COM461L Reflection

For the LAS protocol, we as a cohort were required to take COM461L, or Communication in Leadership. Communication in leadership is a wonderful course that is designed to explore how leaders communicate in many different situations. We explored crisis communication, communication in groups and teams, communication in organizations, and public communication. The cool part of this class is that it is essentially a continuation of the LDR200 class, which lays the foundation for leadership theory. COM461L does a great job exploring how communication and leadership are so interconnected and how important leaders’ messages are to their followers. The class was taught by Prof. Elizabeth Carlson, and I have not met a more genuine professor in my life. She always had the best interests of students in mind and was always available as a resource. She was positive throughout the entire semester. With COM being one of my weaker subjects, I was a little nervous coming into this class; however, all my worries quickly disappeared. Prof. Carlson believed that leaders have the ability to communicate with followers through storytelling, and a few of our assignments did just that. Through many extemporaneous presentations we worked on our storytelling, which really is a great method of communicating, as it establishes credibility and showcases passion.

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Communication is so important in the world we all live in today. Whether it is face to face or virtual, it is important to know how to communicate appropriately. We as leaders have an obligation to fulfill. We are the bridge between organization and employee, or government officials and constituents. As a leader, it is important to polish up our own personal communication skills to ensure that we are able to convey messages with ethical intent and inclusiveness. In the world today, we see a lot of political business being dealt with inappropriate tweets, outbursts, or news coverage. Since when is twitter the new boxing ring for political figures? As learned in this class, emotional competency is very important when it comes to communicating as a leader. Following the domestic violence incident on CMU’s campus, it is important as a leader to be able to use emotional competence to ensure that followers feel safe. In times of crisis, a leader must ensure that their followers are taken care of first, while maintaining their composure.

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COM461L has taught many things about leading in teams that I never knew before the course. As I approach my professional career, I will remember the material from the course. It is evident that employees will often work in teams in the workplace, and I have learned so much information regarding team management, leadership styles(and when to use which one), as well as how to host and manage a efficient meeting. Moving forward, the most important thing that has stuck with me professionally is the idea of having efficient meetings. Often times meetings are boring, long, and appear to have no clear agenda. This not only is terribly mundane, but discourages members from attending the meeting in the first place. In the real world, I imagine that I will attend countless meetings and maybe put on a few myself, and I want to ensure that the meetings serve a collaborative purpose. Moving forward, that is so much from this course I can use. The world needs leaders that communicate with inclusiveness and passion. I believe that this course has given me the foundation to lead in that manner.

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Leadership In Sigma Alpha Epsilon: An RSO Reflection

In the fall of 2016, I decided that I wanted to go Greek. I decided to rush Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity here on CMU’s campus. When going through the process, I did not know what to expect, but joining SAE has truly impacted my life in ways that could not be explained.

Soon after joining SAE, I knew that I was joining a brotherhood. Never have I ever had a solid group of 40+ guy friends in my life. SAE has shattered all stereotypes regarding “fake friends.” Not only are the members of my fraternity my brothers, but they are my friends, friends that are there in times of good and in times of bad. Genuine friends, friends that cannot be bought or bargained for. I can genuinely say that I can see multiple members of my fraternity standing up in my wedding. During my first semester, I was elected to serve as the Member Educator, and currently sit on my fraternity’s executive board. Following the Member Educator position, I was elected President of SAE in the Fall of 2017. If someone would have told me that I would have been president after three semesters of a fraternity, I would have told them that they were crazy. But here I am. I lead a group of 49 of the most genuine and respectful leaders here on campus, and I could not be prouder of my organization.

 

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I have learned many things from joining SAE and later getting elected to the executive board. Greek Life in general gets knocked for “partying” and what not, but Greek Life instills a sense of community into each of its members. Being in Greek life has also made me think more about others than myself and has created a great sense of camaraderie between all groups within the community. The world today has become selfish. People don’t think about others as much anymore. Philanthropy is begged for rather than simply given. This is a problem. People in the world need a helping hand sometimes, and one must reach out to give support. After joining my fraternity, I can truly say that I am dedicated to helping those who cannot help themselves through philanthropy and service. Each day I attempt to achieve my why statement: “Inspire others to protect and serve communities that cannot protect themselves.” My involvements in Greek Life have contributed to allowing me to indeed serve the communities around me. Being elected President has made me grow up… very quickly. As the President, it is my job to ensure that all brothers are accounted for and each brother of mine remains safe throughout their stay in SAE. I am truly honored to have been entrusted the role as president in my fraternity and have been putting my heart and soul into the job. After almost four semesters in my fraternity, I can say that I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I have had to make tough calls as a leader, I have upset some people, I have made some bad decisions, and I have lost friends. There has been some negative, but I feel that I have truly grown as an individual, and as a leader. I have had good days, and I have had bad. In my opinion, the good days outweigh the bad. Be true.

 

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Ted Talk Reflection

At the beginning of the Ted Talk, Simon Sinek explains how people in history have been successful in Leadership. Sinek explains that certain people are able to effectively communicate ideas to other people, and explains how the people that are able to do so are special. Typically when delivering a speech to an audience, it is common for someone to start with what, then work into the how, and finally finish with the why. Simon Sinek goes on to explain to the audience that the extraordinary leaders are able to do something that many people cannot do. Instead of going from the outside in, the great leaders can work from the inside out and start with the why and work their way out. The idea of using the why first, how second, and what third is “The Golden Circle.” The Golden Circle has inspired many leaders to use their passions to inspire others to do great in the world. Sinek goes into great detail regarding biology of the brain and how the circle works very similarly to the human brain. Sinek finishes his presentation saying that, “those who lead inspire us, we follow not for them, but for ourselves.” Sinek does a wonderful job of explaining the concept that leaders INSPIRE their followers to do great things, not force them to take part in a plan.

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The purpose of the Golden Circle is to inspire, and prominent leaders do just that. Realizing that the why is way more important than the what is what sets successful people apart from unsuccessful people. In the presentation, Sinek gives an example related to the aviation industry. During the early 20th century, Samuel P Langley was on the prowl to discover the key to controlled flight, however he wanted to do it for the wrong reasons. Langley wanted to make a ton of money off the idea of flight and often went around telling people “how he was going to do it.” The problem with Langley is that he did not have the passion that the Wright Brothers had. The Wright Brothers were ultimately able to beat Langley, a millionaire with many resources, to the solution for controlled flight. Why were the Wright Brothers able to do this? They were able to use their passions to inspire others around them to believe in them and this ultimately allowed them to be successful in the field. The Wright Brothers wanted to bring aviation to all, and share the opportunities with others rather than being selfish like Langley.

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Now What? :Why is the “Golden Circle” important and why is Simon Sinek recognized for his presentation on the “Golden Circle”?  Sinek was able to find a concept that can be applied to many things in the real world. Whether it is in the professional workplace, or in a personal movement or protest, stating a passion and why one does something is way more important than what is being done. As a student studying leadership, it is important to use this presentation as a stepping stone to learning new ideas about individual passions. As a leader, it is important to recognize passions in others and inspire those to act and share those passions with the world. When presenting ideas to my boss or my RSOs here on campus, I will be sure to use the “Golden Circle” and start from the inside when describing what I want to accomplish. It is so important to tell the “Why” rather than the “What.” People do not follow you for what you do, they follow you for why you do it***simonsinek3

COM 267L

img_2822Coming into the 2016 Fall Semester, I was worried about maintaining my school work and balancing all of my classes, but I was very excited to discover that I was required to take debate class for my leadership protocol and leadership minor. Going into the class I was fairly confident regarding the material because I really enjoyed my debating experience in high school. Being so involved in politics made me very excited about the class. Politics revolved around debate, and being so passionate about politics made me really want to learn and understand the techniques regarding the art of rhetorical usage and the art of debate.

When the class actually started it totally met my expectations. The class has taught me the fundamental terms and methods of debate. During this class, I have learned the proper way to debate, using logical arguments rather than emotion. I have learned two major debating types, the Parliamentary Debate and the Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Both debates have taught me the importance of using good evidence and making sure the evidence came from a good and reliable source. The professor of this class is great!  Dr. Hillman is a wonderful professor who likes to make the class funny when teaching the material. Dr. Hillman truly wants all of his students to succeed and will work 1 on 1 with each student if it is necessary.

Now what?: After taking this class, I am ready to respectfully debate people in the real world. As a leader, it is important to realize the importance of good debate and how to do it respectfully. As a leader, we must use logical arguments and use our credibility to be heard, rather than fallacious claims filled with emotion. I know that after this class, I am better prepared to take on the constant challenges the world has to offer. I understand that everyone cannot agree with everyone, but we must accept the differences and debate respectfully and properly.