COM 461L: Communication in Leadership

COM 461L: Communication in leadership is the last class I will take with my LAS cohort, so it tends to be a little bittersweet. Being a group of leaders in a class discussing communication in leadership might sound pretty easy and self-explanatory, but not necessarily. A lot of the topics discussed in this class comes very easily to many of my peers, but for me I need to take a little more time to find the clear understanding, and I think that is one down fall of this class; it’s assumed we already have a lot of background knowledge to this subject.

Communication is a very important aspect in leadership though, and that’s why I believe this class is so important. To be an effective leader you need to communicate to your followers and peers at all times. One of the biggest parts of this class is reading stories and analyzing them out of the book titled The Leadership Moment by Michael Useem. Each chapter of the book tells a different unqiue story that exemplifies leadership in someway, and as leaders reading the book we have to discuss the negative and positives of the leadership throughout each story. We do this by have participating in a fishbowl activity, which was designed by our professor. She hands out a cards that get passed around the room, and if you get a card with a fish on it you are running the discussion in the center of the room, and if you get a bowl then you are listening to the discussion which will later break off into smaller discussion groups ran by different fish. It a unqiue way to learn and evaluate each story; it’s very beneficial for my individual learning style.

In the beginning of the class we start the semester off by storytelling. Each student in the class had to discuss a time when we were ineffective leaders and what we took from that moment in our life. This exercise help us develop our storytelling skills as a leader; this is an important skill to have to inspire followers, and to get your passions and point of emphasis across effectively. Now at the end of the class this semester we are scheduled to story tell again a time we changed our leadership communicate due to something we learned in this class, and I am looking forward to using my communicate knowledge to practice my storytelling skills once again.

COM 461L is a very useful class, and I have highly enjoyed. Communication is a such a huge part of our lives, especially since my classmates are all Leader Advancement Scholars, we all understand the importance of this class for us to develop as strong leaders in today’s world.






Servant Leadership: Theory Application


A theory I learned this year in my Leadership class was the Servant Leadership theory, and I strongly believe in this theory. Servant Leadership is a strong focus on your followers. By being a servant leader you need to have behaviors of conceptualizing, emotional healing, putting followers first, helping followers grow and succeed, behaving ethically, empowering, and creating value for the community. I believe strongly in these behaviors. I am the person that always put others before myself and that’s why I think I am so passionate about servant leadership. Servant leadership is all about the wants, needs, and desire of your followers, or people you are serving. It is a time to put away your personally needs and beliefs and focus on the goals of the ones you are serving.

This year my leadership class took a service drip to Detroit, Michigan. For details of this trip please see my recent blog post on this trip. This trip was a prime example of the servant leadership since our whole weekend in Detroit was about serving the people of Detroit and helping them with their dream of making Detroit a better place. During the Detroit trip we put all our problems and difference aside and served the people of Detroit. We listened to the students at Jalen Rose Leadership Academydetroit.3 and just helped them develop as leaders in Detroit. That was the biggest part of servant leadership during Detroit, we really put those students in our hands. We put our follower first and that is so important.

I don’t think servant leadership is just seen in service or volunteer trips, it can also be seen in leaders in just their every day lives. I believe Dan Gaken and Jesi Parker Ekonen are perfect examples of servant leaders. They work in the Leadership Institute here at Central Michigan University and all they do is serve students here on campus. They focus and listen to their followers and help guide them into chasing their dreams. All they do is focus on creating better leaders here at CMU. They never think of themselves, and that is huge in servant leadership. They believe it is important to serve others, and I know that my cohort can not thank them enough for all their service they put into us.

Servant Leadership is the biggest leadership theory that I follow. I want to make it clear that I did not choose this theory because it was the easiest, it’s because it means the most to me. I am a servant leader and hope to continue that into my career like Dan and Jesi. My definition of leadership is helping and inspiring others. I just strongly believe in making this world a better place one person at a time. I never want to miss an opportunity where I can help others. My passion is helping others at all times and that is what servant leadership is all about.



Q1: What qualities do you look for in a mentor? #LeadChat

A: “Someone that is willing to support you and be there for you no matter what! @HannahLeighMcG is my great example! #LeadChat”hannah
When I was asked this question the first person that came to my mind was my mentor of LAS, Hannah McGoldrick.I know that seems really cliche but Hannah is a prime example of a mentor in my life. I believe a mentor is someone that is there to help you through any situation no matter the circumstances. A mentor is a person that is willing to love you and guide you through everything. It doesn’t even matter if they are your best friend, or it doesn’t even matter if you see each other everyday; the only thing that matters is if you support them and help them whenever you can. My mentor Hannah is not just a mentor to me, but also a role model. Hannah is always willing lend out a helping hand to me, and she is always there for me to give me advice whenever I need it. I can count on her to be there for me, and that is a true mentor.

Q2: What are your expectations of your mentee? #LeadChat
A: “Just someone willing to learn and a king-hearted fun spirit! #LeadChat”
All I asked for in a mentee is someone who is willing to learn, and someone that has a positive attitude. Any leader I get the privilege to mentor will be an amazing experience in my eyes. I just want to be there for someone like my mentor is here for me. I just want someone that I can spread my love and support to. Positive attitudes are key to having a positive relationship. I just want a mentee that will let me love them and help them learn and grow as a person!

Q3: What is the difference between a mentor and a role model? #LeadChat
A: “A mentor is someone that helps guide you through everything you need help with and a role model just sets examples. #LeadChat”
The difference between a mentor and a role model is that a mentor is someone that helps guide you through your goals and dreams, when a role models sets examples to create your goals and dreams. Someone can be a mentor and a role model in your life though. Your role model could be someone that actually helps you reach your goals as well. For example again, Hannah is my mentor but also my role model. Mentors are people that are more directly involved in your life, and are people who will always continue to help you and be there for you; where role models are more of people that set good examples for who you inspire to be.

Q4: What communication tools work best with a mentor/mentee relationship? #LeadChat
A: “Just being able to open and honest with each other at all times! True communications creates meaningful bonds. #LeadChat”
The best type of communication to have with your mentee/mentor is honest and open communications at all times. Mentors/mentees are suppose to be people that you can trust your life with. These people are here to be through all the challenges in your life. I think it is very important to be very honest to your mentor and to your mentee. Just being open with your mentor and mentee will really create a strong relationships. I believe effective communication is key to form a strong bond. A mentor and mentee are people that you should never lie to, and always keep a true meaningful relationship with them.

Q5: Who do you look to as a mentor? How have they had an impact on you? #LeadChat
A: “@paigeblakeslee is my best friend and mentor all this year, and I can’t imagine facing challenges without her! #LeadChat”
I have a lot of mentors in my life, but one that really stands out this year to me is my best friend Paige Blakeslee.paige1 I met Paige this year during my first year of college at CMU. She is my neighbor and I love her to death. There isn’t words to describe her and give her enough credit for how wonderful she is. She is the most caring person I have ever met. She is honestly puts 100% into our friendship 24/7, and that is an amazing feeling. She is always there for me through everything. She holds me up when I am falling and I could not be more grateful for that. Paige is a mentor in my life every single day. She does the little things that changes my mood and life completely around. She is such an inspiring and amazing person. I am so glad to call her my best friend and mentor. I know I can say she will be there through it all with me no matter what. I know thousand miles away we will still be friends, and I know she will be standing up in my wedding. I know I can count on her for the rest of my life and that is a blessing. She is the definition of a mentor.

HST 110L WI Reflection

History is a class required for being a Leader Advancement Scholar here at Central Michigan University. Some people may think that is silly, but people need to remember and realize that history is very important to leaders. Leaders of yesterday shaped the word of today, but leaders of today are shaping the world for tomorrow.

History is an important subject for leaders to learn. It teaches leaders a handful of skills by learning from past experiences in history. For example, each President learns from the mistakes and accomplishments from the presidents before him. It is important to know our past to learn from it as much as we can.

I am not a huge fan of the subject history myself, but I do understand the importance of it now. Taking this class made me think of history a little bit differently. A big part of this class that changed my prescriptive is the final paper we had to write. My final paper was on Martin Luther King Jr, and when most people think of him they think of ending segregation and developing equal rights. The thing people don’t know about him is WHY he was an effective and influential leader during the Civil Rights Movement. He and the rest of the African American community all had the same beliefs about white power and discrimination, but why was Martin Luther King Jr. the one to finally step up and lead that community to equality?

That is what we have to do as leaders. We need to look at history and ask ourselves why did such things happen, and why were these specific people leaders. Leaders from the past, present, and the future are important. Now I just need to remember to always take history seriously, because it has shaped the world that leaders live in today.

“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Just remember that the dreams of the past became the reality of the present.

Yes or No?

Does leadership come from a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’?

In my leadership class we were presented with the question, “Does leadership come from a ‘yes’ or ‘no’?” I believe that leadership doesn’t come from a yes or no, I believe leadership comes from a yes and a no. I guess that some people think as a leader you can’t say no to people. But has a leader you need to know when to say yes and when to say no. Every circumstance is different, but you should do what you think would set a good example for others. I strongly believe in leaders need to lead by what they strongly believe in, and lead by setting the example they want to set for others. So if you want to say no to a certain request because it goes against your belief, then you need to say no. If others are saying no to a certain task, you are most definitely  allowed to stand up and say yes! Don’t let someone define you, you always need to define yourself. If you view yourself as a leader, you answer yes and no when YOU think is right. It is up to you to decide how you want to lead, and live your life. As a leader you should not feel pressured to say yes or no, you say what you want to say. You say what you believe is best. Leaders are not defined if they say yes or no, leaders are defined by why they say yes or no. Now the real question is are you a true leader? Yes or no?

Be fearless like T-swift  

Say no if you should’ve said no..
Say yes if you should’ve said yes..

Ted Talk: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

ted talk
Today I watched a Ted Talk titled, Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action. It talked about a method of leadership called the golden circle. The golden circle is divided into three sections: The inner layer, why; the middle layer, how; and the outer layer, what. It is easy to work from the outside in the golden circle. 1. What are you doing? 2. How are you doing it? 3. Why are you doing it? The biggest question is WHY are you doing it. Leaders inspire others by doing the gold circle method reverse. So 1. WHY are you doing it? 2. How are you doing it? 3. What are you doing? People follow you if they BELIEVE in what you do. It is important for you to know why you are doing what you are doing. To inspire others you need to show people why are you doing what you are doing. Also you need to show motivation and passion for what you are doing. The more passion you have for what you are doing the more people will follow you and believe in you. Also as a leader it is important to not be afraid to be the first person to do something new. It is okay to be the first one and it is okay to fail or succeed. It is just important to try and know why you are doing it. If you are doing something but don’t know why you are doing it, is it really worth doing? Leaders know why they are doing what they are doing. Leaders are people that hold position of power, according to the ted talk. Those who actual lead are those who inspire others. A good example of a leader that followed the golden circle is Martin Luther King. Dr. King didn’t tell people what he wanted to change in America, he told people what he believed in. He was not asking anyone to do anything, people just believed the same things he did. Since they had the same belief they followed him. He inspired people. Leading is about giving a reason why to everything. Now as a leader, after watching this ted talk video, I need to put a meaning to everything I do. It is important to show who you are as a person, and to show what you believe in. Believe in yourself, and others will too. What is your purpose?

Chris Kyle: Current Event Leader

The story of Chris Kyle is amazing and inspiring to me. Though Chris Kyle isn’t a really a recent current event leader, I still thought of him when I was asked to select one leader from a current event at the state or national level.

When I was in sixth grade we watched this news broadcast everyday in class called channel one. Channel one was how I learned current events, especially events like the Iraq War. I did not really get a grasp on what was truly going on all the time, but it was hitting me at a more person level. When I was in sixth grade my Uncle Tom (or Uncle Z, as I like to call him) was on tour in the Iraq war. I did understand that he was fighting for our country and safety, but I never truly understood what was going on. As I got older I obviously got educated on the event. But when I saw the movie American Sniper on opening day it changed my whole perspective on the Iraq War.

I never knew the story of Chris Kyle, the most successful Sniper in America history. Chris Kyle was a Navy SEAL and served four tours in the Iraq war. He had 160 confirmed kills, and most likely 255 claimed kills, which is from the Chris Kyle website ( I don’t want to ruin the whole story for you if you have not seen the movie, or read his book, but I highly advise you to do so if you have not yet. I believe without Chris Kyle the Iraq war would of went completely different. He made a significant impact and is a true American Hero. A hero that will will never be forgotten for his dedication and patriotism.

Chris Kyle was so determined to keep his country, friends, and family safe at all times. Being a Sniper for the military is not necessarily an easy job, and not anyone can do it. It takes focus, drive, stability, and passion to complete and succeed at this job. Many say Chris Kyle wasn’t a hero, and that he set bad examples for our society. What those people don’t realize is he was risking his life to protect us, to protect all of us Americans. If you believe Chris is not a hero because of his actions you are wrong. He loved his family, and his country. He made so many sacrifices for our country, and we need to be proud of that. Chris’s behavior and actions sets an amazing example of a real leader. I believe that his story did portray why followers want to follow such a great leader. His whole crew always looked up to him and wanted to be just like him. He was known as the best, but he didn’t brag about it, he just used his skills to help. He embraced what he had, and fought for all he could. He protected so many, and so many followed his actions through out the war. He gave directions and his team always followed them. He had a natural talent for what he did, and that is always something you should look up to.

I just admire what he did for our country so much. His attitude as Navy SEAL was some what unbelievable. I was inspired by his story. He was tremendously brave and so loyal to our country. I believe that is something to admire. He was so passionate about his whole life, yet his life was a scary one. But that didn’t matter to him. His leadership affected me because it showed me you can fight hard and help others everyday of your life. My goal in life is to become a Clinical Psychologist so I can help people every day of my life too, and make myself useful on this earth. I will never have the bravery Chris Kyle had, but I can always strive to obtain that bravery. He taught me to do what you think is right, and even though it may be wrong to others you know deep down inside yourself that it is the right thing to do. And I believe if others watch this film, or read the book they would share the same feelings as me. Everyone in America just should be affected by this story in some way shape or form.

Chris Kyle is a leader that will never be forgotten. Chris Kyle made sacrifices for this country and died because of it, and he will never be gotten in this country. He will be remember forever, and I will always refer to him as one of my greatest heroes.


RIP Chris Kyle

You are loved by America, Thank you everything you have done.