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What I Learned Taking A Leadership Class

C. McLean- LDR 4204

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The Beginning

Walking into a leadership class on the first day of my second semester of college was actually super exciting. I've always been called a natural born leader, and having an ex-military, ex-cop for a father leading the pack has always been a part of my life. My expectations of this class were pretty high I'd say. I knew it was going to be a lot of discussions and I was prepared to bring my experiences to the table. BUT, I wasn't prepared for one of the initial questions I was asked, what was my leadership philosophy? Honestly, I never thought I needed a step by step plan on how to approach being a leader. Everyday was just a new adventure and I would take any leadership moments as they came. So really my values were just be flexible and work with what and who I'm given. My paradigm had just shifted while becoming and EMT because I found what it was like to be selfless and just help where you could and I LOVED that feeling. And on top of my background before college, fall semester my honors class focused heavily on morality and what it meant to people of today. So coming out of the first day, I was well aware of all the learning that was about to be done in that classroom.

Reflection Time

Once we got started in class I found that a lot of our activities were reflection based. This was super cool to me and helped me really determine what is important to me and what I can get tripped up on for no reason. So it came down to this my core values and how they affect me as a leader. 1. Loyalty, I am an extremely loyal person to others and to projects. So when in a group or in charge of an activity I make sure I am there from start to finish turning my projects into my babies. 2. R-E-S-P-E-C-T whether I'm the lead in a project or just on the team respect is key for productive work. 3. Hard working in my leadership philosophy you have to put in work in order to get the best results. While these aren't the only values I have, through the reflection process in this class I've found these 3 values are key to me and how I lead my life and projects.

So what are some important take aways....

1. Leadership can be Taught!

Throughout this class process, I learned better leadership techniques. While there's still a lot of debate on if you can teach someone how to be a leader in general, I realized in this class you can always learn more about being a leader.

2. Being afraid of change is normal

There is a science to change, and resistance is one step towards productive change.

3. Technology Helps Leadership

Most people don't see it, but technology aids in leadership by connecting people and creating instant communication between people. This can bring people together from across the globe in order to reach a goal and help people.

4. For leadership to be good You have to be good.

Ethics run deep in leadership. While Hitler will go down in infamy for being a dictator, Martian Luther King Jr., Ghandi, and Nelson Mandela will always be first on the list for amazing leaders that made positive and lasting changes.

5. Teamwork makes the Dream work.

A leader is nothing without their team. Working in a team is different than working as a group, but no matter what the role is that you play, if everyone has a role positive progress will happen.

So what now?

Well sadly this leadership class has ended. Throughout this journey I've learned a multitude of things about leadership, myself, and the others around me. My morals have been questioned in discussions, my patience tested working in groups for activities almost every week. But one of the most important things this class has taught me is that being a leader doesn't have to feel like a constant burden. I don't have to be labeled the "mom" in the group. Just because I have leadership skills doesn't mean I have to take that role all the time, sometimes I can just take a lesser role and help someone else become a better leader. Overall, this experience has been amazing and if you ever have the chance or time to take a leadership class go for it you'll learn so much more about yourself!

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