The Leadership Connections Conference was an absolutely eye-opening, inspiring experience. This Conference that took place at Great Wolf Lodge was really fun to listen to speakers at the sessions I picked and the keynote speaker, the food tasted like it was home-cooked, the water park was exhilarating, the new people I met and the people I got closer with from this weekend is something I will never forget! The LAS Institute session let us find out more about everyone’s past and along with, we got to express what we do well as a cohort and what we can grow on. I loved this part because I now have an accountability partner to push me to be more understanding of our mission we chose and she will make sure it actually happens when I sit by someone I usually don’t sit by for Monday’s LDR class. One the first day, I went to the “Thematic Leadership Programming: Thinking Outside of the Box” and the “Situational Leadership Through the Eyes of Disney”. The main point I learned from the first session was the Social Change Model: knowing how to better yourself, which will better your group, which will better the community, which will better yourself again. This shows how one person can make such a big impact when they thought that one person really doesn’t have a say in the world. The main point I learned from the second session was that your favorite character from a Disney movie has shown you what leadership qualities they posses that are similar to yours. It also shows how that one character made such a difference in that movie and they became such an inspiration to you. After dinner, Paul Pyrz spoke about how we all like our comfort zone, but the magic happens outside of it. You’ll learn and grow so much more once you step out of that comfort zone and meet new people who might change your life completely. He also spoke about paying attention to the right now. Often we pay too much attention to the past and future and not to miss the present. So to actually have a conversation with someone and not be on our phones or watching TV as you’re having the conversation.
The next day, I went to my favorite session, the “Sharpening the Saw-Renewing Your Leadership”. It taught me to take time to refresh the soul, heart, body, and mind because its like a table; if one of the four aspects of your life was ignored more than the rest or shorter than the rest, the unbalanced table will be annoying to you and make your attention stray away from the present. The story he used was two lumberjacks competing to see who can cut the most trees down and one lumberjack took the time to sharpen his saw. The other mans’ saw got duller, harder, and took longer to cut trees down when the man who took the time to sharpen his saw, was more efficient in this task. This told me that I need to take the time to refresh the soul by singing, going to an animal shelter, sleeping, and listening to music; refresh the heart with family and volunteering; refresh the body by working out, sleeping more, and eating healthy; and to refresh the mind by painting more and just having some alone time. Doing these things more often will take myself back to a balanced state-of-mind and sharpen my skills. The second one that day was the “Getting Dirty” session. The main point from that presentation was to not make excuses because you don’t know who you’re affecting or hurting even if it’s for your own good. Do the right things, don’t cut in line, pay your deductible, and follow the rules.
From everything I experienced at this connections conference, I will now follow through with my plans to refresh my mind, soul, heart, and body with the choices I listed above. I will step out of my comfort zone and meet new people or try new things or even put my phone away because you could be missing a very important opportunity to grow. To be more outgoing and open to others, stop judging and just being with my best friends, open up and build relationships, and to continue supporting each other. This is my plan of action for the future and more importantly, its my plan that will take action now.