November 6, 2019 at 1:35 pm

Alex Paoletti: 21st Century Leadership Workshop Was Worth My Time


outside the main entrance to the Career and Leadership Development Center

by Alex Paoletti ’20

The “Understanding Ethics and Values” workshop I attended in October was an interesting and enlightening experience, and its facilitator was extremely welcoming.

Our group was small, which made for a comfortable environment in which to share. The session is a part of the 21st Century Leadership Program, a series of Career Leadership and Development Center workshops that provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to become successful, respectable leaders.

Students complete the program by participating in all three workshops, the other two of which are, “Understanding Team Development” and “Understanding Emotional Intelligence.”

We started our session with defining values as personal beliefs combined with our life experiences. Examples of values included Walt Disney’s values – family, storytelling, innovation, and humor – as well as Ohio University’s values – character, community, commitment, civility, and citizenship.

The Social Change Model of Leadership

The facilitator discussed the Social Change Model of Leadership, which is based on group, community, and individual values and shows that social change is a collaborative effort.

We worked from a list of values, which included creative expression, money, knowledge, friendship, family, adventure, honesty, etc., to determine our top 15. We then progressively narrowed our lists to five and shared our values and discussed if and how they have changed since our arrival at Ohio University.

Since transferring to OHIO as an undergraduate, I have come to value a work-life balance. When I transferred, I found my school load doubled and my free time condensed. Now I cherish the balance I have created between school, work and free time.

In understanding ethics, we started by defining ethics as a matter of right and wrong. One example included the Golden Rule. We worked through several scenarios that we ranked on a scale of one (very ethical) to 10 (very unethical).

For example, “Accepting money from someone who you know may not have much to give.” The exercise was to keep our top five values in mind while discussing ways to handle these situations.

The session wrapped up with a discussion of ethical leaders, in which we defined principles of ethical leaders as respecting and serving others, showing justice, manifesting honesty, and building community.

The workshop was definitely worth my time, and I plan to return for the next two workshops, as well as the coaching session, and complete the 21st-century Leadership Program.

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