I am a Fourth Year Student at Miami University's College of Engineering and Computing studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering with experience in Computer Engineering Research and Development. I am passionate about nutrition and agriculture. I am looking for engineering opportunities in the precision agriculture industry.
Insight on experiences that allow you to determine what your leadership style could be.
Do you consider yourself a leader?
If so when did you start leading?
At what point did you make the transition from considering yourself a “non-leader” to considering yourself a leader?
And if your don’t consider yourself a leader, why is that so? Do you think that you have the capacity to someday be a leader?
Many trends in industry suggest that today it is extremely important for young people to be asking themselves these types of questions in order to better equip themselves with the skills and confidence they need in order to succeed in today’s markets.
Leaders in industry have noticed that many individuals who have entered industry after obtaining a degree from a technical field have struggled to move up in their roles within their companies. Many young professionals, particularly engineers, are often out performed by their colleagues with more business backgrounds.
With this in mind, my next point might surprise you. Roughly 20% of fortune 500 executives received their undergraduate degrees in engineering. This doesn’t only oppose the previous argument, but it also should make us ask ourselves what is so powerful about learning technical skills and what opportunities young people in technical environments could be taking advantage of in order to boost their career potential.
Senior leadership of Lockheed Martin, including Jeff Wilcox and Ray O Johnson, have noticed these trends, and in order to better equip undergraduate engineering students with the skills that they will need to be successful, they created the Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute.
This undergraduate program operates in cohorts of students that are recruited as college freshman, and begin the program their sophomore year. These students are lead by former Executive Louise Morman, and have access to a leadership experience that is beyond that of most college programs.
The first year of the leadership institute focuses on personal leadership. In this year, students are encouraged to better understand themselves as leaders. The title “personal leadership” might make you think of a weekend retreat or an assessment that you are familiar with, but this program is much more comprehensive than a one-time event or activity. The aspect of the first year within the leadership institute that most impacted me was an assignment that our cohort completed called our “purpose binders.” These purpose binders were essentially portfolios of each of our cohort members that spelled out our career goals as they related to our discoveries about ourselves throughout our first year in the leadership institute. This assignment is something that I felt really challenged me personally to think about where I might want to end up in my future career. Additionally, this assignment was supplemented by activities that our cohort had completed in the past two semesters, relating to personal leadership, including the Meyer’s Briggs Personality Assessment and more that really helped us as students understand who we are and what might be best suited, what we might be best suited for and what we might consider steering away from.
In the second year of the program, we focused on people leadership. This topic allowed us to assess what we had learned about ourselves as individuals, and apply these learnings to realistic team environments. This aspect of the program required us as students to consider many aspects of our own personalities, especially ones that were more difficult to accept and respond to. One activity that we participated in is called the positive intelligence saboteurs assessment. The purpose of this assessment is to expose aspects of one’s personality that he or she might think of as a good quality, but is actually a habit that in excess can lead to debilitating issues, especially in a team environment. In this assessment, I learned that I am “hyper-rational.” I identify with the hyper-rational saboteur. I learned that this tendency can be debilitating in a team environment because it causes me to justify the fact that I often disregard the emotions of others. In addition to learning about my personal sabeteur, I had the opportunity to put a response to the sabeteur into action when working on our Cohort’s project, Listen4Insight, while using Agile Project Management in a fast team environment.
The third year of the Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute, which my cohort and I are currently enrolled in, focuses on Transformational Leadership. Uh, transformational leadership can be defined most simply by the seven levels of conciousness graphic. As you can see the first three levels are simply the, are simply, um, need based. But after the fourth level, um, titled “Transformation,” the following three are more intrinsic, service based principles that guide one’s self to a more prosperous state of being. Thus far in the program, the activity that has had the most, uh that has had the most impact on me personally has been the True North Assessment that our cohort completed by Bill George. In this assignment, I was required to comprehensively assess my toughest experiences, and evaluate myself in ways that I have never been challenged to do before.
And speaking of challenges, I have one challenge for you all today. If you have not already done so, um do something right now, today, that will challenge you to become a better, more authentic leader. Whether that be starting something you have been putting off for a while for fear of failure, or taking an assessment that I have recommended, or simply just being honest with yourself about your weaknesses. Taking a step like these can often be intimidating and the initial phase of learning doesn’t always feel satisfying, but the impact it has on you could last a lifetime.
Categories | Inside the Institute
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