During the first few days of October, the Belmont Office of Leadership Development (BOLD) hosted the annual Bruin Lead experience. Two options were hosted back to back as faculty and 120 students were able to come together to learn and practice exemplary leadership using the Student Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner. Seventeen staff members and graduate students helped facilitate leadership workshops for Belmont students from every year with eight different colleges represented.
Learning about leadership on campus is anything but ordinary. Each workshop is filled with interactive, hands-on experiences that helped participants learn by doing. For example, participants had the opportunity to create physical movements to match their top personal values, challenge themselves to be innovative in the way they help groups achieve a common goal via an obstacle course and collaborate with students to develop ways to encourage and praise others who are striving to be leaders.
This year, graduate students who are participating in BOLD’s Graduate Opportunities in Leadership Development (GOLD) experience, were challenged as they helped guide undergraduate students through this portion of their leadership journey. This semester alone 117 Belmont graduate students have engaged in BOLD’s GOLD experience and are on track to earn their certificate in leadership.
As defined by BOLD, leadership at Belmont University is, “A values-driven process of individuals from diverse backgrounds working together to boldly and ethically engage and transform the world.” Students were able to apply this definition as they learned to be a role model for their peers. By modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling others to act and encouraging the heart, these aspiring student leaders studied and put into action behaviors and skills needed to demonstrate exemplary leadership on and off campus. The overall hope is that students increase leadership behaviors that are proven to bring out the best in themselves and others.
One student participate commented, “The path to being a good leader is long and continuous. There’s always something to be learned or a skill to be improved upon,” while another noted, ““Fostering relationships and focusing on yourself in order to help others is key.”
The Bruin Lead experience occurs each fall semester. BOLD’s next major event is the Leadership Lately convocation series starting on October 28. BOLD also is hosting Tower Talks beginning on October 31. At this convocation, students who have progressed through the BOLD process will share their own transformational leadership stories. Students may join BOLD and the GOLD experience in Bruin Link. Contact the BOLD office at firstname.lastname@example.org.