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Wackerle launches leadership series

February 10, 2017

The Wackerle Career and Leadership Center’s approach for this year is to place more emphasis on Leadership. This program is directed by Jake McLean with his new role as Assistant Director of Leadership Development in the Wackerle Center. He recognized that programs from Wackelre were not targeted toward leadership, which encouraged him to begin. The purpose of the new lecture series is to give students a framework to define what leadership means and to facilitate a discussion on what makes an individual a leader. McLean doesn’t feel as though there is a push to uniformly define leadership and feels that giving it a framework as a community can be beneficial to the way we regard leadership in the future.

There are two series of lectures that deal directly with leadership. The first of which is the Leadership Luncheon Series. These lectures meet on Tuesdays at 11:30 A.M. in the Tartan Room, and Wednesday at noon in the Center for Student Involvement.

The first of the Leadership Luncheon Series lectures took place on January 24. McLean explained “The Leadership Luncheon Programs are set up to be 60 minute roundtable discussions on different forms of leadership practices and what they mean. It’s easy to throw a word before leadership, but what does it actually mean? How different is it from the foundation of leadership?” At the first luncheon lecture, students discussed general perceptions and misconceptions about leadership in which subsequent lectures will build upon the concepts from the first session.

The next lecture on the Leadership Development Program schedule will take place on February 14. “The upcoming program “Love Leadership” will focus on specific qualities of leadership behavior, things like vulnerability and trust, and how those things relate to the practice of leadership,” explained McLean. This lecture will combine concepts from servant leadership and love leadership.

The second series of lectures is the Pearls of Wisdom Series. This lecture series takes a more hands-on approach, as it examines the qualities of a good leader, and helps students apply them in their daily lives. This series relies on guest speakers, and exposes students to many different types of leaders within the community.

McLean described the major difference between the two series. “The Leadership Luncheon Series is a series of educational workshops that are more roundtable discussion types while the Pearls of Wisdom series offers a speaker a month. The speakers focus on lessons they’ve learned through experiences to make them a better leader, more like a TED talk on leadership, if you will.”

At a previous Pearls of Wisdom lecture, guest speaker Matt Barnes discussed what it means to be a leader of passion. Barnes, a senior, explained his speaking experience. “It was an honor to be asked and it was a great opportunity for me to grow more as a vocal leader. I considered myself to be more of a leader by example. I always want to do the right thing, work hard, and demonstrate what a leader should be. Over the past four years I have grown more vocal, but I’m still not where I want to be in that aspect. I was happy about how the lecture went and I hope those that attended are going to be able to implement some of my points in their journey as a leader.

At an upcoming Pearls of Leadership lecture former president of Alpha Xi Delta, Sarah Ellis, will discuss what it means to be president, and how those skills can be used for future success. This lecture will be held on March 22.

When describing the lecture series, McLean said that the world needs strong leadership; especially now. These lectures aim to get students interested in becoming leaders in their respective communities and beyond. McLean has a goal he hopes to accomplish. “As we move forward, these programs will be more about leadership skill building. I hope to build a dialogue with these programs that will shape future programs and ultimately make our college the place to talk about leadership.”

John Cotter
Contributing Writer

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