Leadership comes in many ways and forms. One of many definitions could be summarized as “Good leaders are made not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience (Jago, 1982).”
"I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream...a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
These were the words of Martin Luther King Jr. a great man that had a dream, a vision for the entire nation. I have just finished celebrating his day of remembrance this past week by becoming an activist in the area by helping the community through volunteering, and I appreciate the fact that if it wasn’t for the civil rights movement that was sparked and led by MLK, many people would still be segregates and/or considered second class citizens, or worse.
Although I pride myself that I’m an active volunteer within the community, this past week, and precisely on Jan 16th 2012, it was the first time that I volunteered on MLK day. As much as I was excited to do something positive on that day, I was even more excited to see as many as four hundred volunteers, if not more, in one location from all walks of life, from religious beliefs, different races, colors, to background, all gathered to do something good this day. This was truly an event where people really wanted to be part of something positive and have an impact outside their community.
The event was hosted by United Way and took place at the University of Michigan –Dearborn. There were several projects that had been posted prior to the event, or you could pick a project if you were a walk-in. I had signed up for the Belle Isle Botanical Society project. Volunteers had to assist in identifying and removing invasive plants from the forest on Belle Isle. While this was an outdoor project, there were other projects that were indoors, but where is the fun in that?
At the end of the day, we literally piled up a ton worth of these plants. Though we were
tired, it was a sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction that kept us motivated and empowered. I was also very happy to see one of my colleagues from AmeriCorps that came all the way from Lansing for this event; it was just too good to be true.
On a different note, in a previous article, I encouraged people, especially youth, to be part of non-profit organizations, a society or even a club within their college, university, and/or their community. Since I talk the talk, I have to walk the walk too, because as they say “Practice what you preach,” and it’s not ethical in my opinion to preach what you don’t practice. Therefore, below, I’ll share some of my recent activities.
Be Part of Something Good
To be more active in other areas, I have joined a society at my university called the National Society of Leadership and Success. I’ve been in it since September of 2011. Members get to be part of a Success Networking Team (SNT) in which a team of people comes together in an encouraging atmosphere to network, share goals/obstacles, offer advice and commit to actions to achieve desired results. The purpose of the SNT is to:
- Access more useful information in the form of ideas, connections and possible actions to take.
- Assemble a personal team dedicated to supporting and holding one another accountable to commitments
- Find time to focus on what you want in your life and create a strategy for achieving those results.
To make it more approachable, there has been a system in place called S.M.A.R.T. which is five steps to best practice managing your time starting with:
Avoid generalities! Your goal should have specific details so you know what you are achieving.
Make sure you have solid criteria for establishing your progress toward your goal.
It doesn’t have to be simple or easy, but it should be within your realm of reality.
Your goal must be something that is meaningful.
Having specific dates for beginning and finishing goals keeps you on track.
Since I have been a member of the society, I never missed one SNT meeting because we always worked around and made sure that we as a whole can attend those meetings to make
best use of them.
Lately I had the opportunity to participate in a meeting at Davenport University’s main campus located in Grand Rapids. There, we decided to form a formal organization that would be recognized by the university. Since the National Society of Leadership and Success doesn’t have a formal organization, we held elections in which we elected a president, vice-president and the rest of the board. I was elected for the IT Coordinator and Publicity Chair for the East Region. Thus, an executive board was nominated and the first step of becoming a formal organization within Davenport University was taken. Next step will be submitting an application to university administration for approval.
The main point is that each one of us can’t stand still, even if you are working, there are many events and opportunities that you could participate in and be a positive and effective person within your family, community, and even the society as a whole.
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