LeaderShape is not something that can be conceptualized in a 500-word post. A five hour conversation wouldn’t even do it justice. Trust me, I’ve tried to make it work. In a nutshell, 60 students met at Camp Joy for a week of leadership training and community building that culminated in the creation of 60 visions, each with the power to change the world. The experience was life changing to say the least. It was a week overflowing with encouragement, challenge, introspection, and authenticity.
We believed in a common vision, approaching it uniquely, but believing in it all the same. That vision, simply stated, is that everyone has the power to enact positive change in the world. We reflected that vision in 60 different ways. Some chose to focus on possibility in healthcare; others on opportunity for the underprivileged; still others on growth within student life at Ohio State.
We built a community, existing for one week in a culture of support and possibility. On day one, we were strangers. On day seven, we were a family founded in openness and honesty. A particularly insightful comment made by one Lawrence Stacey sums up the sentiment best (I’m paraphrasing but hopefully I can capture the statement’s power): “When one stands in their own truth, it gives others the confidence to live in theirs.“
Without the openness that each individual brought to this experience, the community we built would have been flawed. It would have lacked luster and depth. However, no one was malicious. Feedback was love. We collectively stepped into our challenge zones, blind to what we might find there but trusting nonetheless.
By day three we teased and challenged each other as only siblings could, testing each other’s patience and sanity with somewhat cruel mind games. For the record, I have the ball, okay, and this is definitely a good line.
My fellow graduates of the LeaderShape Institute: You have a fire in your eyes, a pebble in your pocket, and a story to share. The number of lives you all will change as you spread your visions across campus is limitless.
Continue to speak passionately as you never know who will connect with your passions and help guide you in your mission to change the world. Believe in it and revel it it. Just don’t get so caught up talking about it that you forget to enact it. Eventually you need to JUST DO IT!