Leadership 101

Decision Making

Leaders make decisions. Choosing the right style for each decision is important and will significantly impact your ability to lead effectively. Students should read this brief summary of the 4 primary decision styles prior to meeting:

Meet to discuss decision making, pros and cons of each style, when to use them, and ask students to note their decisions over the next few weeks, to try to use each style, and to discuss them at subsequent meetings: what worked well, what didn't, and why. This topic is crucial to introduce as early as possible so student leaders set the tone properly with their early decisions when building trust through consensus is easier.

Leadership and Taking Action

Distribute 7-Habits book to all participants. Initial discussions focus on leadership ideas broadly: what does it mean to lead, what are the qualities and characteristics of a leader.

  • Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things
  • Who would you want to follow: discuss integrity, empathy, caring, dedication, competence
  • Differentiating technical skill from team leadership
  • Introduce Habit 1: "Be proactive" as a sine-qua-non for leadership and effectiveness.
  • Introduce mantra: "It's better to be kind than to be right" - revisit this often.

Goals and Priorities

Establishing clear goals and setting priorities is critical to being effective. This topic is covered in at least two meetings:

Meeting 1: Introduce habits 2, 3. Discuss Ben Franklin's habits. Try to keep the focus concrete and relevant to the students' perspective (how these techniques can help them juggle their class work, college applications, friend/family obligations, and extra-curriculars like robotics). Students should review these links before this meeting:

Meeting 2: Briefly review everyone's goals (homework from meeting 1), choosing good examples for deeper discussion

  • Discuss prioritizing and urgent vs. important. These are the activities you must consciously make time for because they are not pulling at you for attention but are critical for success. Review goals that are important but not urgent (e.g.):
    • Rookies should go home with new knowledge and wanting to come back next year
    • Prepare written documentation and processes to help in future years
    • Build relationships with other teams and organizations
    • Training new students to take over roles and responsibilities currently held by juniors/seniors

Relationships (Interdependence)

Meeting 1: Discuss importance of relationships and their impact on teams

Meeting 2: Explore concrete examples of thinking win-win or no deal (focus on learning to break zero-sum thinking)

  • Zero-sum vs. abundance mentality (and it's relation to thinking win-win or no deal)
  • Hidden Agendas (and how they damage trust)
  • Defending/loyalty to the Absent (and how it builds trust)
  • Respecting everyone's role and the importance of avoiding words and ideas like "above", "key", "subordinate", etc.
  • Watch this video on paradigms before the next meeting:

Meeting 3: Paradigms, Building Morale

Last modified 4 years ago Last modified on Sep 2, 2017, 6:33:43 PM

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