Learning to Lead

Leadership seminar creates a personalized and holistic focus on each student’s success

Kent State University's Center for Student Involvement has more than 350 clubs and organizations for students. Dedicated to providing a great experience for all students, the center provides leadership development opportunities that foster student engagement.  

The center recently held a one-hour leadership seminar and workshop open to student organization leaders that helps each group maintain good relationships with its members and adds to Kent State’s mission of student success.  

During the seminar, student leadership consultants Amanda Vesely and Gianna Jessup spoke about the importance of reflecting on group dynamics within the organization to help student organization leaders better understand the needs of their members. 

“As leaders, it is important to understand how your peers and your group interact and the ways in which the group follows your instructions,” Vesely said.  

The seminar began with the speakers discussing what followership is, along with the negative and positive connotations it can have. The students were then asked to pair and share with other student organization leaders to discuss their personal experiences with followership and the different types of followers they have seen.  

After listening to the students share, the leadership consultants identified each different type of follower and described the best way to deal with and engage with each.  

Participants in the seminar

“There are a lot of ways that you can engage with someone who is a lone wolf, maybe someone is more introverted or going through something,” Jessup explained.  

The students then participated in an activity where they were asked to solve a riddle. Paired into groups, students were given time to discuss the best way to solve the problem posed in the riddle.  

To end the seminar, the participants shared their experience solving the riddle and how they were able to identify the different followers they learned about.  

“It taught me about making an equitable experience for everybody, making sure they understand how we got there,” a student leader in the audience said.  

Jessup shared that she wanted students to learn, not only about leadership, but also the ability to follow and engage different styles of followers.  

“Leadership to me is being able to lead a group to a common goal, and making a space where people feel comfortable and empowered to share their opinions and engage people in different ways,” Jessup said. 

POSTED: Friday, May 3, 2024 11:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 29, 2024 04:52 PM
Samira Brown, Flash Communications
Samira Brown, Flash Communications