What I Learned from Lead365: Part 1

7:00 AM

What is Lead365?

The Lead365 website states that "Lead365 is committed to empowering collegiate leaders and professionals dedicated to developing student leaders, to be prepared to serve the greater social good 365 days a year."  That sounds pretty broad, right?  That's the best part!  By attending this conference, you can either attend sessions in the same competency or pick and choose various sessions to get a taste of the different competencies available.

What I Learned About Social Media:

Many of you probably already know this, but we all have to make a decision about what social media we will use and how we will use it.  Sometimes this is a fairly unconscious choice, but if you want to portray yourself in a certain way, you should be making conscious choices.  I need to work on this, so that's what I'll be doing!

Paul Gordon Brown led some very helpful social media sessions, during which he discussed the 5 building blocks of social media, including thinking of three words that form your core values, creating your online mission statement in 140 characters or less, developing a 5 sentence biography, having a good headshot, and creating your online personality.

He also shared 5 to-do's of social media, including creating an appropriate email address and web address, creating a Twitter account if you don't have one, creating a LinkedIn profile and reaching "All Star Status," regularly checking your privacy settings, and creating an about.me page.

What I Learned About Spending:

Kristin Scarrie presented about her experiment in which she did not buy anything new for a year.  After a few months of just not buying things, she experimented by attempting to not use electricity, only eating local food, making handmade gifts for Christmas, and only wearing 6 pieces of clothing for a month.  I don't know that I could do all of the amazing things that she talked about, but I feel inspired to minimize my impact on the Earth, minimize my spending, and even minimize my stress.

She gave us the following questions to answer to reflect on our lives and habitsWhat do I want? What do I need? What do I have? How do I spend my time, money, energy? What are my priorities and goals? What impact do I want to have? Where do I thrive? What is my life's work? What if I already have everything I need?  Not only will you think about what you own and how you spend your time, but also what you need to do to flourish in every aspect of life.

We also discussed how we're spending our time and energy.  We used paper plates to write down everything that's on "our plates," including things that we may need to dedicate less time to or things we need to dedicate more time to.  I absolutely recommend doing this or creating a mind map to see where you spend your time and energy.  Consider color coding or otherwise differentiating between things you do, want to do, and don't want to do.

What I Learned About Leadership Brands:

Tish Norman was one of the most charismatic people I have ever seen in my life.  She told us a great story about she created an Instagram account for the District Six Museum in Cape Town, South Africa when she was there for an internship.  She talked about how she did not wait for permission or instruction to take lead on this project, but instead did the research and connected with people who could help her with her new project.

She told us that be identifying our unique abilities, skills, and talents, and combining it with necessary research, we can figure out our creative solutions to achieve our goals.  She reminded us that leaders have different styles and that we need to find our values and drives to create a personal leadership brand.  She asked us to name 10 values, narrow it down to 5, and then narrow it down to 2 to find our leadership focus.

Don't worry, I'll be back with Part 2 of what I learned at the Lead365 Conference!  I was pleasantly surprised by all of the information I got, and I'm still trying to process all of it.  What I loved the most was that the presenters gave us actionable tips for improving in various parts of our lives.  I truly felt like I walked away with something!

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