COM 461L

Communication in Leadership is one of the last Leadership Minor courses that I will have to take here at CMU and I feel is one of the most important courses as well. I still have a couple weeks left of this class and I can already tell how much I have learned. My favorite part of this course is reading a chapter each week from a book called “The Leadership Moment”. This book takes a different event in history and learn a little bit about a leader of a situation and see how they either succeed, fail, or overcome a challenging situation. After reading a chapter, we do an activity called a fishbowl where people in the class are randomly selected to talk about the chapter. After their discussion, they break off into groups with people not in the “fishbowl” and further the discussion. I love learning about different leadership styles and can’t wait to use what I have learned in this class to develop my leadership skills.

Advertisements

PSC 105L

Hello friends, my name is Evan Oltman and I am currently enrolled at Central Michigan University. As posted in almost every other blog includes the fact that I am an LAS student here at Central, and being in LAS comes requirements like taking leadership oriented courses. Two of my leadership section classes that I am currently taking are PSC 105L American Government and COM 461L Communication in Leadership. Currently in PSC 105L we learn about the constitution and how our government system runs. In class we listen to our professor rant about many different things, but he sure is very knowledge about his subject and really wants us to do our duty as American citizens and uphold the constitution of the United States.

HDF 110

Once again as a Leader Advancement Scholarship recipient, the first semester of my Sophomore Year requires me to take HDF 110 and PHL 118L. My last blog was about my PHL class. Now I’m here right now to talk about this class I had a love/hate relationship.  This class was very annoying to me because it was online. The context was very interesting, but the class was accelerated by putting a 16 week course into an 8 week. The nice part was finally being done with the class and not having to worry about the final exam at the end of the semester. This class helped me realize the privileges of specific people and how we can all work together to strive for equality.

Moral Problems PHL 118L

As a Leader Advancement Scholarship recipient, we are required to take certain classes that follow our protocol. For the first semester of our Sophomore year we are required to take HDF 110, which is a whole other story, and PHL 118L, Moral Problems. Now this class was very interesting to say the least. First off, it was at 8:00 am. Rule number one of a college student is to never take an 8 am unless you either enjoy early mornings or you have no choice. Yes I didn’t have a choice. Realistically my body was at class everyday, but my mind surly wasn’t. Secondly, the first day we walk into class with this crazy old dude that has quite a lot of energy. That my friends, is Professor Gary Fuller. Now Gary is a mysterious figure, that I didn’t really get at first. His main philosophy is to basically question everything and then come up with an answer. Even the most ridiculous questions came up like whether or not it was morally acceptable to kill a cow because you were angry. That’s when it hit me right in the beginning. Moral problems wasn’t about what is right or wrong, but what we do as leaders to figure out how we keep everyone satisfied when it comes to making a difficult decision. This class did teach me how to think outside the box and I’m supper happy that we had a wonderful Christmas party at Gary’s.

#SLcamp15 #LifeLibertyL3

As many of you may know or for those of you who do not know, two of my passions include Education and Leadership. Prior to graduating from Divine Child High School in May 2014, I was selected to become a member of the College Volunteers Facilitators Corps (CVFC) which consists of college students who help plan and develop leadership curriculum, work along side the director of student services of Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) and Michigan Association of Student Councils and Michigan Association of Honor Societies (MASC/MAHS), and teaching leadership skills to students all across the state of Michigan. We assist MASC/MAHS events like our State Conference and Leadership Training Institutes. Out of all the events we take part in, our Summer Leadership Camp is our “Christmas”.

CVFC members play roles in this camp such as JC’s (Junior Counselors) for all three levels of camp, A-Team, and Captains. This camp is a magical experience where high school students come for one week of the summer to meet friends, share experiences, go through leadership simulations, but most importantly learn how to develop our world into a better place. These students would blow your mind if you ever had the chance to meet them. Their passion, courage, and optimism are so powerful that these students aren’t the leaders of tomorrow, but the leaders of today. They are the reason I know that there is hope in the world. They are the reason I know that our generation isn’t as bad as the media portrays us. They are the reason I know that this world is going to be a better place. If you do not believe me, than I invite you to make a trip to the MASC/MAHS Summer Leadership Camp to form your own opinion.

This year I was fortunate enough to be selected to return to #SLcamp15 for a second year on staff as a level 3 JC. Last year, I served as a level 1 JC and it was one of the most rewarding positions I have ever held. Level 1 was a great experience because I was able to observe first year campers begin their leadership journey through MASC/MAHS. Being transferred over to level 3 this summer was overwhelming at first because I was a sophomore in college placed in a position typically held by juniors and mainly seniors. When I was a camper, I only completed level 1 and level 2 and I had viewed level 3 as the “top dogs” of the organization. It was hard to comprehend that I would be a level 3 JC. Either way, I went into the week with confidence and the results were fantastic.

Camp is a golden opportunity that I wish everyone could experience. Only a very small percentage of students get the privilege to attend all three levels of camp. The Americana theme for level 3 is a total hit with the hashtag #LifeLibertyL3 for all the campers and staff to talk about through twitter. Witnessing these campers and how they have grown from level 1 all the way through level 3 was such an eye opening experience for me as a JC. Some of these students started out nervous and not even wanting to come to camp, and these same students end up as some of the wisest, passionate, and  most engaging young leaders I have ever seen. Level 3 is split up into three councils, Red, White, and Blue with two JC’s in each council. As one of the Americana White JC’s I was blown away by how much these campers already knew about how to impact their schools and communities. But although they may be experienced, there was very much more for them to learn.

We as JC’s, challenged these leaders through Leadership Reactions Courses, teaching them about the Gift of Feedback, talking about their leadership bests and inspirations, learning what values define them, talking about culture and privilege, what issues in schools are going on, rediscovering their passions and how they will put them into action, exploration of higher education, and figuring out how do all of these relate to them as campers and what are we going to do about it. Level 3 is a lot about having fun, but the curriculum is rigorous and pushes the students to evolve into thinking globally by thinking locally. My Americana White Patriotic Polar Bears pushed themselves to the limit and truly discovered themselves while enabling others to act. Facilitating this emotional experience for them was such a confidence booster and really encouraged me to not just guide these campers, but to do the same as they do.

“What did you learn?” was repeatedly ask to them their last night as campers. “What did you learn?” The response: “Family” “Discovering themselves” “Leadership” “Passion” “Values” “Home” “Community” “Acceptance” “Integrity” “Lifestyle” “Happiness” “Hope” “Love” “Camaraderie” etc. This train of emotion caused many tears of campers realizing that it was their last night at a place that was judgement free. A place where they could be themselves. A place that taught them how to imagine the world. A place that taught them to not just imagine, but make it come true. “What did you learn from this camp?” “How will you apply what you learned?” “You are the leaders of today” “You make a difference”. “What did you learn?” B.E. Better Everyday #LifeLibertyL3

The link below was a camper made video that shows a little bit of the magic of camp. I even make an appearance at 1:22 in the video! 🙂

IMG_1872 IMG_1835 IMG_1806 LifeLibertyL3 Camp 15 camp 2015

Preview: Detroit Service Trip

This upcoming weekend, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to give back to the community. One form of leadership is service and is one of the main purposes of our Leadership Institute at Central Michigan University. As we all know Detroit is not in one of the top places to live, economy isn’t too hot, and has such a negative vibe that people tend to attach to it. Detroit has probably the worst reputation in the entire country. These are the things we hear, whether you have heard about it on the news, from family, or even at your schooling. It may be negative, but it all adds up to our mission of the Leadership Institute.

The Leadership Institute’s main goal is to develop not just leaders, but leaders that actually strive for success in all aspects of life. We can’t just give up and throw a city like Detroit in the dirt. People give Detroit such a bad name, but the only way of getting rid of a reputation of such, is by actually going out into the world and working as hard as you can to make a change. Our vision of the Leadership Institute is to give back to community, love the community, and improve the community.

One thing we really do care about is service. Service is what you do for others without expecting anything in return. It is something that really is the building blocks of a paradise. If everyone served each other, no one would ever have to worry about a single thing in this world. Going on this service trip is another step in my adventure to be the best leader I can be. Being a true leader is defined as what you give to others and service proves to the world that you care. I can’t wait to see what this weekend has in store for me!

Leadership Book Review

A person and their ability to make possibilities possible form leadership, but the only thing holding people back is themselves. In this 2010 book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, authors Chip and Dan Heath really formed a good analogy to how people can overcome obstacles in their lives. These authors are both very qualified. Chip being a professor at Stanford’s Business School teaching about business strategies and organizations, and Dan working with Duke University’s CASE center. CASE is an institute that helps develop young entrepreneurs. Dan also founded Change Academy within CASE, which is a vigorous program to improve the impact on social leaders.

Reading the title, I was interested to see the authors’ view on how people can change themselves for the betterment of society. The Heath brothers really had a unique way to describe our brain and how we can overcome our fears to gain success. The Heaths use the analogy developed by Jonathan Haidt that our emotional side of ourselves is a giant elephant where our rational side is the human riding the elephant. The rider controls where we are going but if the elephant disagrees, the elephant will win every time. The Heaths say that if we direct the rider, motivate the elephant, and shape the path, we can bring out positive change.

These three little steps are short and direct, but powerful. The first step is to direct the rider. This step is very important because if you want to change something, you have to keep your head in the game. You, as the rider, have to maintain stability otherwise you are just guiding your elephant in figure eights. To guide your elephant, you need to have a vision and ambition to be able to move forward. This may be a hard step to take, but as long as you persevere and have determination then you are setting yourself up right for the next two steps.

For our next step, we have to motivate the elephants within you. Elephants are big and strong, but their soft spot is fear. Our emotions act the same way! If people control their emotions, then we know that no one can break us down. In order to motivate our elephants, we have to be in tiptop mental shape. First off we find our feelings we are scared of and break them down in order to prove to ourselves that we can make a change. Once we are comfortable, we as leaders have to find a way to motivate other people’s elephants to see the same view as we do. Once we direct the rider and motivate the elephant, it brings us to our final step.

Our last step is to shape our path. This step is vital for everyone who wants to make a change. Shaping the path can be whatever you want because it is your world. You have to remind yourself of what you did through the last two steps and your final motive to make this final step a success. This final step is what separates the leaders of society to the followers.

This book really does send a powerful message to CMU leaders and any leaders at all. Switch gives me an easy, but moving way to look at my life and what I want to do with it. It really gives me advice of how to turn my passions to action in order to create a positive atmosphere. I will do my best to follow the three steps of how to change something.

I would definitely recommend this book to my peers because of the use and application of it. It is a book that inspires me to fulfill what I believe I have to do. In any circumstances, I do honestly believe that this book could inspire any ordinary person to push outside their comfort zones to turn their visions of life into a reality. The best part of the book is that it is so general that it can be used in almost any circumstances.

Now that I have read this book, I really think that I have found a successful way to motivate myself to further my education. I’m sure that these steps will work for anybody. I know now to direct my mind to push myself towards my goals. I will motivate my emotions to realize that I can do anything I want because I am a powerful elephant. I will shape my path ahead of me to understand all of the endless possibilities that society and I will create. Anyone can make anything happen, it is just whether or not your mind is up for the challenge.

Seth Godin Reflection

seth-godin

http://sethgodin.typepad.com

Seth Godin is quite the inspiration when it comes to the world of blogging. I was recently reading a couple off his posts and one of them caught my eye. His blog “The troll inside” I thought was really interesting. This particular post talked about something you might have heard about recently called internet trolls. First off, a troll is someone who will argue with you on the internet and try to make you look bad to give themselves pleasure while hiding behind a computer screen. This blog talks about why you should never argue or state your point to a “troll” no matter how firmly you believe in something because they will always find a way to make you mad.

So why is this blog important? Basically people argue with each other all the time on the internet. First off, you look dumb if you engage in confrontation with someone who gets off on making others upset. People will always try to fire low blows and you will want to fire back. DON’T DO IT! It only attacks your imagine and people will look at you in a bad way.

When you strongly believe in something, don’t just post it on the internet for these trolls to attack you, but go out into the real world a make a difference! Something on the internet might be inspirational, but there will always be those people who try to bring you down. So raise yourself up and don’t take any internet trolls to heart, because you are awesome and you can do anything you want! Just remember that trolls live under the bridge while you are walking over it!

Does Leadership Come from a Yes or a No?

Leadership is a very vague term. Some say that leadership is the ability to get other people to follow you. Others will say that leadership is to make yourself better to inspire others. What do I say about leadership? Well, first off, I believe leadership takes the form of a lot of different things. I think that leadership can mean both having the ability to get others to follow you and betterment of yourself to inspire others. This is why I think leadership comes from a yes.

This is a very general idea and what your views on the words yes and no. I consider no to be a negative word that associates itself with the phrase “I can’t”. I believe that yes is very optimistic and regulates itself with the phrase “I can” and “I will”. Having a positive attitude can and will help you to persevere through any given obstacle that blocks you from the road to success. If you get caught up in negativity, it will just hold you down for long periods of time.

I believe leadership comes from a yes because I believe anything is possible. If we all continue to keep a yes attitude towards life, then that means we all have the attitude fix the wrongs and make them rights. In my future I believe in leadership as a yes because it defines myself as a person and a leader. Hopefully we can all use positivity as a positive impact!

Meeting with the President

If anyone out there reads any of my blog posts know that I attend Central Michigan University and know that I am a total leadership nerd. Everyone knows that the President of any college or university is always busy. I talk to my friends many other universities that have told me that they don’t even know the name of their President. My friend from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor told me that it was unheard of to even make an appointment with their president. Central Michigan is very different. We have a man who is very honorable and known by everyone here. Our President will make an appointment with anyone with a concern. Our President supports his students and makes his best effort to get to be a part of student activities. Our President not only cares, but believes in our student body. Our President is Dr. George Ross.

IMG_0693

(Ignore me bumming out, I had a very rough day)

This picture was taken with President Ross when our Residence Hall had set up a meeting for him to have pizza and talk with him. It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but it really is. He really is such a great guy to look up to because he genuinely cares about his students and went out his way just to have pizza and hang out with us. It was so nonchalant, and I can’t think of any university presidents that make time for the people that matter most.

About a week later President Ross came to my LDR 100L class to speak to us about leadership in his life. The 44 of us got to hear his story and ask him questions about anything we wanted to hear. My favorite thing I heard leave his mouth was how he told us that leadership is one of the most important quality a person can have. He truly believes that leadership education can do so much good for a person’s life that they have the ability to change things to make them right. I couldn’t agree any more. President Ross may just be known by students and staff of Central, but he is an icon that I inspire to be. Do I want to be the President of Central Michigan University? I don’t know, maybe someday, but one thing I can tell you is that I want to inspire others. I want to make this world a better place. I believe we can and I believe in anybody who thinks they can, but it all starts with an inspiration. It all starts with a person who cares. It all starts with a person like George Ross.

President Ross