KLI Student Spotlight: A Behind the Scenes Look at KLI Programming
By Austin Gosch ‘18
To me, leadership is the act of being able to stand at the head of a group, make educated decisions about the future, and listen to and effectively communicate all of the people you represent. Although the idea of leadership seems simple, it is difficult to fully exemplify. There are a lot of little things that go into properly executing the actions of a truly good leader. That is why I wanted to join the Kravis Leadership Institute’s (KLI) programming team. I also wanted to be able to organize programs that would help the CMC community learn about all of the components of leadership, ranging from listening to time management to storytelling.
I had the opportunity to work on several projects with the Kravis Leadership Institute, serving as the head of one this spring semester. The first program that I helped organize and facilitate was the Team Retreat held last fall. Team Retreat is a small, intimate, off-campus, overnight retreat that allows the executive boards of three clubs on campus to work on becoming a better and closer team, so that they can be more efficient in achieving their goals and purpose. When clubs get accepted they send us a list of attendees. All attendees then take a personality quiz so that we can better understand the dynamic of the group and design curriculum that best aids the team in becoming more efficient and effective. Each group is also assigned one staff and one student facilitator who guide the conversations and curriculum in a way stays on a track but also allows communications to adapt to their group’s needs.
The groups who attended the retreat last semester said that they enjoyed the experience and learned a lot about their group, including how to better organize their board structures and address their unique issues. For me, it was rewarding hearing this feedback. Knowing that I helped a group of people work better together, and improve as individual leaders in the process, confirmed that I was doing something very useful with KLI.
The second program I was a part of, and served as lead, was called Unscripted. This program is designed to focus on the leadership tool of storytelling and emphasizes how being a better storyteller allows you to be a more effective leader. Organizing this program was a lot of work. We chose the facilitators, designed the curriculum, accumulated all necessary materials, created an agenda, made advertising materials, and more. Let’s just say Unscripted generated a very long to-do list. Although planning was stressful, the thought that the program would help students grow and become better leaders in our community and beyond kept me motivated and on track! Everything was accomplished on time, and the day of the program ran very smoothly. It was honestly a great success! Participants expressed thoroughly enjoying the program and thought that it was a good use of their time and helped them become better leaders.
My time working at KLI has been great thus far, and many programs and projects remain on the horizon. I am already involved in three other assignments! I can’t wait to see what KLI has in store for the CMC community.