The purpose of this semester’s Fall Leadership Week at the University of Idaho is to show that everyone one can be a leader and to give students the opportunity to learn leadership skills, said Denise Carl, the student engagement coordinator for the Department of Student Involvement.
The theme of the week — which began Sept. 20 and ends Thursday — is based off of the book, “Finding Your Voice: Learning to Lead … Anywhere You Want to Make a Difference” by Larraine R. Matusak, as are the themes surrounding the different workshops on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Carl said.
Each day there will be four workshops, two from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. and two from 3:20 to 4:20 p.m. She said they wanted to schedule the workshops around class times.
Monday’s workshops are based off of the theme “Leading with Diverse Perspectives” and will explore the various forms of diversity in our world, from different viewpoints to interacting with others.
Tuesday’s workshops are about maintaining ethics and trust, which is a way to become and succeed as a leader.
Wednesday’s workshops deal with leadership on different scales, and will cover the different levels of leadership and the changes it goes through.
Carl said that they tried to get presenters that people wouldn’t normally expect, or haven’t thought of before. They also wanted to make sure the workshops were not lecture based.
“People should anticipate and expect that there be interaction and movement,” Carl said.
Part of the purpose of these workshops is to bring the campus together as a whole, she said, so interaction in the workshops is a key to that.
So far the conference has been a success. The opening ceremony took place Thursday Sept. 20, and Kristin Skarie, the president and founder of Teamworks, was a phenomenal presenter, Carl said.
“She discussed ways and opportunities for people to learn about themselves and gave them many tools to use as leaders,” she said.
Carl also said she expects the closing ceremony to be amazing, the speaker being Paul Pryz, president of LeaderShape, a group that puts on weeklong leadership workshops.
By the end of the conference, Carl said she hopes that students will start to understand their own leadership development, tackle various topics like personal values and collaboration and assess their personal behavioral style.
“I am hoping that people will not be as intimidated by the word ‘leader,’” Carl said.
People have a tendency to think of leaders in the terms of holding a position, and that is not what leaders are, Carl said. She said leaders can come in all forms.
Anyone can go to the workshops, but people have to register for the closing session because dinner will be provided and there is limited space.
This is the first year that there has been a weeklong workshop session — before it was one Saturday during a random month. By making it a week, they hope that more people will be able to come.
Fall Leadership week was planned in collaboration by the Department of Student Involvement, Greek Life, University Housing and Campus Recreation.
Allison Griffith can be reached at arg-news.uidaho.edu