By Adam Falluji – Staff Writer
Improving yourself is a lifelong endeavor, and our daily experiences contribute to our personal growth. When we graduate and go on to be the new owners of the modern world, it’s important that we reach our maximum potential, so that we may offer all that we are capable of to the world. To help us tap into our potential as leaders and uncover the innate characteristics we have in us that make us our best selves, Centre makes a constant effort to provide students with a transformative experience, both in and out of the classroom.
This year, outside of lecture halls, leadership programs have been opened for students to kindle their leadership skills and cultivate their inner aspirations, in hopes that Centre students may better lead as examples of tomorrow when they leave campus.
Leadership programs have been offered at Centre consistently in the past, but this year the programs are being revamped and made more attractive to students as the FutureMe Leadership Lifestyle series. Composed of six one-hour long sessions weekly on Wednesday nights, each seminar tackles a different topic that aspiring leaders must contemplate.
Beginning by defining what leadership is, the course sequentially builds upon itself, covering ethics and a well-oriented moral compass, communication skills, time management, goal setting, and having students complete personality assessment tests to gain insight on their individual inclinations and capabilities. A community service opportunity and ropes course are also optional experiential events provided by the course.
Applications to the program were received until Tues., Feb. 12, and the program boasts over a dozen students.
Intended to be offered again in following years, the program is sponsored and operated by the Student Life’s Office of Campus Activities under the management of Kendrick Durham, Director of Campus Activities, and Student Life Coordinators Elizabeth Frank ’13 and Sara Muren ’12.
“The main goal is discovering your personal identity in relation to how you become a leader,” Frank said. “It’s very much focused on the self and what you can do to transform into the person you want to be, because we all have leadership qualities in us. And that’s why it’s called FutureMe.”
More than just preparing students to be club presidents, the leadership qualities that FutureMe aims to instill in students provide more personal fulfillment. Leadership is a complicated subject frequently discussed on campus. CentreTerm featured President Roush’s annual “Rainmaking: The Study of and Preparation for Leadership” course, and another program more intensive than FutureMe was provided for this year’s first-year Brown Fellows called LeaderShape.
Supervised by Academic Fellow Megan Noltemeyer and Chair of the Psychology Program Dr. Brian Cusatto on Centre’s campus, LeaderShape is a national program dedicated to the learning of leadership theory and interactive ideas.
FutureMe is more introductive and broad, done from the ground up here at Centre, whereas LeaderShape is a program consistent on all its campuses.
Teaching the importance of “leading with integrity and having a healthy disregard for the impossible” is the mission of LeaderShape, a goal not as easily achieved as it is said.
“I think LeaderShape showed me my flaws more than my benefits. Since I was young I was more of a leader than a follower but working with all these people that are like me showed me that I have a lot to learn about leadership,” said first-year Brown Fellow Daniel Lee.
“Instead of just using my words I can use action to convince people to follow me, without getting caught up in my stubbornness. Intelligence isn’t everything there is to leadership.”
Being a leader when no one else is stepping up to the plate is a challenge, but another scenario that students should expect to face in the future is being most effective and helpful when amongst others with ambition and intelligence. When everyone is a leader you cannot force others to follow you. Instead you must connect with others, and when they discover your character and learn to rely on you, you can achieve your objectives.
To this end, exercises in LeaderShape aim to push students to cooperate and combine their intellect. One such exercise involved moving a bowling ball without touching it, provided only with a set of ropes that couldn’t be tied in knots. Students were able to resolve the problem by coming to a consensus on forming a net with the rope.
Over the course of the program students are pushed to create a stretch goal for themselves, and then detail a step-by-step plan to achieve it. Students coming from the LeaderShape program with the intent to change the world around them will have mastered its content.
Our world is ready for change that only we can bring. Every one of us has something to bring to the table, so don’t miss the opportunity to invest time into developing your leadership skills.