Sometimes, when one wanders long enough in the inscrutable labyrinth of the bureaucracy, one confronts not the Minotaur of crude administrative obfuscation but a true gem. Here are selections from one such gem, the new “Leadership Life Newsletter” coughed up by SDA to “guide you [student leaders] through the challenging and important task of leading your peers”. How ought an aspiring leader do it by the book? Read on…
From the section “Setting Expectations”:
“Setting expectations is an important step in developing a team. This activity will enable everyone in your group to share what they expect of themselves, and each other as they work together to accomplish the common goal(s) of the group.
1. Pass around a ‘bank’ of pennies. Have each group member give the bank a shake and take however many pennies fall out (maximum 5 pennies).
2. Once everyone has pennies, have each group member come up with expectations that they have for members of the group (i.e., how the group will function, deal with conflict, etc.) Each member will need to share as many expectation thoughts as they have pennies.
3. Have everyone share their thoughts and create a visual expectations list. As a group, review and discuss the list making revisions as needed. The following questions are helpful in guiding your group’s discussion:
-> Were you surprised to see some of the expectations listed? Which ones? Why?
-> How will the group confront individuals not living up to the agreed upon expectations?
-> How can you hold yourself accountable?
-> What do you think will be the most challenging expectation to uphold as a group?
After the list is collectively agreed upon, remind everyone that they are responsible for holding themselves and each other accountable.
4. Have each member keep one of their pennies as a reminder of the mutual expectations they all agreed to.”
Their source for this wisdom? “The Big Binder of Leadership Activities”
More advice- and an appearance by CC’09 president George Krebs -after the jump.
From the section “Effective Feedback”:
“Giving and receiving feedback is often challenging. However, practicing effective feedback strengthens a leader’s communication skills and interpersonal relationships. Constructive and positive feedback should be administered regularly to help improve individual and group performance.
Be Empathetic – remember that people are innately good and more often than not, aim to please. Sometimes performance or behavior does not meet expectations, so feedback is a good tool to assist a person in understanding what they are not doing well and coach them to a better performance.
Be ‘I’ – use ‘I’ statements. Own the event and own the feedback you wish to give. Don’t use other people’s opinions to support the feedback – they can provide their own feedback if they wish.”
Finally, sophomore class president George Krebs is featured in the “Student Spotlights” section, declaring himself the physical manifestation of the ’09 body politic…
“Being elected as a student leader to serve my small, self-contained college class, is special in that every person in the class of ‘09 feels an intimate connection with me as the person they chose to make their college lives more full. Being a leader on a college campus puts me in the unique position to not only advocate for my class in the offices of administrators, but to also make my class feel exceptional and empowered to take on any pursuit they wish…Like all of Columbia, the opportunity is there for the taking. As a leader, I hope to take advantage of all that is available to me, and to my class.”