In LDR200L we learned about the many different past and progressing theories of leadership. Each of which I can see demonstrated in different times and aspects of my life. A theory that I believe I have demonstrated throughout this past year at Central Michigan University is the Leadership Ethics theory.
The Leadership Ethics theory was first written about in 1996 by W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The ethical theory is a system of rules and principles that guide us in making decisions about what is right/wrong and good/bad in a particular situation. I have been challenged many times throughout this year, but my guiding principles and philosophy are what have guided me through each situation. The five principles of ethics are: Serve Others, Show Justice, Manifest Honesty, Build Community, and Respect Others.
Serve Others: This year I have made serving others through volunteerism a priority. I began the year by volunteering weekly with an organization called Connections That Count, where I spent two hours a week hanging out with Mount Pleasant community members with intellectual and physical disabilities. Second semester I volunteered weekly with a program called Lunch Buddies where I spent every Friday with my third grade buddy during lunch and recess. Along with these opportunities I spent a week in Traverse City, Michigan, volunteering at the Special Olympics 2017 Winter Games, and then spent my spring break in Harlan, Kentucky volunteering at Pine Mountain Settlement School.
Show Justice: I have demonstrated justice this year by staying true to my goals and values. I gave the efforts and actions it took to achieve my goals. One of my largest goals this year has been receiving a 4.0. By showing justice to myself and this goal, I made choices that would help me reach it. I prioritized my school work over my social life and made sure I was doing everything I needed to for my classes before I spent time doing anything else. I was able to find a healthy balance of work and play while ensuring I was showing justice to the goals I set for myself.
Manifest Honesty: This year I “Manifested Honesty” to myself. I wanted all my experiences at college to be positive and began to not acknowledge issues in my life. I also was pushing myself to be someone I was not. It took some time for me to realize this, but I was living a life that did not fit the values I was trying to hold myself too. I had to be honest with myself about who I am and wanted to be and what I needed to change in my life. This turning point has allowed me to be much more focused and positive, along with removing stress of trying to cram everything into my life To be an ethical leader, it is important to be honest with others, but even more important to be honest with yourself. By doing this, one will be always guided by their morals and values.
Build Community: At Central Michigan University, I have become connected to many different people throughout campus. This has made CMU feel even more like home to me. I have made friends with a variety of people who I would have not naturally been friends with in high school. Coming into a cohort of nearly 50 people, I wanted to challenge myself to take the time to talk to everyone at some point. I can confidently say I have made some sort of connection with all the members of the LAS16 cohort. I have learned and fell in love with so many people different from myself and have truly felt community throughout this year.
Respect Others: This year, I have grown as a leader in the aspect of respect for others. Specifically, respecting that others will see situations in a different light than myself, and I am unable to control their actions, emotions, or perceptions. I cannot control what happens to me, but I can control how I handle it. In instances of disagreement or wrong doing, I can control how I respond to the way I feel. I must respect others even if I disagree with their beliefs or choices.
At the beginning of the year I was somewhere between the conventional mortality stage of moral development and post conventional morality. Conventional morality is when a person is trying to live up to the standards and expectations. I was trying to fit in to a mold of who I thought I should be while trying to balance my ethics and values. Post conventional morality is when a person makes decisions based upon ethical principals. I was trying to balance both stages into one. Now from the lessons I have learned through my experiences this year, I am more frequently in the post conventional stage. Although I will always linger between the two, I am now more comfortable in my stage of moral development.