XO Gallivanting Boy

This is my life. Will it affect yours?

Category: leadership

Business Week: Loosely Packed

Take Palmetto Boys’ State, mix in a heavy dose of Wachovia Business Scholars, and then add in some of the leaders in the Business World in South Carolina, and you end up with Business Week at Presbyterian College. One week that causes leaders to arise quickly. Within 24 hours, the companies that have been arranged by the staff, randomly before the camp begins find themselves with a CEO, one round of decisions made about their business, and one skit completed.
The camp works with a speed, efficiency, and smoothness that allows for a lot to get done while not feeling packed. During the week there are speakers that discuss subjects from diversity, personal finance, to personality types, and one week long business simulation. The simulation is a competition that simulates the real business world, requiring participants to determine price, production, advertising, and the purchasing of raw goods for a company that produces 2 goods that require different types of raw materials. Dilemmas are also introduced that require the companies to answer ethical questions as well as professional.
Each company is afforded with CA’s and the chance to interact with industry leaders, and are also allowed to tour a plant. This year, we toured Fujifilm. Teamwork is of the utmost importance during the week because of the ongoing spirit competition. Also because of the time invested in various meetings, participants find themselves linked with their companies if not with everyone else who attended camp.
Because grade level is from rising 10th graders to rising college freshmen it is very interesting to watch how these leaders interact. The applications are vetted heavily and those who attend represent the best that South Carolina has to offer. The Board of CEOs meets for lunch once along with an Advisor and basically have a discussion on leadership. As my company’s CEO I was privy to this and I found it very interesting. All in all, the camp pulled out qualities in me that I wasn’t quite sure I possessed.

BOTTOM LINE: BUSINESS WEEK WAS AN EXPERIENCE THAT BOUND ME TO MY COMPANY AND PULLED OUT QUALITIES THAT I WASN’T REALLY SURE I HAD IN MYSELF IN REGARDS TO LEADERSHIP.

Youth Leadership Retreat: Invisible Fence

It’s Sunday and right now I have on 65DaysofStatic’s The Fall of Math album playing in the background while I type. I’m in the dining hall of the YMCA in Lexington, South Carolina, and as I look around I see 4 teenagers, and 3 adults working together to fix breakfast for about 38 people. My stomach is grumbling at the smells, but my brain is grumbling a tad louder, because it knows that we won’t be able to partake in this particular meal.
From Thursday night until this morning I’ve been here at the Y with 29 other teens from the church I attend, Right Direction Christian Center, for the Youth Leadership Retreat. I can really and truly say that this program has been the most set apart from all the leadership camps/retreats/seminars that I’ve attended. I’ve attended Palmetto Boys’ State, SCASC district rallies and conventions, the Dupont Leadership Academy at the National TSA conference, and Wachovia Business Scholars, just to name a few, but this one is by far the one that may make the most impact on me.
It took me about an hour or two of being here to find that out. It’s never happened before, but within that two hour span I said, “I don’t want to be here any more.” As I look back at the weekend I think I know why.
In my other camps, on a general basis, the participants have been vetted. PBS is a fierce competition, and so is WBS. Student Government activities have those who’ve chosen to run for office and have been deemed by their peers to be competent. This camp was, pay and you go. Pay $75 and you can go to the Leadership Retreat.
Personalities as always clashed, and as I take a glance back, the weekend was what it became because of the group dynamics. PBS is a camp of controlled chaos, the same with district rallies from SCASC. It may seem chaotic, but it’s chaotic with an eerily serene calm that underlies every action and activity. I didn’t sense that here. I could liken the situation to having a pet dog in a yard.
It’s kind of like the dog is in the yard with a fence. He knows he has the freedom to roam, but there is a physical barrier always there, that he can see, and is tangible. He can come right up to it and he knows where is the area that he can’t go because he can see clearly the gate. Now take that same dog and put him in a yard with that new Invisible Fence concoction. He’ll see the edge of the yard and no fence, and he’ll roam in the yard for a while but he’ll wonder, “What if I go out of the yard… the fence is gone. What would happen?” He’ll make a dash for it and receive his shock.
Depending on the dog, he may receive the shock and resign himself to the yard, just roaming around. Or, he may roam for a while, regaining the courage have a go at the fence again because, it looks that maybe he can get out. Maybe just once he’ll beat the system. So, he continues to run at it, repeating the procedure until he is to injured to do it again.
That is how my view of this camp is, one of the Invisible Fence. In saying that, I do want to point out that leadership is still taught and one part that stood out to me is even though it wasn’t expressly taught by word of mouth, group dynamics, in my opinion in is one aspect that is crucial in the entire camp. This go round we had very strong, and at times domineering personalities, and also some passive aggressives. Of course we had some who were quiet and just followed but, I really and truly saw leadership potential in them all.
The staff was very approachable, and not at all condescending. They gelled easily into the group and sometimes it was hard to differentiate staff from participant. All in all, it was a new, but at the same time educational experience that I am excited that I had the opportunity to participate in

BOTTOM LINE: THE YOUTH LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE IS A CONFERENCE THAT TEACHES LEADERSHIP BY GIVING THE CAMP A SEMBLANCE OF CHAOS AND ALLOWING THE PARTICIPANTS TO DEAL WITH THAT.

Hey guys! I am at a Youth Retreat and have Business Week afterwards. I wont be able to update here or at Posh until I return home. Sorry for the inconvenience.