Posted August 10, 2011 by Greg Spevacek 

Leadership in Action: Lessons from I-LEAD® 2011

In the weeks following my return from I-LEAD® 2011, I have had a lot of time to reflect on how truly fortunate I was to be able to attend this year’s institute. The week I spent living, learning, sharing, discussing, and laughing with others from around the U.S. taught me more about myself than I would have ever imagined. While it is next to impossible to address every aspect of I-LEAD®, I have picked out a few that stand out in my mind.

/uploadedImages/_PUBLISHED_CONTENT/Publications/The_Commons/ILEAD 2011 group.jpg One of the most important things that I learned is that there is no leadership without community. Community provides us with the direction and guidance we need to thrive on our campuses and college communities, as well as giving us a sense of purpose and identity. Through a week of deep conversation, reflection, and heartfelt and passionate discussion with the larger group and my small group, the Iron Chefs, I was able to appreciate others’ perspectives and learn the intricacies of group dynamics, an integral part of life at a college union. The community and sense of teamwork that developed through the week also fostered a creative atmosphere, and by listening to others and sharing the challenges we faced at our campuses, we were able to help each other solve problems and brainstorm solutions, often realizing how they could be implemented at our own unions. One phrase I heard over and over again was something to the effect of “I can’t wait to take this back to my campus and tell my coworkers about it!” I believe that this idea of putting thoughts into action is one of the greatest lessons I took away from I-LEAD®.

In addition, I learned the importance of stepping outside my comfort zone and not taking myself too seriously. Opportunities for goofiness abounded, from morning energizers to nightly skits to wrap up the day. These were some of the most entertaining times of the day, and I grew to look forward to the opportunity to entertain my peers and unwind a bit. The facilitators set a fantastic example. Their willingness to “lead by humor” at times and dance like no one is watching set the tone for the week, perfectly summed up by the use of “Party Rock Anthem” as the theme song.

I will always look back at my time at I-LEAD® fondly, and I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to get to know and learn from other student leaders from around the nation. I know the connections and friendships we made will serve us well in the future, and I am excited to take the lessons I learned and apply them here at Marquette.

Greg Spevacek

Greg Spevacek is the Student Employee Coordinator at Marquette University.

Greg Spevacek is a senior at Marquette University majoring in history. Involved in student employment since his freshman year, Greg is currently the student employee coordinator for Marquette's Alumni Memorial Union, as well as a member of the technical services staff. He was a recipient of the 2011 ACUI Region 8 I-LEAD Scholarship


Great article Greg! You really highlighted the core themes of the week. Still making the Iron Chefs proud! :)
Comment posted 08/10/2011 11:43 AM
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