We covered the entire room with pillows. It wasn’t a big room, but still, this was a lot of pillows. I had just met all of these people a few nights before, but in that time we had bonded so completely, from working in family clusters together, from sharing and forming our visions, from just plain goofing off. We talked about everything: the difficulties we’d faced, our greatest accomplishments, explorations and adventures; there was so much we shared as we cuddled together, a huge amount of people in a small room filled with pillows.
I have never been more impressed with people my own age than the people I have met at Leadershape. People are sent to these programs from all over the United States, from community colleges, from public universities, from smaller private universities like Lehigh, and so we have a plethora of opinions, world views, and stories. The week was focused on discovering our leadership strengths and how we could apply them. We also learned quite a bit about our weaknesses from simulations, and through first-hand experience of what could make a group fall apart. But we learned from each other, here people were open to listen to new ideas, and so as we figured out exactly who we were, we learned how we could work most effectively and happily with others.
We created an environment built on intelligence and honesty, and so we worked together to develop our visions of the future. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to see a world where his children were judged by their character, not the color of their skin. We all have visions like these, whether it’s about a world without war, without garbage, with a greater inclusion and emphasis on diversity; we began to form our plan, our “blueprint,” for what we want to see the future as. With this, we formed bonds that guaranteed that we would always be pushing the people we met here to complete their goals, one step at a time.
My family cluster has a Groupme, where we send leadership updates, and we have a challenge going to complete 13 acts of kindness before October 14th. We’re still there for each other, even though we all live in different places across the U.S. I recently reconnected with two of them, one from California and one from Chicago, and we all met up in Milwaukee to chat and muse and dance around the city. I am truly impressed with the friendships I’ve found. This program is something special.
And I want to help other people find this. I am excited to be part of the Leadershape Day 7 program here at Lehigh, where the week of May 11th Lehigh will be having its very first Leadershape conference. I am currently seeking people who are interested in this same growth as I experienced, this growth with not only recognizing my vision, but forming life-long, inspiring friends. You never know who you’re going to meet here, and who knows, maybe you’ll form your own pillow room cuddle sesh to spend all night talking about ambitions and schemes. We all have ideas, and Leadershape helps us develop them as well as our view of ourselves and others.