Leadership= creating, conveying, and gaining more knowledge
The times when I have seen myself as a leader within the groups that I previously mentioned often occur when I am asked to either present information on the groups’ behaves or when I am presenting information to the group.
For example, I felt like a leader within Student Conduct and the larger CIRT team when I was given the opportunity to present to my Success in the College Classroom class about Distressed and Disruptive Students. The PowerPoint for this presentation is included here (distressedstudents) and also provides information on Academic Dishonesty, which is another subject I get to present on regularly. I run my office’s Academic Dishonesty seminars and give similar presentations to incoming graduate teaching assistants. I have also trained an another CSSA student on how to give this presentation and I am also looking forward to giving a similar presentation during the Spring Oregon Judicial Officers meeting. In another example, I was given the chance to co-present academic advising information to incoming students during my time as a NODA intern and gave numerous presentations about AmeriCorps during my terms of service. Giving these presentations ultimately reflects leadership within the various groups I was a part of because I was and am entrusted with providing others with a good understanding of what my office and other alliances do, the knowledge that we have gathered, how to incorporate this information into other people’s and office’s practices, and the values and mission my groups strive for and promote.
I have also felt like a leader within the groups I discussed when I have been afforded the opportunity to present my findings on particular projects to the group. In the case of the Student Life alliance, I have been able to present information on the environmental audit I helped create which you can read more about here. In this case, I felt like a leader because I had information that could benefit a group and was able to research it and decide on a good way to convey the information to the entire unit. While I have already expressed the challenges that this created, I still feel like it was a leadership opportunity and I ran with it.
In many respects I believe that I was also offered a leadership role from the moment I accepted and started my assistantship with student conduct. I say this because I have had to walk the talk of a conduct officer. I have had to embody the values of the office I work for and convey those same values to all of the students I interact with during hearings. I have to articulate these same values, along with my assistantship experiences, to my fellow classmates, professors, and blog readers while maintaining strict levels of confidentiality. I have been considered a professional and colleague and been exposed to the various complexities involved in conduct and crisis management. I have had to have the leadership capability to assess situations and think about the ways in which I would handle similar situations in the future. I have a clear enough understanding of my place within the group to ask clarifying questions and debrief with other members in order to clarify my own thoughts and learn more through the process. While at first it might seem like having to ask questions indicates that I am not a leader within the group, I disagree. Being able to ask questions, to me, symbolizes that I have confidence in the things I do know and confidence in my ability to learn more.