“What do you think when you see him standing all the way over there?”

The students stood on separate sides of the lobby in Bob Barker Hall, separated by their responses to a series of prompts as part of a workshop for the LEADS residential learning community. All students had started the exercise on one side of the room, and they had been asked to step forward as their sense of anxiety rose in response to a scenario outlined on the lobby televisions.

“It seems like he doesn’t care about anything,” the student responded. While the student she was referring to had hardly stepped away from the starting point, she had made her way across the lobby throughout the exercise. “It’s like he is completely apathetic.”

“I do care,” the other student argued. “This scenario just doesn’t feel like the end of the world to me.”

This interaction reflected the exact reason this exercise is a core experience for first year students who join LEADS to develop their leadership skills. Each year, students take the Workplace Big 5 Personality Profile to explore their own unique personality and how they show up in community. This workshop, led by LEADS’s faculty fellow Rev. Colin Kroll, is designed to help them debrief their personality profile in ways that drive them towards more genuine leadership.

Throughout the workshop, students explored how their personalities inform how they show up in the world and how they experience life differently than their peers. Students were encouraged throughout the time to examine how their ways of responding to stress, of relating to others, and of engaging new ideas empower them to be stronger leaders in their communities. They were also encouraged to consider how they might be more intentional as leaders in making space for other personalities to show up fully on their teams.

“Effective leaders know their stuff, know themselves, and know their teams,” Rev. Kroll reflects. “It’s not enough to be a subject matter expert anymore. Leaders need to exercise authenticity in their own lives and empower others to do so as well.”

For more information on Residential Learning Communities at Campbell University, to either join one as a student or how you as a faculty member or academic program can partner with the creation of one please contact Residence Life and Housing, residencelife@campbell.edu.


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