The LEADStrong program helps students hone in on their abilities within leadership and what it means to be a leader. The opening workshop on Friday, Feb. 21, was just one of the many events that will take place this semester to guide students in realizing these abilities.
“What I hope to get out of this program is to learn how to listen to what others have to say and to learn from their stories and how I can take those lessons and help me achieve my goals and dreams,” Bridget Wagner, sophomore business administration major, said. “Also, I am hoping to learn more about my strengths and weakness and how I can work with others to help improve them and myself.”
The workshop started off with mentor Anne Filippone discussing the social change model of the program and how it can be a collaborative process within finding out the things that motivate you and understanding yourself in a large group. In doing so, students are able to create change, whether big or small, within the communities that they’re involved in, Filippone said.
“Each semester we have made minor edits [to the program] including improving mentorship, making things less redundant, more valuable and really listening to student’s feedback to make it relevant,” Amber LaJeunesse, assistant director of the office of Student Engagement and Leadership (SEaL) and also one of the mentors of LEADStrong, said. “The main concept is to better yourself using really great leadership sense and working with the mentors. You can then learn to be great in your major, while putting learning opportunities into practice to be better as both a human being and in your professional life.”
Richie Gebauer, another mentor of the program, then explained how we can focus on motivation and what it is that externally and internally motivates us. Students were also able to focus in on their motivations and dreams. “You are able to re-energize yourself; find extra energy, motivators and pick yourself up,” Gebauer said. “You can realize your short-term dreams while at Cabrini and also your long-term dreams five to 20 years from now with your passions and professional goals.”
That is exactly what one of the activities, entitled Intrinsic versus Extrinsic Motivation, focused on at the workshop: your motivations and dreams and how you can come to achieve them. Students were given a set of various motivators and circled whether the statement was never, sometimes, often or always true of themselves.
Situations ranged from “I want my work to provide me with opportunities to increase my knowledge and skills” to “I am concerned about what other people think of my work.” From there, students were able to figure out whether they were more intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. This included academics, yourself, teammates, coworkers, etc. “I can be self-motivated but if it’s something outside then I’ll strive for that too,” Danielle Kane, junior double major in finance and international business, said.
“I found myself equally driven so I don’t only take into account what my self-motivation and expectations are but also take into account others as well,” Georgie Nave, sophomore double major in history and political science, said about the activity.
From there, students were able to see how their dreams can generate results within leadership while reading “In Leadership, Dreams Are The Stuff That Great Results Are Made Of” by Brent Filson. One of the standout points made by Filson is the importance of understanding the dreams of the people you lead. This can help you realize where you are most motivated.
The next activities complemented each other in finding out what fuels you and what is draining you. Categories included relationships, environment, mind, body, spirit, work and money. Through checking off what applied to each student’s life, they were able to figure out what in their life is fueling them and what may be unnecessary or burdensome parts of their life. Finding out the missing pieces allowed students to discover what they need to personally do to cut out things that are draining their energy and better their lives.
“By joining LEADStrong, along with enhancing my abilities of becoming a leader, I also wish to find my calling. Still being undecided, I already took the steps to discover what else I would like to do,” Stanley Thompson, currently an undecided major, said. “By taking a variety of different classes in topics that I enjoy such as communications, fine arts and computers, I ask myself ‘Can I see myself enjoying what I do?’ and ‘Can I see myself sticking with that?’”
Dreams are something that you can actually achieve. You can ask yourself “Do I have dreams?” and “What are they?” From there, you can be invested in your dream and everyone else’s while living through your dream as a leader.
The workshop then ended with each student taking a flashcard and writing down on it a big goal of theirs, using just one word, that they hope to attain for themselves and a step that they could take tomorrow in order to achieve it. These can include anything from your own dreams and motivations. Filson concluded that one of the most important things to do in achieving these things is realizing that dreams are supreme reality. “Be realistic: Do the impossible!”