“Every year since 1986, people like you have been coming together, as you will this week, to work on being a better person, a better leader. To find our best self, to find our passions, to remove barriers, to discredit excuses, to get clear that we have no right to judge or condemn the situations in the world if we haven’t committed to do something about them. The LeaderShape Institute, at its most basic, is the space to think about what is truly important to you without the distractions of your typical day. Everything is designed to challenge you, no matter where you are in terms of your leadership development.” –Paul Pyrz, LeaderShape President
LeaderShape’s definition of leadership is “leadership involves living in a state of possibility, making a commitment to a vision, developing relationships to move the vision into action, and sustaining a high level of integrity. Effective leadership takes place in the context of a community and results in positive change.” Among this definition, the life changing week was broken up into themes:
- Day One: Building Community
- Day Two: The Value of One, The Power of All
- Day Three: Challenging What is, Looking to What Could Be
- Day Four: Bringing Vision to Reality
- Day Five: Living and Leading with Integrity
- Day Six: Staying in Action
After arriving to Eagle Village on Sunday, May 11, 2014, we were shown what the importance of a community is to leading. Building a trust within the community and relationships on common values/goals is essential to being a leader. I also was presented with my high-five partner who became one of my closest friends from the week, Kelsey. We bonded over our terrible attention abilities and found ourselves in the same family cluster! We walked the farthest possible route to find our community room where we trusted each other in the nursery/comfy couch room. Jasmine, our family cluster facilitator, helped us grow and learn from each other. We came up with our cluster’s name Delta Boltz. Delta meaning change, the triangle symbol representing the most sound/strongest shape, and the bolt electrifying everyone with our change. After creating and sharing our deepest secrets and past stories, I noticed how others are very passionate about changing others life for the better based on their past experiences.
We were all very open and willing to step out of our comfort zone to build a trust within the family cluster. We also learned about the Johari Window model that demonstrates how our willingness to self-disclose affects our relationships with others. The public area refers to information that others know about you and that you are also aware of. The more risks and the more I reveal about myself, the larger the quadrant will be. The blind area consists of information that other people know about you, but you do not know. In order for this to shrink, others must tell you about their perceptions of you. The more we accurately know about ourselves and about how others see us, the better our chances to establish open and honest relationships with others. The hidden area consists of information that you know about yourself, but that others do not know about you. You have facts, thoughts, and feelings that you would not want anyone else to know but self-disclosure can foster trusting relationships and are important to tell when the time is right. The unknown area consists of information that is unknown to bother you and others, things you do not know about yourself yet. Like not knowing how you will react under certain stressful situations, what your stand is on an issue, and other people may not know how you respond or behave under certain conditions.
We all were given the DISC survey/test to see which letter we represent. D means Dominance (emphasis is on shaping the environment by overcoming opposition to accomplish results), I means Influence (emphasis is on shaping the environment by influencing or persuading others), S means Steadiness (emphasis is on cooperating with others within existing circumstances to carry out the task), and C means Conscientiousness (emphasis is on working conscientiously within existing circumstances to ensure quality and accuracy). I found myself to fall under the I grouping.
This person’s tendencies include:
- making a favorable impression
- creating a motivating environment
- generating enthusiasm
- entertaining people
- viewing people and situations with optimism
- participating in a group
This person desires an environment that includes:
- public recognition of ability
- freedom of expression
- opportunities to verbalize proposals
- coaching and counseling
- favorable working conditions
This person needs others who:
- concentrate on the task
- develop systematic approaches
- respect sincerity
To be more effective, this person needs:
- to control time
- to use hands-on management
- to be more firm with others
My pattern of each letter also represents my classical pattern to which I found myself to be the counselor pattern. The description seems to be true and relatable when leading anyone and in life. I am very approachable and show affection and understanding to achieve friendship and happiness. I have the ability to look for the good in people but I overuse the indirect approach. I influence others by having an “open door” policy of personal relationships and listen to others’ feelings. When I am under pressure, I become overly flexible and intimate and I have a fear of pressuring people and being accused of causing harm. Counselors are effective at solving people’s problems with warmth, empathy, and understanding. Our optimism makes it easy to look for the good in others and build long-standing relationships. As a good listener with a willing ear for problems, we offer suggestions gently and refrain from imposing our ideas on others. Counselors tend to be overly tolerant and patient. We take criticism to heart but we respond well to attention and compliments for well-done assignments. We are attentive to the quality of working conditions and provide recognition for members of the group.
Throughout the week, I noticed people claiming their letters to represent them instead of the letter just representing who they were. I constantly heard because I am this letter, I acted like this or did this. The D’s became too controlling and overpowering, the I’s allowed it to occur and kept to their name by being spontaneous and ditsy almost, the S’s were too focused on harmonizing the group, and the C’s were too focused on getting the job done systematically instead of having fun. As a participant said, “you need the whole DISC to listen to the song”.
I also learned about creating an inclusive environment in which members feel respected by and connected to one another, where all members contribute to the formation of the group goals and to the realization of those goals. Skills of inclusive relationship is the willingness to be vulnerable, cultural self-awareness, active listening, separating individuals from stereotypes, and seeing cultural differences as assets. You can’t just not exclude anyone to be inclusive, you must go beyond that to make them feel like they matter. Doing these skills will make the community feel as a whole with each others perspectives and values collaborating. Introducing yourself, getting to know them on a deeper level, and making them feel the value they possess by simply listening to everyone’s ideas in the group because one idea can spark another that could lead to an amazing experience. I realize that I need to stop inwardly judging others because it is usually wrong and stereotypical without hearing their story/background. I should focus on valuing each others differences positively because together, we see how much impact one could be to completing the puzzle. I have realized the importance to reach out to someone I haven’t met before or someone I have to create a sense of belonging.
Through each challenge course my randomly selected group endured, we saw the value of each other and the power we all contributed to complete the task. With a lava game of getting everyone across, we learned about collaboration and communication. We found with getting the 4 bottles to the middle of the lava game to be our hardest challenge. We accepted our mistakes, didn’t let it get us down, listened to everyone’s ideas, and were able to complete the task even when some were blind. We had to get in order by the number we were given without talking and with our eyes closed, and found ourselves collaborating the amount of claps each other did and trust to put ourselves in the correct order. This required us to listen carefully and help each other move to the correct spot. We also did a game of moving the bucket to each other without using our hands or touching the ground and each of us had to do it in a different way than the other one did. We used each others ideas and creativity to come up with a new way for each person to use.
LeaderShape’s Vision is a just, caring, and thriving world where all lead with integrity and a healthy disregard for the impossible. In the morning, we were told to create the tallest free-standing balloon castle as we disperse into our family clusters. As one vision was alluded to the entire group to bring all of our blown up balloons together and create one big castle instead of trying to compete with each other, we all gathered and worked furiously to complete the task in the allotted time. Although our castle came tumbling down, we all worked together and decided to celebrate the failure. Context before content.
To create a vision, it must be compelling and have a bold picture of where we want to be. I created a vision based around my passion, health. “All Hurt, All Cured” represented the people who can not afford healthcare and who have been turned away from receiving the help they need. Everyone deserves to be granted access to medical care no matter what your ethnicity, socioeconomic status is, or any other conspiring reason. There shall be medicine available for any illness, injury, or disease and should help the family status be stress-free. I believe in helping everyone and bettering our health system because no one should have their life ended early because of the lack of help or medicine.
A group of invited leaders who exchange viewpoints and insights on leadership to us visited and made the room fill with laughter and inspiration. After being asked one’s definition of leadership, Rodger from Special Olympics said “There’s nothing that I would ask you to do that I wouldn’t do myself”. Officer Rico explained how “being a leader, you’re never off, you are always on” means you are constantly a leader because there are no breaks when you become one. She further said how if you are going to be a leader, you are going to take heat. You have to be able to face it to get over it. The panel inspired us to always be humble when following our dreams because people are going to tell you no but say you are going to do it and bigger than they have ever seen. If you never walk through the door, you would never know what you missed out on. Make one or two goals to reach before moving on to the next step to achieve our visions. If you don’t like it, change it. Be the change you want to see. If you’re arrogant, you are never going to become successful. Know your limitations but take a step in the unknowns and fears.
After watching a video called “Radiating Possibilities”, I learned how to “throw myself into my life like a pebble and notice the ripples”. I should sit in the front row of my life and participate/be in the present. I need to take control of my life and not be so wrapped up in social media/technology. Life is only so short and our generations are focusing on intangible silly things when we could be missing out on adventures or opportunities. I should see mistakes as “fascinating” because I can’t be perfect so I need to be okay with just being my best. Accepting my mistakes can lead to success and happiness by not dwelling on what we can’t change or control. By quieting my inner voice, I will be able to strive for my dreams. Fears start to take over our lives and we allow it with our inner voice holding us back saying how impossible or how bad the idea is. Guess what, your inner voice is wrong because you will never know until you actually do it. Live in the moment and listen to others because you don’t know everything. People are inspiring and your biggest support system, use your resources. Live in possibility and realize the potential you have and others possess. You will never know until you try and there is always a possibility that it will be right/wrong or possible/not possible but that is unknown until you live in the possibility. Realize that it is all invented. We were controlled when we were younger so it is time to control our life. Your parents controlled your outer and inner workings from birth. The way you look, act, think, beliefs, and see things were put into place before you had a chance to become your own true self. Fear wasn’t enough when you were younger and the comparison with your siblings to be the better one; create a new game called “I am a contribution” and radiate the possibilities. “Power in organizations is the capacity generated by relationships” -Margaret Wheatley
Having a Pitch Perfect rendition started by my lunch table which then lead to leading the wave and roller coaster activities. Stepping outside of my comfort zone to be in front of a crowd that is being watched, followed, and expected to create a fun activity was very scary. Along with these activities, it reimbursed the idea of the value of one, power of all; when one person starts something, others will follow and in these cases, have a blast!
Power is represented in groups and how each other has their powerful strengths to bring to the table. The stakeholders are people or groups are affected by the vision. They make a difference in how the vision is accepted or carried out with their political influence being immerse. The collaborators/partners implies a shared responsibility, shared accountability, and shared recognition. In vision work, it’s important to consider outside groups that might come together for a common purpose or common goal. The collaboration of groups or people can be powerful and may not be easy to “mesh”. The teams will be involved in vision implementation considering executive groups, like-minded friends, or small committees as potential team members. There is a high level of commitment, common purpose, and openness and trust in the group to make things happen. The connectors are the people who spreads ideas, trends, and visions through word of mouth with their combination of curiosity, energy, self-confidence, and sociability, and manage to occupy many different worlds and niches. They see possibilities and with their enormous social network, they are able to spread messages in many different directions. The mavens are information specialists who don’t know as many people but they seek information and once they have it, they want to spread the word and people listen! They scrutinize ideas, trends, and visions carefully, but once they’re on board, they want to be a part of the action and help bring others with. With your vision being the bullseye, associating a team is closest, collaborators are a few divisions outward, and stakeholders are the furthest with connectors/mavens being resources.
“Don’t see the book, just read it.” When creating a vision, it is important to have manageable goals and stretch goals in order to accomplish my vision. Manageable goals are more realistic and are the specific, measurable, attainable goals that represents the “bites we can handle from the piece of pie”. Stretch goals are big and bold that are unsure to how they will be carried out and could be outside of our comfort zone. This represents the “piece of pie” while the vision is the “entire pie”. The Law Of Attraction was brought up in my family cluster relating to our visions; what we commit to and believe in will attract to you and happen. I should create a dream board, network, create goals on my most used source aka my phone, and get involved on campus/find organizations that have similar values. “At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you”-Goethe
With the earthquake activity representing how a consensus works, our family clusters were put to rank in order what the group should do in an earthquake to survive. After ranking what we would do personally first, we collaborated and discussed with our clusters what the group should do. We were all able to formulate opinions, express opinions, listen to the opinions and feelings of all others, and avoided using “win-lose” techniques. We went around to articulate who represented specific behaviors during the task. Under the task orientated behaviors, I was found to be information giving and seeking, opinion seeking and giving, and clarifying and elaborating. This means I gave information that could have been overseen and relevant to making sure our decisions were fully informed. I communicated a listening and collaborative stance by building upon ideas or suggestions of others. Under the maintenance oriented behaviors, I was found to be encouraging and harmonizing to the group. I made sure all potentially relevant and necessary information is shared and considered. I relieved tensions and reconciled the differences with smoothing over issues.
The life-changing stimulation called “Star Power” lived up to its name. With specific rules and values encompassing the coins we traded and how the trade was dealt, we were equals. We traded or didn’t depending on the person’s luck of drawing coins, and found who had the highest values from the group after round one. We were then placed into three groups; squares as the highest values, triangles as the middle values, and circles as the lowest values. After ending up in round one and being segregated, I traded during round two and found myself cheated. People lost their integrity and were out to become the most powerful or highest values, square. I was screwed over and found stuck in the circle grouping. A twist was put into place when each group was given three coins with a value of 3 points that could be distributed within the group however we pleased. We decided to deal it to the highest values in our group evenly and all three of them moved up to the triangle group. Someone in the circle group looked in their eyes and asked if they promised to never forget who helped them get there and represent us up there (to which they didn’t). They became power-hungry and were willing to do anything to become a circle in the third round. We all created rules in hopes that the people who were making the decisions (the squares) would consider the changes. They didn’t and made rules to benefit themselves. I distinctively remember looking around at the squares and seeing these amazing individuals turn on this ugly ego and self-promotion. This showed me what it felt like to be on the bottom of the “food chain” and how easily we are forgotten, not listened to, and pushed into the dust. The squares clearly felt superior, greedy, and forgetful that they would have never been in such power without the under-valued shapes. The first time I did this simulation back at L-Camp, I made it to the top three, above all else like kings/queens. I remember also having this huge ego and looking at being a circle this time and feeling the distrust and deceiving showed me just how much power can control someone’s life. Its scary…I trust people easily so to be taken advantage of like that was very hard for me. To be manipulated and seeing people throw their integrity out the window so fast is saddening. Although I also thought about doing the same and cheating by trading someone a coin other than I promised, taking more coins out then allowed, or writing a different value then what I actually had to become a square; I’m proud to say I kept my integrity but I’m sad to see that those temptations were thought of. This simulation reminded me of the “blue-eyed, brown-eyed” video we watched earlier. The teacher placed regulations based off their eye colors and the innocent kids became monsters so quickly. They got into fights and had trouble with schoolwork. It’s so sad to see how quickly a segregated community can influence people’s behaviors, attitudes, and actions.
The standards or principles that guide our actions, beliefs, and decisions based on our core values. My core values were;
My supporting values are creativity, character, inner harmony, fun, optimism, hope, caring/compassion, friendships, honesty/truth, openness, acceptance, respect, and service. After establishing my values, we were given issues to decide if we strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with each statement based off our values. Moral temptations and ethical dilemmas occurred during this activity. Right vs wrong choices and right vs right ethical choices created dilemmas in my values. Each value showed me how I have problems following my decisions with what I put to be my values. To fix this, I plan on creating a board to hang in my room with my core values to reflect my decisions and actions I made that day, and whether I followed them or not. Some philosophies to follow are ends based thinking (result with the greatest good for the greatest number of people), role based thinking (act on maximum principle rule where everyone follows), and care based thinking (golden rule/platinum rule). I’ve realized that if you feel like you’re going to get off track, just stop. Imagine if a kid was on your shoulder and watched you do this situation, was your decision setting the example you want them to follow? Imagine if it was on the front page of the newspaper, would you be comfortable if your decision were publicized? Imagine the platinum rule, are you treating others as they want to be treated? Imagine the rule of universality, if everyone did this, would it still be OK? “We judge ourselves by our noblest acts and best intentions, but we are judged by our last worst act.” -Michael Josephson. The five A’s of forgiveness; admit, apologize, act, attend, and anchor, will help deal with an act that has already been a done deal. Just pushing the problem to a different place in us instead of cleaning it all up will not solve the problem. Admit the wrongdoings instead of letting it bottle up inside. Saying its okay, breathing, thinking about how to be better, not blaming yourself, and allowing space to grow/be better will help with the apologizing process. Act by getting it together! Attend the next process and think what do I need to do? Anchor yourself by standing firm in actions and knowing how to deal with it differently next time.
My gag (going against my grain) for the week was to not be so passive and speak up for my ideas instead of allowing it to be kept inside. The couple of days, I allowed everyone to put their input in and listen instead of giving my opinion on a situation. I started to speak up more and deliver my ideas throughout the week and found everyone to appreciate and want to hear more. This shows that I shouldn’t think my ideas aren’t good enough and how the value of one, power of one comes to action. Everyone piece of the puzzle matters to complete it.
When I came on day one, I was reserved and untrue to myself. After building a community, we found the value in each other and the power we can create as a whole with every mouth being important to the situation. We challenged ourselves and found our strengths and weaknesses of what is there and what could be the future with our visions. I found my vision that embodied my passions, people of similar interest, and ways to make it possible. I may have even found what I want to pursue in my life (therapeutic recreation or occupational therapy). I learned the importance of integrity (staying true to myself and values) and realizing how I will continue this on into my life and bring the energy everyone said they loved, needed more of, and appreciated from me.
It is now Day 7/365. How will you carry on in the “real” world?