Another requirement for the Leader Advancement Scholar and Leadership minor is to take the COM 461L Communication in Leadership class. This class focused on different theories and concepts that leaders follow and practice in order to become more effective at communicating with their followers. The instructor for this specific class was Professor Elizabeth Carlson, and her methods for articulating information allowed me to truly grasp the teachings of communication in leadership. Thanks to her, I am much more aware of my own leadership style and the several communication approaches that can be applied in leadership.
This teachings of this course are crucial for well-rounded leaders to acquire, as communication is our strongest tool in influencing and leading others. It makes us aware of what we are communicating, how exactly we are being perceived, and ultimately who it is being communicated to and how that effects our ability to be a leader. I am extremely grateful for being given the opportunity to take this class; I feel as though my leadership style was given the tools necessary to flourish even more, and enable me to become even more of a positive impact in the lives of my followers.
PHL 118 is a class that sophomore LAS students are required to take as part of the protocol. I had never taken a philosophy class at CMU before so I didn’t know what to expect. This class was taught by Gary Fuller at 8:00AM twice a week. The focus of the class was moral problems. We discussed different types of moral problems, such as abortion and gay marriage, and were basically given the tools needed to develop stances on the topics talked about. This class really helped me learn more about problems that face our country and allowed me to see just how many different opinions there were on these issues within my LAS cohort. Ultimately, this class taught me that as a leader, it is important to develop opinions on these issues so we are able to stand up and use our voices to make change. Moving forward, I will be applying what I learned in this class to the development of my own stances on various moral problems so I can effectively stand up for what I believe in.
Having taken advanced history classes in high school, I was not too excited when I found out that I was required to take a history class for my leadership protocol. History 110 had a twist, however, and focused primarily on historical leaders instead of the events. This was beneficial because it focused on what made those historical figures influential and how the different types of leaders impacted history. This class really opened my eyes to the concept of leadership styles and how truly powerful a person can be when they have influence over another being. This class ultimately taught me that history is a powerful tool; looking back on past leaders and their methods can provide valuable lessons to learn from.
My first year at Central Michigan University has not turned out to be what I had expected. I knew that I was going to volunteer and take classes that would eventually lead me to a major, but I never thought I would grow as a person at the rate or length as I have. A large part of that is due to my LDR classes. In previous blogs, I mention LDR 100 and how it is a class I am required to take my first semester as part of my Leadership Advancement Scholarship protocol; this class helps to mold and foster my leadership abilities. Second semester, in LDR 200, we go more in depth with the different leadership theories and discover our own individual leadership philosophies. First semester, my LDR 100 class taught me to take advantages of the opportunities around campus to impact my environment. This led me to getting involved with different registered student organizations and volunteering with any and every group that came my way. LDR 200, on the other hand, taught me that in order to truly impact my environment and make a difference, I must know what is driving me and why I do the things that I do (Ted Talk). It taught me that in order to inspire others to follow there passions, I must follow my own. In LDR 200 we covered the Servant Leadership Theory which teaches that: a leader with strong moral and ethical values place others above their own self-interests and emphasize the growth and development of their followers. This really spoke to me, as it described what leadership meant to me. This theory has shaped me and continues to shape me as I strive to live day by day as a servant leader, putting others before myself and embracing growth.
As I look back on my year with only a few weeks left to go, I realize now that my expectations have been far exceeded. I grew so much as not just a leader, but a human being. I could not have asked for more out of my first year of college; the experiences I have acquired opened my mind and enabled me to educate others on what it means to lead, and provide them with skills needed to make a change that will impact their environment and world for the better.
As a Leadership Advancement Scholar I was required to take the Psych 100 Leadership class to become one step closer in completing a minor in Leadership. This class taught me that a leader must understand the theories of psychology in order to truly lead because to understand people and the way they think allows you to keep an open mind. Before I took this class, I had no idea how leadership and psychology correlated, and was very interested in learning. Being someone who comes from a very diverse school and holding leadership positions within my student organizations, I understand how the different theories of psychology can influence leadership behavior. Taking the knowledge I have gained from this class, I will apply it to my everyday life and continue to grow as a leader.