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Leadership and Followship - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Leadership and Followship
I'm working on an article about leadership and followship for Communities  magazine.  They like personal perspectives.  I've already included some of my experiences.  I could use some other examples of people's positive experiences with leading, following, or with teaching either set of skills in a community context.  Thing is, examples need to be concise  because I've got a big topic and not a lot of extra room.  If you've got something to share, please also let me know how you'd like to be named if I quote you.  Thanks!

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je_reviens From: je_reviens Date: April 13th, 2010 12:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I am taking Communication for Leadership in graduate school right now and I can tell you it is a BITCH of a class. Even though I already had lots of community leadership background and knowledge, it is a hard class. Mainly bc it is leadership AND it is communication, primarily in person communication styles and models. Every week in this class we had to write "journal" where we described and analyzed an in-person communication scenario that we had that week.

This week I have my final project, my Leadership Vision Project going on. We all had to come up with a LVP and implement it, then we have to write a paper about the experience, and do a presentation to the class. The paper and presentation have to focus on how we used our knowledge of the communication model and styles to implement the project and make it happen.

My LVP involves bringing a speaker to campus for National Library Week and having the campus library and campus student librarian association agree to co-sponsor the program. The LVP also required a collaborative work model so that's why I had to get them both involved. Then the student association agreed to only partially get involved, so then i had to get others on board to help me as well.

The hardest part of this project and the group project we had to do for class (a whole other thing) is that "collaboration" could not happen via email or online. It had to be in-person interaction. So I could not just write emails or proposals and submit them. I had to go to meetings and stand up in front of people and pitch my project and try to get them on board. When I didn't get 100% backing from the student group I had to find other people and draw them in to my vision and get them to be willing to give up time (so precious for graduate students who are also working and raising families, as opposed to undergrads who live on campus and don't have houses or kids to care for) and energy to make my vision a reality.

Thus the past 2 months have been school wise the most stressful of my graduate career. Yet I have learned so, so very much. I have learned about politics and advocacy. I have learned how to assess the communication styles of people around me when I need their backing, and how to modify my own message AND mode of communicating the message in order to get their agreement. I have learned how to take people with varying communication styles and put them together in situations where their strengths and weakneeses compliment each other.

Prior to this class my preferred mode was to find other people like me, with my communication style or work mode, bc I felt most comfortable around those people and working with them. However now I have learned how to manage and leverage the styles I don't have for maximum effectiveness.

I have really had to push myself out of my little box in this class. I would prefer to sit at home and interact via my computer, sending out emails. But my instructor insisted that all that does is teach people how to split up work and share data online. We really had to learn to approach people in person, pitch ideas to groups, make alliances, advocate, work around others' weaknesses and more.

It has been a really hard class but I have learned so much from it.
je_reviens From: je_reviens Date: April 13th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Another thing I have also learned from this class is the difference between leadership and management. They are 2 entirely different things. That was eye opening.
From: iamtheelfinpoet Date: April 13th, 2010 11:52 am (UTC) (Link)

Do The Write Thing

it's the name of my teaching program. I teach creative writing to women in the Seminole County Jail (FL) We've been together since March 13th and it's been an extraordinary experience for both my girls and myself. We have discussions, writing sessions and our very own bonding time in which we share a bit of ourselves.

All my crowdfunding activity and ebay sales is about funding this program.

You can find out more at:


Best of luck with your article! Glad to help!
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