LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Super Bowl Sunday marked another round of Bucknell Bison Leadership Academy sessions, as Bison student-athletes broke up by class to continue discussions started during the fall semester. Lynne Kaplan of Do What Counts led the workshop, which focused on recognizing and understanding different personality types to help resolve conflicts.
Freshman Martine McCarthy of the women's water polo team, junior Stephen McPeek of the wrestling team and senior Madison Hurwitz of women's lacrosse took a few minutes to recap Sunday's session. Here are their thoughts:
The Bucknell Bison Leadership Academy was implemented by Bucknell Athletics last year and continues to be a great way for student-athletes to grow into leadership positions within Bison Athletics but also in other aspects of life on campus. Over the summer, freshmen and sophomores were invited to fill out a personality questionnaire to help us understand what qualities we each possess and how we can use them to positively affect our respective teams.
We were then classified into four categories based on our responses: dominance, influence, stability, conscientiousness or a combination of two. Once we got our results, we talked about how to communicate with people of other personality types most effectively and what this means in regards to our own leadership roles within our teams.
The most recent Leadership Academy session on Sunday was a continuation of this discussion. Everyone in attendance will have been apart of the Academy for four years by the time we graduate, an advantage that our older teammates will not have had when their time at Bucknell comes to a close. Despite being the younger athletes on our teams, we learn a lot from current captains, work hard to support our teammates, and stay self-motivated, which inevitably spreads outward.
Having the Leadership Academy help us develop and hone in on these skills is a huge leg up as we grow into our positions as leaders. We started off by discussing how we've been implementing our earlier training into our seasons and how we plan to further our initiatives. The next step included some hands-on activities where communication and rational decision-making were imperative for successful completion. We also worked on handling potentially difficult situations that cause friction between teammates. We discussed the best ways to communicate and diffuse these issues, going over how to know when listening is more effective or when the situation calls for a more proactive, vocal response. Every person in attendance voiced opinions and made suggestions throughout the session, furthering the notion that as we progress through our four years as Academy members we're going to be big influences on the teams we're a part of.
-- Martine McCarthy '16 (women's water polo)
During the Leadership Academy workshop we discussed the implications of the workshop from the previous semester, where we had learned about our personal leadership styles. As a group we discussed scenarios where being a leader was particularly hard. In certain situations as a leader you must take a special approach with some teammates that may have different reactions to the various ways you may be trying to communicate or motivate them. Having a clear plan and knowing how to approach others with the plan and articulating the vision in a motivating manner is usually very helpful.
After the discussion we played a game, the "win as much as you can game." The game illustrated the need for trust in the outspoken leader. When you don't necessarily understand what is going on in the game, or during a practice you don't understand the point of a drill, you must trust the coaches and upperclassmen leaders on the team. This also compares in understanding how to approach specific individuals in different ways. You must be able to communicate with them in a way that they will respond positively and not take offense. Knowing the person's personality is key.
-- Stephen McPeek '14 (wrestling)
On Super Bowl Sunday the senior members of the Bucknell Bison Leadership Academy met with Lynne Kaplan and participated in a 90-minute seminar. As a group we discussed the results and impacts of our 363 leaders' profile. Back in the fall we had our teammates, coaches, friends, professors and acquaintances assess us on various aspects of our leadership abilities. The feedback we received was very personalized and time-consuming for the raters, as they were instructed to assess many specific aspects of our leadership. The results of this profile showed each of us what our strengths and weaknesses are as leaders. Many months after we talked to our teammates, coaches and other raters about the results, we unanimously concluded today that the 363 profile was extremely accurate and beneficial to our lives as leaders and as student-athletes.
For the remainder of the seminar we discussed important communication skills that will be valuable to our lives far beyond our years of being student-athletes at Bucknell. Creating a positive culture, reaching out to people from different places and people of different ages, as well as building personal bonds with individuals are among the many communicative actions we claimed imperative. As a group, we decided that effective leaders and/or influencers use collaboration when working with others. Effective leaders show a willingness to share which is an invaluable trait we have learned while being leaders at Bucknell.
To say the very least, today's seminar was a very useful and memorable experience. The members of the Bucknell Bison Leadership Academy are looking forward to March 24th when we meet again (and when it is a little bit warmer)!
-- Madison Hurwitz '13 (women's lacrosse)