How do you go about inspiring new leadership?
We have my student staff member, Spencer Willson, to thank for this question of how to go about inspiring “new” leadership. In the context we were discussing this was how do we go about getting new students to desire to lead, but another idea comes to mind. How do we, as leaders, inspire our student leaders to new forms of leadership? In the SA chat that inspired this post we saw many posts stating…
So how do we inspire new leadership? The idea of leadership as the action and impact a student takes. Especially with this resounding dislike of how students are viewing leadership as a title, position, or something that is seen.
Create a culture of reflection. During this #sachat I placed a high emphasis on having students reflect on what “worked” and what went “poor”. As I advise and supervise student leaders I work to ensure that reflection is part of our weekly meetings. Taking time to reflect on the skills that are contributing to their leadership style and which ones are hindering them from being as effective is essential to leadership development.
Last year I had a student who struggled with time management and completing job expectations, which was reflected in their evaluation. This year this student has excelled in EVERY aspect of their job. When talking with them it is evident to me that they spent a lot of time reflecting on their evaluation and sought to improve. Due to reflection this student was able to realize that just because they had the title of a Community Advisor, did not make them a GREAT leader, but by correcting their actions they could be a leader making an impact.
Develop a culture of leaders, not followers. In reflecting with my peer and friend, @DustinKillpack, he made this statement that it is important when working with our traditional leaders in defined/elected leadership positions to develop a culture of leaders not one of followers. How do we do this?
Empowerment. As student affairs professionals we need to set an example of empowering our “followers” to be their own, individualized, leader. This starts with not allowing our student leaders to become dependent on us, and teaching them to not allow the group to be dependent on them. If you have ever read the novel, Ender’s Game, and if you have not – I highly recommend it, Ender’s philosophy as a leader was to ensure that the commanders under his lead knew the goals, but felt comfortable making autonomous decisions that would ultimately be in line with the mission. I believe we need to help our student leaders get to a place like Ender.
Inspiring others through self-empowerment with self-discovery. This is my six-word memoir for the year, and how I believe we can help turn this focus on leadership as a position into a focus on the impact one makes.
Please share your thoughts with me @byebyeryan.
Ryan Bye is a Graduate Hall Coordinator and 2nd year graduate student in Higher Education at Texas Tech University.