A Freshman Signature Course, Fall 09
OPTION 1: LEADERSHIP VISION FOR A CAUSE, COMMUNITY, ORGANIZATION, ETC., FOR THE BENEFIT OF SOCIETY.*
OPTION 2: HOW CAN I BECOME A BETTER LEADER FOR THE BENEFT OF SOCIETY*?
OPTION 3: SOME COMBINATION OF THE ABOVE
* The companies that sponsored Leadershape made this requirement and the official "Core Purpose of the University" is “To transform lives for the benefit of society"
SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM FOR EXAMPLES OF LEADERSHIP VISIONS
THIS IS ONLY A "PRACTICE" LEADERSHIP VISION OF WHO YOU WANT TO BE AND/OR WHAT YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH. It is only practice, in the sense that you can change it all tomorrow. What is important is to learn that you can indeed create a leadership vision.
THIS IS NOT A CAREER EXPLORATION ESSAY. This is not just about your career but also what you might want to accomplish outside your work roles. Whatever option you choose, remember that this is not simply or even primarily a career exploration essay. Let go for now, if you can, of your fears of not having already decided on a major, and a job, and not having planned your life.
BOTH OPTIONS MUST INCLUDE AN ACTION PLAN
The companies that sponsor Leadershape insist that eventually, the essay should become an action plan consisting of stretch goals (experiments, prototypes), manageable goals (small wins, predictable successes), and timelines.
Stretch goals move the individual or the organization forward toward the vision. They are almost impossible (but not quite), big, bold leaps into the future. They draw not only on your passion but your ability to think outside the box, beyond your comfort zone. Nevertheless, if possible, they should have specific timelines, with objective assessment indicators for accomplishment: dates, numbers, percentages, new services, etc.
Manageable goals are more attainable milestones that encourage you with quick wins, enabling the individual or organization to stay motivated, engaged, and propelled by a growing sense of confidence. Defined action plans and strategies for success, they are specific, measureable, realistic, and possible. Each manageable goal should begin with a first step, proceed with specific tasks, identify resources needed, and set a deadline or timeline.In your specification of timeline and dates, especially your first- step tasks, begin with your first year of college. Your first important decision may well be whether to stay in college or to leave to implement your leadership vision. Many famous leaders have left college early or skipped college altogether. To decide where you should follow that path you will need to consider how, if at all, college relates to your passion and leadership vision. See below:
YOUR ACTION PLAN MUST INCLUDE PLANS FOR THE REST OF YOUR COLLEGE EXPERIENCE, PROBABLY UNDER THE CATEGORY OF MANAGEABLE GOALS.
P1 WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED UNLESS YOU HAVE FULFILLED THESE REQUIREMENTS
CHECKLIST FOR YOUR ESSAY: IT
OPTION 1: LEADERSHIP VISION FOR A CAUSE, COMMUNITY, ORGANIZATION, ETC., FOR THE BENEFIT OF SOCIETY.
FOR PROMPTS TO HELP YOU COME UP WITH A TOPIC SEE BELOW
According to Leadershape, your vision for the future of your organization should be
OPTION 2: HOW CAN I BECOME A BETTER LEADER FOR THE BENEFIT OF SOCIETY?
You could even begin your essay imagining a brief eulogy someone is delivering at your funeral seventy or eighty years from now: what would you want them to able to say about you, especially your leadership? Covey gives an example of this kind of inspiration.
Role Models. Take a look at the U.T. role models in your anthology and return to the selection from Lee's Discovering the Leader in You in your anthology. This time pay special attention to questions such as "Who inspires you? How would you become a leader like your hero?" Very important for many people is the section on role models and how they have exhibited leadership. What qualities do your role models exhibit that you would like to develop in yourself?
How can I write a coherent, unified, option-2 Leadership Vision?
Begin with Covey’s Habit 2, Principles of Personal Leadership, pp. 96-129.
Accept ambiguity and multiplicity at first. You may well have to accept the fact that you have many different character traits you want to nurture or many different goals, ranging from perhaps one you would be willing to die for, to major directions for your future, to short terms goals for this semester. In the process, you would be well advised to quote from Dass on “the Witness” (in our anthology) several times to make sure you are keeping the perspective of the big picture, always remembering that the trait, role, or goal you are discussing is but one of many possibilities radiating out from your center, from the core of your being.
Š When you are considering which character traits you most want to develop, review Covey, alook over those traits listed in the table of contents of our anthology, review Goleman's essay on leadership and emotional intelligence.
Š In other words, this option focuses on the formation of your "character," that is the basic goal of a liberal arts education. In The Idea of a University, Newman mentions some of the other character traits you may want to develop in yourself.
o When the intellect has once been properly trained and formed to have a connected view or grasp of things, it will display its powers with more or less effect according to its particular quality and capacity in the individual. In the case of most men [and women] it makes itself felt in the good sense, sobriety of thought, reasonableness, candour, self-command, and steadiness of view, which characterize it. In some it will have developed habits of business, power of influencing others, and sagacity. In others it will elicit the talent of philosophical speculation, and lead the mind forward to eminence in this or that intellectual department. In all it will be a faculty of entering with comparative ease into any subject of thought, and of taking up with aptitude any science or profession. ... He apprehends the great outlines of knowledge, the principles on which it rests, the scale of its parts, its lights and its shades, its great points and its little, as he otherwise cannot apprehend them. Hence it is that his education is called "Liberal." A habit of mind is formed which lasts through life, of which the attributes are, freedom, equitableness, calmness, moderation, and wisdom.... Moreover, such knowledge is not a mere extrinsic or accidental advantage, which is ours today and another's tomorrow, which may be got up from a book, and easily forgotten again, which we can command or communicate at our pleasure, which we can borrow for the occasion, carry about in our hand, and take into the market; it is an acquired illumination, it is a habit, a personal possession, and an inward endowment.
Š To achieve unity you might list some of your options at the beginning of your essay, but then narrow the focus on just one of these character traits/goals or at least just one cluster of related traits/goals, perhaps using Covey pp. 109-128 to identify your center.
“Only Connect.” As you write this essay, ultimately you will be hammering your self into unity. You will be composing yourself. The word "compose" connects "pose," that is "to place," to "con" ("together"), and its root meaning is thus "to place together," "To put together (parts or elements) so as to make up a whole" (Oxford English Dictionary).
As Newman puts it in The Idea of a University, your mind takes
a "connected view of old and new, past and present, far and near, and ... has an insight into the influence of all these one on another; without which there is no whole, and no centre. It possesses the knowledge, not only of things, but also of their mutual and true relations." Such a mind "makes every thing in some sort lead to every thing else; it would communicate the image of the whole to every separate portion, till that whole becomes in imagination like a spirit, every where pervading and penetrating its component parts, and giving them one definite meaning. Just as our bodily organs, when mentioned, recall their function in the body, ... so, in the mind of the [student], the elements of the physical and moral world, sciences, arts, pursuits, ranks, offices, events, opinions, individualities, are all viewed as one, with correlative functions, and as gradually by successive combinations converging, one and all, to the true centre."
PROMPTS FOR OPTION 1: LEADERSHIP VISION FOR A CAUSE, COMMUNITY, ORGANIZATION, ETC., FOR THE BENEFIT OF SOCIETY.You might begin by asking yourself questions like these:
With that in mind what you would say to a visitor if, pausing by the statue of Martin Luther King, you were asked 'What is your dream?
Or, looking at the sculpture in front of the FAC, what would the torch represent that you would pass on to the next generation? In the selection from Lee's Discovering the Leader in You in your anthology pay special attention to questions such as " What impact do you want to make? .... What better world do you like to imagine?"
As the image of the scallop shell below the motto on the tower reminds us, particularly important are pilgrimage goals that can endow you with a character and a compelling vision that inspires others to follow you. Hence especially valuable are truths that tap into that which is greater than the self, truths that enable you to make a contribution to society that can be thought of as your legacy when you are gone.
When you have some answers to these questions, ask yourself again where you would be most interested in serving, making a difference, or creating a breakthrough change (specifically which organization, community, or cause)?
If you were in the Leadershape training program of the Colleges of Business and Engineering, your ultimate question for this assignment would be something like "What could the future look like (for my cause, community, organization, etc.) if I could have it way any way I wanted?"
EXAMPLES drawn from versions of this assignment somewhat different from this one:
(302 + 603 = FRESHMEN 379= SENIORS)
GOOD EXAMPLES OF OPTION 1, INCLUDING THE ROLE OF COLLEGE EDUCATION, THOUGH THE ACTION PLANS DO NOTALWAYS MEET OUR PRESENT REQUIREMENTS:Abolishment of Female Infanticide in China: JULIE (603); Global Reduction of Carbon Emissions CHARLOTTE (603); Helping the Homeless: GIGI (302); Overcoming Prejudice in the Classroom: LISA (302);Preventing animal cruelty: JIN (379) KELSI (379). Saving Children: DANIELLE+ HANNAH (603);