leader must always be dominant in his/her style, however, a leader can always learn new things. After experiencing Spark, I am looking forward to identifying some of my strengths and working hard when we attend LAS in the D. Being a systematic leader, I will always use my skills in the workplace. Working with technology, I will always be allowed to utilize my systematic ability to learn new things in the workplace.

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