Friday, March 3, 2017

Feature Friday: Nicole Lando, Alpha Gamma Delta

Thanks to Nicole Lando, Alpha Gamma Delta, for her Feature Friday thoughts on Leadershape!

My LeaderShape Experience: Leaning in to Discomfort

As a Greek student, I’ve attended my fair share of team building and leadership-focused facilitations. That being said, I had no idea what I would experience when I applied to attend the LeaderShape Institute. At the start of the Institute, I was in a place of transition. As a student who also planned to study abroad in the Spring 2017 semester, I wasn’t entirely sure how my narrative would fit in with that of everyone else’s. Unlike the rest of the group, I wouldn’t be returning to Lehigh after the week.

I arrived on campus already unsure of how my experience would go. The week before, I was placed in a cumbersome plastic air cast due to a chronic foot injury that I had been ignoring for far too long. Seeing as the Institute would take place at a camp in the Pocono mountains, I also wasn’t sure how much this would limit me from participating in group activities. Thankfully, I was quite wrong.

In just six days, LeaderShape helped me foster some of the most amazing relationships with other Lehigh students that I otherwise would have never known here on campus. (Shout out to my Lit Lemons cluster family; you are all forever in my heart.) LeaderShape enhanced my abilities to lead with integrity, both as a member of the Greek community, as well as a Lehigh student. Thanks to a team of incredibly dedicated staff members and some great late night conversations with other LeaderShapers, I’ve broadened my perspective on where Lehigh’s existing culture thrives, as well as problems that have arisen over time. Our group was so incredibly diverse in thought and backgrounds; allowing me to see unique perspectives on issues I had discussed in the past.

LeaderShape gave me confidence that there are some incredibly powerful students here at Lehigh who have the ability to enact lasting change. As a junior surrounded by many first and second year students, I couldn’t believe how brilliant and welcoming this group was.

I’m positive that the skills and lessons I’ve gained through LeaderShape will take me far in the rest of my time at Lehigh, as well as through my career aspirations beyond college. Additionally, I now see so much room for development that I can’t wait to bring back to the organizations to which I’ve dedicated my time: as a member of my chapter, as a past GEM mentor, and other roles beyond those in Greek life.