Fear, Community and Leadership. Making the connections. Leo’s SLS experience

This year, I chose to attend the Summer Leadership Summit “The Fall Edition” with the hope of expanding my understanding of what it means to be a leader as well as developing a true understanding of myself and discovering the type of leader I am.This was my second opportunity to attend the Leadership Summit. In comparison to last year, this time around I was able to become self-aware and develop an understanding of who I am as a person. The facilitators showed us how to dig deep within ourselves, so we would then be able to exhibit the leader we want to be to the world around us.

Facilitators,  Joel Nunez and Sarah Lowery (shown kneeling in the front) with the 2014 SLS participants.

Facilitators, Joel Nunez and Sarah Lowery (shown kneeling in the front) with the 2014 SLS participants

.By far, my favorite session activity was after the scheduled sessions were over and all participants met and debriefed on our own. We all connected on an even deeper level than imagined. We all were able to realize that the fears that we hold so deeply were shared by so many other leaders on campus. It made many of us realize that we are all human, and things happen to each and every one of us, but it was how we reacted to these events that determined the person we were.

The commercial activity was vital to the success of the SLS weekend. The commercial was the point when we all learned the differences and similarities between each of us. It was surreal how many students connected without even speaking directly to each other, but to a group of people that were there to simply support, grow and challenge each other. It was a safe place.

Leo Ward connecting with other SLS14 participants during an activity session

Leo Ward connecting with other SLS14 participants during an activity session

The evening activities were very engaging and interactive. It was an excellent way to debrief and to simply set an engaging and fun environment for everyone. We loved interacting with the staff.

I learned that leadership is not black and white. There are many types of leadership styles within people. They are not all as visible skills. Each of these skills is vital to the success of any group. I learned to truly challenge the people around me and to allow myself to be challenged by others in order to strengthen myself as a leader.

I learned that I am not perfect, and that it is ok to not be perfect. I am a work in progress and as long as I am aware of my weaknesses, I can continue to challenge myself to turn these weaknesses into strengths that I can utilize in my life.

I will take everything I learned and take it to every organization I am a part of. I will help challenge all members to grow and to become more self-aware. I will show others that perfection is a mindset and that growth does not stop until you are gone from this earth.

The most memorable moments are the evening challenges and events and being able to show our creativity and skills to the group. Aside from that, being able to open ourselves to change in an open and respectful environment along with a group of peers that want us to succeed as much as we want to ourselves made this Summit an unforgettable experience.

This was the first year SLS was held during the fall at Pine Cove, a wooded camp retreat.

This was the first year SLS was held during the fall at Pine Cove, a wooded camp retreat

 

Leo Ward      |       Texas A&M University-Commerce

 

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