Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An Unexpected Life Changing Experience

By Anthony Ferguson, Jr - University of Iowa - Alpha Theta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc

Unexpected. Inspirational. Exciting. Life Changing. All words that can describe what today was like at AFLV LeaderShape. Today we talked about vision, passion, and drive, and how we could go about effectively constructing these things to better help out our organizations. This was very hard for a person like myself who is usually pretty fast at turning an idea into action. Today however, I learned how to take that vision, sit with it, mold it, and than sit with it some more.

Possibly the most exciting piece about this segment was watching another student boldly share his vision in front of the rest of the group as two other students challenged him and asked tough questions. This process helped not only the person sharing his vision flesh out his ideas further, but it also gave everyone in the room a chance to think critically about our very own visions, dreams, and aspirations. The next great part of the day came after dinner when our panelist arrived.

Not knowing what to expect from this panel, I sat back in my seat, ears relaxed yet still very attentive. I had no idea of the magnitude of knowledge that these people would be bringing to the Beta Class of LeaderShape.

The panel spoke on everything from more effective recruitment, to challeging our entire organization when things don't line up with our own personal values and beliefs, to my favorite topic, men and their sometimes disregard for others. I had no idea that this would even be touched on this week but I am certainly glad that it was. After hearing this open, honest, and very direct call out to fraternity men it reconfirmed for me that we as men have to do better, and have to hold one another to a higher standard. Our panelist described for us that this standard not only included social, but academic standard as well.

This type of leadership and call to action requires us to call out members of our organizations that we hold near and dear to us when we see them misbehaving, acting out of charecter, and not upholding the standards of our fraternity or sorority. This type of leadership is crucial and I am glad that I had the opprotunity to be reminded of my job as a leader and a brother. This conversation was unexpected, inspritaional, exciting, and life changing, and I cannot wait to get back to my campus to spread what I learned.

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