Thursday, December 29, 2011

Leadership: Teaching, Learning, Sharing

By Maya

In the second time slot of the summit, the New England Youth Leadership Council members—including Eliza and me—helped run a workshop on youth leadership. There was a great turnout with many more people than we expected.

To break the ice, we started out with a fun game of Ninja. After loosening up we gave a short overview of what we were going to do. To begin, we talked about the “leadership compass.” It displays four different styles of leadership, using the directions of north, south, east and west. I am west—analysis, and Eliza is east—vision.

Find out what kind of leader you are by looking at the 4 major leadership styles, below.

Each person chose the style that suited him or her best. It was fascinating to find out the amount of diversity in leadership styles in just one room. When we divided ourselves into groups — based on our style, we discussed the qualities and aspects of how we lead. This activity gave people a chance to analyze themselves as leaders and discover how they best interact with other leaders.

As a small challenge each group also had to write a haiku describing their direction. After this exercise, the youth leaders talked a bit about what it means to be one as well as some of the things we have all taken away from the experience.

Anyone would be able to see how dedicated we are to the job of being a youth leader and how we have formed unbreakable bonds with one another; we are truly able to understand and relate to one another.

The workshop went extremely well. Everyone worked hard, yet it felt very relaxed and comfortable. Since the workshop happened, some participants have contacted me about thinking of joining the council. Out of the whole day of activities, the youth leadership workshop was probably my favorite!

Here is a photo of the Youth Council Leaders who were at this regional summit. Serving on the Roots & Shoots Youth Council is a lot of fun and a great learning experience.

4 Major Leadership Styles

North: Action

  • Assertive, active, decisive
  • Likes to determine course of events and be in control of professional relationship
  • Enjoys challenges presented by difficult situations and people
  • Thinks in terms of “bottom line”
  • Quick to act or decide; expresses urgency for others to take action
  • Perseveres, not stopped by hearing “No,” probes and presses to get at hidden resistances
  • Likes variety, novelty, new projects
  • Comfortable being in front
  • Values action-oriented phrases, “Do it now!”, “I’ll do it”, “What’s the bottom line?”

South: Empathy

  • Understands how people need to receive information in order to act on it
  • Integrates others input in determining direction of what’s happening
  • Value-driven regarding aspects of professional life
  • Uses professional relationships to accomplish tasks, interaction is a primary way of getting things done
  • Supportive to colleagues and peers
  • Willingness to trust others’ statements at face value
  • Feeling-based, trusts own emotions and intuition, intuition regarded as “truth”
  • Receptive to other’s ideas, builds on ideas, team player, noncompetitive
  • Able to focus on the present
  • Values words like “right” and “fair”

East: Vision

  • Visionary who sees the big picture
  • Generative and creative thinker, able to think outside the box
  • Very idea-oriented; focuses on future thought
  • Makes decisions by standing in the future (insight/imagination)
  • Insight into mission and purpose
  • Looks for overarching themes, ideas
  • Adept at and enjoys problem solving
  • Likes to experiment, explore
  • Appreciates a lot of information
  • Values words like “option,” “possibility,” “imagine”

West: Analysis

  • Understands what information is needed to assist in decision making
  • Seen as practical, dependable and thorough in task situations
  • Provides planning and resources, is helpful to others in these ways and comes through for the team
  • Moves carefully and follows procedures and guidelines
  • Uses data analysis and logic to make decisions
  • Weighs all sides of an issue, balanced
  • Introspective, self-analytical, critical thinker
  • Skilled at finding fatal flaws in an idea or project
  • Maximizes existing resources - gets the most out of what has been done in the past
  • Values word like “objective” “analysis”

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