Life has a funny way of bringing things together, making sense out of the silly things and experiences encountered along the way. Life also has a way of teaching us about the important things, how trust, integrity and self-evaluation is critical if we choose to be effective and great leaders of our time. Nelson Mandela once said “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”, and boy did Class XI learn on day 3 how leaders can rise and fall throughout life.
We kicked off the morning in Austin Cary Forest at the Stern Learning Center with an eye opening presentation on “stress”, and how many leaders go about it all wrong. Did you know that stress can actually be used as motivation, and if managed correctly, can be viewed as a strength? Although stress affects everyone differently, there are techniques to changing our behavior, which changes our thoughts, and essentially the mood we are in, but all closely correlated to the level of stress we are experiencing.
However we choose to deal with stress, it is important to practice mindfulness meditation, avoid burnout at all cost, and always take time to reflect on recent events.
10 Strategies of Reflection
- Making Metaphors
- Role Taking
- Journal Writing
- Peer Leadership
- Fish Bowling
- Quote Response
- Thinking Aloud
- Imaginary Videotaping
- Devils Walking Stick
Class XI had the honor and unique experience to meet one of the greatest legends in the history of University of Florida Athletics. Mr. Jeremy Foley, the UF Athletics Director Americus shared with us his rise and fall as a leader. He expressed that everyone has to have an intentional desire to be a leader, and that leaders are made, not born. It takes work, it takes integrity, you have to be trusted, and you have to show your followers that you care about them as individuals, as well as the task at hand.
Developing culture in a program is the key to a successful organization.”Jeremy Foley
As Class XI wrapped up photo opportunities with the man responsible for 27 National titles in 10 different sports for the University of Florida, spouses trickled in for lunch and the afternoon session.
Have you ever wondered why your spouse carelessly installs the new roll of toilet paper facing the wrong direction, or how he/she can maintain the speed limit in a car while driving, even though you are running extremely late for a very important event? What does the Cyndi Lauper song “True Colors” have to do with leadership? Well, fortunately there are personality types in all of us that are very similarly grouped in 4 colors. Dr. Joe Joyce, gave us all that “AHA” moment as he explained the four personality types in his presentation of “ What Are Your True Colors?”, followed by a strengths discovery presentation by Ms. Megan Stein, Lecturer at the UF Department of Ag Ed and Communication.
Although tired and worn-out from the long day of learning, the excitement of meeting the extended Class XI family filled the room of the Farm Credit of Central Florida building. A huge applause to Mr. Jeffery Spencer, Mr. Zak Seymour and staff of Farm Credit, who could not have been more hospitable, preparing for us one of the finest slabs of bovine we have ever enjoyed.
At the completion of the feast, we each had the ability to share photos of our family and tell stories along the way. Although some were extremely funny, others had us all fighting back tears as we learned some of the health battles and recent losses of loved ones. This night was a defining moment, a huge step in the lifelong relationships we are going to build with each other along the way.Read More