Tuesday, April 5, 2011


This post will be fairly quick, because I am working on saying what I want to say without writing a novel about it, however I wanted to talk about an issue in some leaders, including myself, that I have become aware of recently.

Mistakes happen. Things don't always go as planned. As leaders, we have to make sure that we don't let each and every mistake bother us because we will get worn down trying to deal with all of them. Next time a mistake happens in your organization, take a step back and separate yourself from the situation and calmly analyze if the mistake is going to have a big impact on your organization or not.

So many times things go wrong and the, "this is ridiculous; how could you; he's terrible at his job; it was such an easy task" statements start flying. Don't punish the honest mistake. You'll turn that person off to authority and guidance and never be able to get a response from them in the future. Instead, ask them about the problem, see why the mistake occurred, and go about resolving the situation in a calm matter.

Odds are good that things aren't as bad as you're trying to make them. 

Don't get caught up in perfection. It isn't real and it isn't worth it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Attendance isn't optional all the time. I'm sorry.

A challenge that has become increasingly apparent recently is accountability of the people in the organizations I hold leadership positions in. Sometimes I just get really frustrated at the people who don't come to events, ignore reminders, and always seem to have ever-flowing mountains of homework, papers, and projects.

I had never met people as busy as the people who email me and let me know they won't be at chapter before I became secretary of Sigma Pi. I had never met a person with the equivalent of Mount Everest of homework before I tried to get members of my chapter to go to a one-hour speaker series. The things people pull out of their excuse vault when they get plain lazy are ridiculous. "My marketing group has a meeting." The group meeting can't be moved? You didn't realize they scheduled a meeting during the hour you have chapter. The hour that we have had chapter for all three years you have been in Sigma Pi? Must have slipped your mind, I guess.

The problem has kind of hit a boiling point for me and I'm struggling to put together ideas on how to conquer this situation. I want people to come to the events we plan. So many people work so hard to plan events, prepare for chapter, and make sure things are fun, entertaining and relevant for the people who should be showing up. So many times, the people attending these presentations, chapter meetings, and programs are the people who would know everything about the topics regardless.

How can we attract the people who we aren't attracting? How can I portray the importance of chapter to the members who never show up?

These are just a few questions that I've struggled with lately. Right now, I'm going to go talk to the people who don't normally show up and try to fully understand their reasoning. Maybe I'm mistaken in my frustration, but I don't think my anger is all that off-base.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Temper Problem

Throughout my life, I have always been involved in one leadership position, if not a few. Being a leader is not something that is necessarily new to me, I know what the position looks like, I know what is expected from a leader, and I know what it feels like to have the responsibilities of a leader. None of this means that I have actually been a leader, though.

Looking back on everything I have done, I can see the positions I've held and the things I have written on my resume, however, I don't see the accomplishments I have made. I feel like too many times in my life I have put myself or been put in a leadership position and failed to make anything happen.

A few nights ago, I witnessed why this could possibly be true. I went downstairs to ask someone to turn off some loud music, because I had a midterm the following morning, and I had lost my temper before I even left my room. You can imagine how effective I was once I got downstairs.

This isn't the first time I've lost my temper in a situation in need of a calm and collected response, either. My band director and leader role model in high school, Alan Feirer, had a conversation with me about my temper in the past as well. As I go through my life and do different things, I have not been as fortunate as I was back in high school to have someone who was concerned with my leading skills as much as Alan to let me know what I was doing wrong. In the real world, that is oftentimes left to yourself to discover.

Looking back, my temper has played a role in many of the failures I have had as a friend, family member, person, student, and leader. It's actually kind of scary for me too look back and realize all of those situations and how their turnout related to my temper and anger.

Because of all these situations, successes, and failures I have observed and how closely related they are to the amount of anger or the level of use of my temper, I have decided to let this be my first project of the Titan Leadership Program. I am going to work on more than just controlling my temper. I am going to work on recognizing when my temper or a response based in anger will only damage the situation. I want to be able to rationally recognize the mood I have to bring to the table when dealing with a situation. Only after that, can I be an effective leader.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Beginnings of this Blog

So I have a blog already, called iamKUHNS. I usually use that blog to post things that are currently on my mind, typically life lessons or things that I am trying to do better. But that is that blog and this is this blog. I am going to be using this blog as a way to reflect on my experience in the Titan Leadership Program. A semester-long leadership program designed to develop the leadership skills of around 15 students at Illinois Wesleyan University.

In this blog, you will expect to see some similar postings as you can see on my other blog as well. I am sure I will come across many aspects of my leadership that need to be improved and a ton of lessons that I feel I should share. Much of this blog, however, will be dedicated to reflecting about the process. I am sure I will blog about the struggles with the program and also some struggles I face as a leader in my everyday life.

If, in any of the posts to follow, you feel that I have something wrong about my theories, viewpoints, or strategies, feel free to comment. I would also love comments about any solutions to problems that I may talk about in future posts.

I intend for this blog to be both a place to post wisdom gained and read wisdom offered by my readers.