Welcome to Lessons in Leadership, Fall 2012

Good Labor Day weekend to all of you!

I intend to use this blog as one way of connecting with all of you throughout the coming months. Jarrett will be orchestrating the various aspects of your involvement and expectations as members of one of UCO’s leadership programs or as a leadership minor student.

I am pleased that we have this e-method of keeping one another informed as the full spectrum of ideas and dimensions of leadership are explored. I am certain that access via the IPads which most of you have by now will encourage the group conversation about the challenges we face as leaders in a changing local and global environment, and the capacities and perspectives we acquire as we continue our work as students of leadership.

As I commented when we met recently, our leadership programs were created to intentionally encourage your seeking and persisting as emerging leaders. There is no single template for successful leadership, but rather basket of attributes, insights, capacities and talents you can actively develop and nourish throughout your life that build your ability to be a servant leader.

At UCO, we speak of values that are fundamental to our university community. They are character, civility and community. Embedded in UCO’s mission beyond our foremost commitment to help students learn through a combination of exceptional, transformative learning experiences, is the expressed intention that you and your fellow students emerge as “…productive, creative, ethical and engaged citizens and leaders”.

This means for us that there is a goal clearly in sight, that we begin with the end in mind. Our focus is on you, not as a faceless group of passive recipients of what we might communicate, but rather as active members of a spirited, engaged community of learners and who are intent to serve others each in their own unique manner.

So we begin Lessons in Leadership believing in you, and in what you may be able to learn, accomplish and contribute during your Central years, and far beyond as you develop your life’s pathway. We are convinced that if you leave UCO with learning opportunities in the areas we call the Central Six, that you will be uniquely prepared to embrace a life of learning and adapting and thereby successfully navigate the challenges of change that lay before us.

Therefore, we invite and encourage you to explore the Central Six from your personal perspective. See how discipline knowledge (your major fields of study), leadership, problem-solving (can include research, scholarly and creative activities), civic engagement and service learning, global and cultural awareness and health and wellness, can, in infinite combinations, result in an enduring, supportive and successful learning foundation. We believe that you will be well prepared to make a living and to make a meaningful life.

Each of our L in L guests will offer you their sense of leadership, success and the paths they chose, or that chose them. Jarrett and I openly encourage you to engage our guests, to raise the issues that are important to you, and to explore the range of issues with one another when many of you meet later in the week after our guests’ presentations. Be invested, get involved and urge each other to explore leadership together.

I look forward to joining you often for these presentations, participating in some of the discussions and connecting with you via this blog. Please know that you are important to us as a member of the UCO community. Your genuine success is why we are here, but you bear the primary responsibility for developing your talents and passion for learning, leading and serving. There is an entire university composed of expert, resourceful professionals here ready and eager to help you.

My hope for you is that you will embrace this special time in your lives as you prepare for the decades to come, and that you develop a voracious appetite for learning that will be with you for a lifetime.

I am eager to meet each of you, and to learn more of your dreams and goals.

Welcome to UCO and to Lessons in Leadership.

Take care,

Don Betz