It’s Always about the Why

Today, during the early morning leadership learning lab, our LDP presenters Diogo Seixas and Breanna Whitley gave an excellent summary on the “Golden Circle”, a powerful leadership model by Simon Sinek (see “Start with Why”, 2009).  Just like the main premise of Sinek’s book, inspiring others to take action, I was inspired by the presentation, and reminded “why” I‘m a part of the LDP. Of course I was invited just like the rest of you to come to a meeting and check it out. Someone always does the inviting… I remember the passion of the individual who invited me. I remember he described how effective the program was at building highly successful student leaders at SIU who continued in awesome success after graduation. He explained “why” the LDP was important to him personally, and I was intrigued and wanted to learn more about this. This individual was of course Dr. DeRuntz. But I’ll come back to this important piece of my personal “why” in a moment.

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Making an Ordinary Person into an Extraordinary Leader By Aprille Schoenecke

Aprille Schoenecke

_____As exemplified by the Marvel superhero movies, people admire heroic leaders who step up to save the day. The LDP exemplifies core leadership traits that make an ordinary person into an extraordinary leader. In regular situations that do not involve a villain or imminent danger, people are naturally drawn to follow individuals who excel at what they do and authentically care about others. A strong leader leads by example and service. A leader exemplifies respect, honesty, empathy, dedication, and approachable accountability. A leader is faithful and dependable. People watch the leader’s actions to see if they follow through with what they say they will do. After showing consistency with the many small things, people will more easily entrust themselves to the leader whole heartedly. Many of the core values of the LDP, I also possess. However, there are several on top of these core values in which I excel. Continue reading “Making an Ordinary Person into an Extraordinary Leader By Aprille Schoenecke”

Racing the Clock By– Scott Costello

     Robotics competitions come in many shapes and sizes, from dangerous, passive, automated, etc. At SIUC first time members joining SIUC Robotics have the opportunity to join a team that doesn’t compete in competitions, rather they build their knowledge of robotics through trial and error. Usually a date for Mary-O-Kart isn’t set. This year was different, Mary-O-Kart is over after this year. What better time to make our projected finish other than Engineering Day. For Robotics, this Engineering Day was huge because we had been working on the Mary-O-Kart all year with the intention of unveiling. To make Engineering Day more special, we had tours of our workshops and several robot demonstrations. I’ve been with Mary-O-Kart since the beginning and have seen many events unfold. My favorite memory, however, would be the excitement of watching our parts box turn into functioning Mary-O-Karts. Continue reading “Racing the Clock By– Scott Costello”

The Ranger Challenge By– Chiderah Ogbozor

This semester, I am participating in the U.S. Army Ranger Challenge through the ROTC program. It is an event held every semester that challenges the mind and body. This semester, it will be in Kansas. The Ranger Challenge that we do in the fall is slightly different than the one we are currently preparing for this spring. In the fall, teams of students compete together and represent the school by completing the tasks as a group. In the spring, however, we are still representing the school, but we are completing the Ranger Challenge with only one partner.

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The Ever Changing Environment By– Jessica Higginbotham

     One of the most interesting arguments in psychology is that of nature versus nurture. It is the question of how much of our behavior is determined by who we are genetically versus how we have been shaped by our environments. Our genetic composition determines the emotional or technical capacity that we start off with, but a rich environment can mean the difference between honing those talents or staying at our natural abilities. We can see evidence of this in our everyday, whether it be our successes, our intelligence, or our looks; but at the end of the day, the question remains: were we always destined to be who we are, or did our experiences growing up shape us into who we are today?
     Luckily for us, years of research has shown that it is a little bit of both. Our genetic makeup can design us to be the best athlete or the quickest study, but if we don’t hone those skills, that natural ability only goes so far. I learned this at a very young age when my 3rd grade teacher would help me with my reading.  Every day she gave me extra lessons in reading, and I started to improve in my reading but most importantly I started to understand the importance of reading.

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Lighting the Way towards Success By– Ryan Nick

     Summer and Fall of 2018, I had the opportunity to intern with a company whose mission is to “Power the Quality of life”. They have approximately 2.4 million customers and if their job is done correctly, hardly anyone will give them a second thought. Ameren’s legacy companies, Union Electric and CIPSCO, were founded in 1881 and 1902, respectively. In 1997, these companies combined and started to grow the company we know today as Ameren. They have grown to operate facilities in Electric generation, transmission, and distribution as well as natural gas transmission and distribution. The culture at Ameren is influenced by the company’s long and rich background in the business.
     My experience at Ameren allowed me the opportunity to improve my skills as an engineer, a leader, a team player, and earned me friendships I hope will continue now that the experience has come to an end. Continue reading “Lighting the Way towards Success By– Ryan Nick”

Joining USG By– Nate Lightle

     This school year has been a year of taking action for me. I became an LDP Mentor, Baja President, and most recently joined the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) as a Senator. My motivations for joining LDP and Baja were simple: both of these organizations are going to impact me directly and make me a better future engineer by improving both my soft skills and my problem solving capabilities. USG, on the other hand, does not have that direct correlation. I have no plans to become a politician, and I personally try to avoid getting into political discussions or arguments since I prefer dealing with certainties and facts rather than opinions and grey areas. Despite my general avoidance of politics, I somehow found myself being sworn into a Senator position last week to do the exact debating and problem solving I attempt to avoid. I can easily trace my motivations for this decision, whenever I find myself in a discussion over legislation or funding, I can draw back on my main motivation to keep me going forward: to make a difference on our campus.

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Saluki Environmental Educators (SEE) By– Breanna Whitley

While wrapping up the Fall 2017 semester, I was granted the opportunity to become the President of the Saluki Environmental Educators (SEE). My time in SEE was brief prior to my nomination, but I didn’t require much time to realize that SEE was the organization where I wanted to focus my efforts. From the first meeting I knew that SEE’s mission resonated with my passions as an aspiring educator and nature enthusiast, and I recognized the potential for opportunities in which I could grow my leadership skills.

The Saluki Environmental Educators is a professional development Registered Student Organization (RSO) that seeks to promote environmental education, interpretation, public involvement, and volunteerism by partnering with community groups throughout Southern Illinois. We are a small but passionate crew of community-minded individuals with a myriad of interests and areas of study.

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A Shift in Paradigm -By Zachariah Warhus

Merriam-Webster defines paradigm shift as “an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way.” Before my second year in LDP, the closest that I came to a paradigm shift was when I discovered that the food in the dining hall was unlimited. However, the biggest paradigm shift that I have experienced has been transiting from being a first-year ‘mentee’ to a second-year ‘mentor’. As a first-year member of the LDP, I was focused on achieving various goals such as earning my red tie and meeting my desired GPA. I was helped along by my second-year mentors: Roberto and Nick. With their help I was able to complete all my projects and earn my tie.

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You are Not Losing Time – By Diogo Seixas

    Very often we get too worried when we are trying to decide between things, simply because we think we may be losing time. Why do that when you can do something different? Let’s put that into another perspective: What is “losing time”?

Years spent in a relationship that didn’t work out?

Years in a company in which you are not satisfied?

Years in a course/major/university that, after all, is not what you want for life?

Years of ballet and not becoming a ballerina?

Years of football and not becoming a professional player?

If you fit in one – or more – of any of the categories above, you really think you lost your time?

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