• Stephanie Nutter

    Everyday you can turn on the television and view horrific things happening all over the world. Hunger,wars,political injustice,racism and destruction just to name a few. My hope is by becoming a strong leader I can help put an end to some of these sufferings. Not by just by serving but helping others realize their potential in ending these strifes. It only takes one pebble to start a ripple that encompasses the entire pond. Having that vision of helping others realize their potential is what drives me to become a better leader.

  • Cambrea Lott

    I see my leadership capacities through a parental type lens, I suppose I was very blessed when I was growing up, because I have two parents that led in very different manners in very different settings. My dad led by means of always being in involved in the community through different organizations and always being a leader in those organizations. Sometimes he actually held an official role such as President, but other times he led by means of being an influential member who showed up on time and did the right thing for the organization. My mom on the other hand, led by means of example on more of a personal level, particularly by means of me and my brother. My mom showed my brother and I how to love family and friends regardless of whether they wronged you or not. She also taught us the importance of balancing work and play. She emphasized the importance of following Jesus and your heart. My parents’ huge influence in my life often is what guides the decisions I make in leadership and service, as well as in day-to-day life.

  • Jessica Matallana

    Listening to Susan talk about her past was definitely an inspiration. Although she had an undeserving trial challenged her, she still managed to push through with her faith holding her hand. It’s difficult to see the little ray of sunshine in such a time of darkness. Your story is what will impact your leadership. Like Susan, I try my absolute best to see leadership through a positive lense, but even more so with life. “If God has called you to be a leader, then he wants you to be the least of these” is the perfect explanation of the lense I look through each and every day. Furthermore, understanding that a leader is a servant rather than someone who is being served, guides me towards my desire to lead.

  • The guide to my desire to serve and lead is the pleasure I get in making other individual’s lives better which leads to the world being an overall better place to live in. I know that I can’t go door to door and ask everyone what their problem is and offer to fix it, but when I do help a person, or a group, or an organization, it brings me joy to see that I have made some impact somewhere in a positive way. I do this in hope that that person receiving the assistance or support will pass on the positivity and so on so that it can spread worldwide. It is a slow process but it helps me feel good and eventually many, many others.

  • Zack Simmons

    A lense I definitely see through is Jesus Christ. I am a Christian and have been my whole life. I believe I have been called to reach people, through the gifts I have been given, that do not know about Jesus and haven’t grown up with the experiences I have been fortunate to have. Something that really guides my desire to lead is being a father and being a head of a household. One thing I believe our society lacks is a father in the household. I’m fortunate enough to have a great man of God as a father. He has shown my brothers and I what a true father is despite being brought up in a home where a father wasn’t always present. I pray my brothers and I are the man and father he is someday.

  • Emily Dunlevy

    I see my leadership capacity through a fogged lens because of the sheltered life I came from. I grew up in a Catholic school so I was always surrounded by people who were in similar situations as me; although there was diversity among my classmates, we lived parallel lives. I was never really exposed to too much of the real world, I would volunteer in homeless shelters with my parents as a young child but I never truly saw how people lived. I was never able to see the opportunities I had to help others. Through my mission trips to Peru I saw how people really live: in mud and bamboo houses that could be easily knocked down with a few blows of a sledgehammer. This experience really cleared up the lens I see through because I saw that not everyone has the privilege of running water or a roof above their head at night. Although there aren’t people living in mud huts here in Oklahoma, there are people who are looked over by people who are privileged. Those people matter too and they deserve warm meals and a place to call home. My experience of Peru has enhanced my leadership skills and my desire to serve because I see the difference I am able to make. I see how by giving my Saturday afternoon, I can help a family have a place to call home. I see how my passions are similar to others’ and that when I join forces with someone we can make a difference and change the way others view the world through their own lens. I was able to clear up my fogged lens and now I have a desire to help others change their outlook on life so that they can reach their full potential and change the world in their own way.

  • Clayeton Hammock

    I use a family type lens to view a lot of my leadership qualities through. I have two younger brothers who are doing many of the same things in school and sports that I did. I try to help guide them and show them how to do things better than I did. I will have a family one day and I think that will be one of my most important roles is being a leader for my family. I have been blessed to have amazing parents that have lead me to where I am. I plan on not only applying all of the leadership qualities I learn to our community and workforce, but also to my brothers and eventually my family of my own.

  • Jordan Michela

    The ability to touch the lives of individuals would have to be one of the lenses that inspire me to serve and lead. Growing up, my family was a major component in missions. Since my dad was a pastor, we traveled all over in the country not only spreading the word of Christ but also just being a person to respond to people’s needs. Just the slightest smile on someone’s face motivates me to do more. Although I may not always see the end result, I know this is what I am supposed to be doing. Just like Mrs. Binkowski mentioned in her speech, “Do for one that you wish you could do for everyone.” This quote explains how I want to live my life, selfless and doing all I can to help others. In the end, I might not be able to impact everyone’s life but doing what I can is just enough.

  • Ocean Scheel

    One lens through which I see my capacity to lead is that of magnification. I have very high prescription glasses, when I look at things without them they’re unclear. I immediately know little to nothing further about them other than they’re bold colors or shapes. In parallel I know that people cannot be instantly understood. Each person has something inside them that’s deeper than their outward appearance or even outward actions. I challenge myself to always try to see another persons intentions, knowledge, capability, and personality. Their lives have molded them in some way that is hard to see in the beginning. Ultimately my leadership is geared toward bringing the inside of those characters out for others to see and appreciate, and to always give second chances.

  • Ellie Schultz

    The lenses I see life through I hope reflects to others who I am. Someday I see life through tired eyes, sad eyes, blurry eyes, and worried eyes. Other days my lenses are clear and clean. I know exactly what I want to accomplish, and who I want to be. I’m not perfect and sometimes I’m just down. I aspire to see the world through positive lenses. If I can make a negative day better for someone else I believe I’ve accomplished something. I may not do everything right but seeing the world positively always impacts positively. I hope to see life through Jesus’ eyes. I am a believer and strive to be more like my Savior everyday. Jesus Christ was and is the perfect servant and leader. My motivation to be a leader is to first be a servant, as I am called to be.

  • I always try to view the world through a very open minded lens. As I live my life and encounter those who live theirs differently, I am constantly trying to see each person as an opportunity to learn more. I try to absorb as much as I can from those who have gone before me and those that I surround myself with. Though i may not always agree with an opinion that someone expresses to me, I can always try to see where they are coming from. I also try to look at the world through a lens of service. How can I improve this? This is sort of my “bifocal.” It focuses me on what really matters in my life and allows me to use my leadership to better the world.

  • Leila Mazkoori

    Life is full of interesting twist and turns, and in the end you will never truly know where you will end up. The same interesting life lessons can be said with Mrs. Susan Binkowiski. Through dedication and hardship, she accomplished what few are lucky to finish, and by no means was it easy for her.
    Today I have learned a very important lesson, and it was not an easy one for me to learn unfortunately. I realized the time we had was limited, and that their is no guarantee of tomorrow only today. Cliche I know, but I don’t think it really occurs to people at my age that tomorrow is not absolute. Like Susan, I grew, from the realization of death, although mine was not as close as a family member, but it was somebody I grew up with and graduated with. She had past away at eighteen and never got the chance to make her mark on the world.
    I tell this story not to make you feel sad or upset, or to try to change the subject or point of the assignment, but to make you realize that I have chosen to look through the lenses of today, because tomorrow is not guaranteed, and I want to perform leadership qualities that I can make happen right now. I want to affect somebody’s life with kindness and hope, something, that even after I die, will still be with a person. I always knew that I wanted to help people and make them smile, even if it is for a short time, but I never would have realized these goals take strength and courage, if it wasn’t for hearing Susan’s story and her achievements despite tragedy in her life.

  • Mary Schwager

    I am motivated to lead others through the gifts I have been told I have received. Although not the most outgoing in any room, ever, I have gotten told multiple times of my “quiet leadership”. I wouldn’t say I try to live my life as an example for others, because that sounds quite conceited. I think it’s safer to say that I try and live my life so it becomes a means for others to reach their potential.
    An easy lens to recognize is trying to find things to make others happy, or make their day, or help them through their life journey. Motivation more than inspiration is one of my goals.
    Also, a lens I have recently begun to develop is looking at my life and my actions from the perspective of who I want to become. Each opportunity, each moment is a chance to become closer to the person I aim to be. By reaching this goal, I will in turn be able to confidently lead others with the reassurance that I have reached my goal- I have finished the race.

  • Jameson Riley

    I feel called to vocational ministry and the lense I try to, and undoubtedly fail at using, is my faith in Jesus Christ. To be more like Him and to see this world the way He saw it two-thousand years ago, and still sees it today, is my over-arching desire in my life. I try everyday to look at people and see a need, whether physical or spiritual, that I may be able to meet. I find that so often the need that most people have is a need for love in some capacity. To be encouraged, lifted up and cared for. Maybe we all just need to be needed. I think, deep down, that we all long to be looked up to. To be loved, and to be needed. I try and see the world the Jesus sees it, and to love people the way Jesus loves them.

  • Monica Farquhar

    What guides my leadership is the servant leader mentality. You can choose to be a leader that takes charge and runs things or a leader that stands out and helps others. The way I see it both leaders are beneficial to society but I strive to be the second type of leader. I get more satisfaction in seeing the reactions of the people I helped than doing the actual task. I see my leadership through the lenses of looking at the bigger picture and finding the need behind the need. There is always a background story to every situation and addressing those are a key part in being a servant leader.

  • Delaney Denham

    I’ve always been around individuals that have supported me and recognized my potential, whether it was my mom guiding me in a difficult decision or a band director from high school scolding me at a marching practice. In moments like those I recall feeling grateful and happy. Someone believed in me. Someone cared enough about me to take time to show me another solution or correct my mistake so I was even better the second try.During those experiences, I realized I wanted to be able to provide people that support and encouragement that I was fortunate enough to receive. In my opinion, being a good leader includes helping people recognize they are important and that their words and actions can inspire others to do great things in this world.

  • Lexi Carroll

    After taking a step back and thinking about all the different lenses that push me to lead people, no other lens means more to me than Jesus. I believe that through Him, we can do anything. Even the most denial person is able to know Jesus if you just show them the love they deserve. The single-most important thing that guides me to leading people is that moment when I see a smile on his or her face. When I see that, I know I have done something that will leave lasting impression on that person. When I lead others being completely comfortable in my own skin, they too will see that being true to themselves will bring out the leader that is in them.

  • Freshta Nematzadeh

    This is an interesting topic for this week’s discussion. I recall when I was interviewed for the PLC/LOT scholarship, I was asked by the scholarship committee what diversity means to me. I replied with something along the lines of, “diversity, not only in the visual sense, exists in all of us. We are not only diverse by our heritage, but by our thoughts, our goals, and our personalities. One thing we must consider is that no matter how diverse everyone is, leaders come together with one common goal: to achieve change.” My lens on how i view my particular leadership capacity may be different from everyone else’s. I have role models in my life, being my parents, who have made me a first generation American. By being given this opportunity, it is in my lens that i viewed the need for motivation within myself, to become my own leader. My desire to serve and lead comes from seeing people like myself. I have an undying love for people who are so passionate about change and wanting to make a difference. Being thoughtful of those who lack the education, or opportunity to be able to make a difference, although they may have all the drive in the world. We are the voice. We can build, unite, and change the future by wearing the particular lenses of those who are unable to speak. Leadership can have a lens, but should never have a capacity. Working as a leader with a group of diligent individuals will continue to mold and higher your leadership standard, all while working towards a common goal.

  • Rachel Meyer

    One particular aspect that I enjoyed about Susan’s speech was how she has a passion for service in the community. For me as a leader, service is extremely important. I try to view leadership through the lens of service and commitment to others. Growing up, the church and youth group I attended was very outreach oriented, and I gained many opportunities to be a leader in the community through various church projects. I also learned the great rewards that come with the feeling of knowing you have made an impact on someone else’s life. I believe that is my primary goal as a great leader, to leave an impact on the world through my time, work, and commitment to helping others.

  • I see my capacity as a leader through perseverance and work ethic. One of my favorite things Susan Binkowski said in her presentation was, “Crisis can define Leadership”. What establishes us as leaders is not all the trials we will face in life but how we respond to them. Susan Binkowski is a clear example of that. My desire to impact others has always been a driving force behind my leadership. Maintaining that desire will help me retain my positivity and overcome whatever obstacles I meet.

  • Emily Raynor

    I believe that I have several lenses that help guide me to become a better and brighter leader. My lenses are my family, my future, and Jesus Christ. These three things are major essentials to me in my daily life and especially during my college career. My family is definitely one of my best and most important lenses I see through. They have always supported me through thick and thin and continue to motivate me to be a leader in school and also in my community. Like Susan, I wish to take my lenses and leadership skills onto my future career and use them to better myself and others.

  • Asia Augustine

    I have been through a multitude of hardships in my life. I look through a lens of compassion which also drives my desire to lead. I had to grow up mentally to be able to recognize that though someone did not go through all I have everybody has there own struggle; and I must respect that. My hardships have ironically helped and shaped me as a leader. They help to motivate me to help other kids, not just the ones going through what I went through but all kids going through anything they shouldn’t have to. I want all kids to have the childhood I didn’t have, the childhood all kids deserve. Susan Binkowski touched me greatly. Her story is inspiring. The neighborhood she is working to improve is my neighborhood. It’s where I am from and where all my family lives. It was funny seeing places I visit often in daily life in her PowerPoint. She’s is a amazing woman and we need more like her.

  • Kennedy Lehew

    I loved hearing how even though Susan went through such hardships she didn’t let that stop her. She also still stood strong in her faith. My desire to lead and serve comes from my faith in The Lord. I believe that God has a plan for my life, and my goal in life is to follow the plan He has for me. I hope that as a leader, I can always point everything back to Him. I believe that I should love and serve others just as God has loved and served us. I want others to see Him through me.

  • Kalen Russell

    I view my leadership capacity through lenses of determination, compassion, and optimism. Jonathan Sprinkles said, “You can either live as a thermostat or a thermometer”. These appliances symbolize how we choose to interact with the world around us. One may only tell of the current condition like a thermometer, or create the current condition like a thermostat . Mrs. Binkowski is a thermostat. By choosing to see potential instead of trials, she was able to provide a downtrodden and overlooked community with a new sense of life. I strive to be a thermostat. My desire to be the best version of myself stems from a knowing that I have the potential and responsibility to help create the world that I want to live in.

  • Marielle Jackson

    I believe I have many lenses that I see leadership through. Most significant in my life, though, is faith. I believe in teaching people about Jesus and helping them believe in hope. I get my hope through knowing that I have a Savior who loves me and wants me to prosper. For other people that don’t necessarily believe in Jesus, it’s important to show them that hope still exists outside of faith. To see the real reason you started something in the first place is to understand and know hope.
    Another lens I see leadership through is family. I’ve been blessed to have a very supportive family that is very involved in their communities and are interested in making this world a better place. I think family doesn’t just have to be biological family, but family can be those people you are closest to in life. I believe building relationships, like family, allows you to get to know a person and help lead them.
    What guides my desire to lead? Faith, hope, and change. Faith, because I’ve seen Jesus change lives so many times. Hope, because I believe it helps me to see the big picture. And change, because I think as I grow and change, I see the more important reasons of being a leader, not only in myself, but in others as well. Change creates new possibilities and responsibilities, and provides a chance for me to keep leading. To be able to adapt, and to keep leading, is change, and I believe that is most important in my desire to lead.

  • Sidra Mesiya

    I believe my faith guides my desire to serve and lead. I am a Muslim and my religion (Islam) gives me a higher purpose in life. My faith sets me straight and makes me strive to be a moral and selfless individual. One of the foundations of my faith is to love for your brother what you love for yourself. As a leader, I want less fortunate people around me to have what I wish for myself: happiness, abundant opportunities, and peace. Leadership in Islam is considered to be a trust and a responsibility. A leader is required to meet his obligations to God, as well as to discharge his duties towards the people to the best of his abilities.

  • Deven Bond

    Mrs. Binkowski talked about many of the hardships she has faced, and stated that her faith was what kept her strong. She tried her hardest to stay positive and overcome these difficult parts of her life. I would like to think that this is the same lens I see through. I try to find the positives in every situation, and I stand strong for what I believe in. Susan asked the question, “Are you a leader that leads with a scepter or do you lead with a towel and basin?” In this world today, many people think a leader is just someone that is in control, and that is not necessarily the case for me. I want to be the type of leader holding a towel and basin. Helping those in need is what I desire for most as a leader and that will always be my goal. Mrs. Binkowski’s speech inspired me to be a better leader and reach out to my community and those that are less fortunate.

  • Tyler Curry

    What drives me to serve others, for me, is just my desire to be the best person I can be and to make others happy. I feel that the world needs more leaders who actually care about the ones they serve and that’s what motivates me to be courteous towards those that I help. I agree with Susan in that life will always present you with obstacles that you must overcome to become not only a better leader, but a stronger individual. Another good point I thought Susan mentioned was that we should serve others with the intent of benefitting them and putting ourselves last. That’s the kind of leader I want to be; the one who thinks of others and what can be done to help them. Although I like this idea, being a good leader can be tough. There’s been plenty of times when I’ve wanted to give up, but time passes and I just have to keep moving forward.

  • Virginia Glaze

    My lense through which I view the world and take on my leadership is certainly based on compassion. Every day I see someone who I can help. I know how it feels to be left out and hopeless, and I definitely don’t want people to go through that. I try to treat people with kindness and tenderness, so that they can have a better day. Everyone needs a pick me up.

  • I am guided by a few things: my religious view of cathllolicism, and the want to help others. Catholicism has given me a great set of morals to live my life by and has given me examples of other great leaders who’s shoes I should try to fill, as in Mother Theresa or Pope John Paul the second. Having role models with great achievements can help you to be a better leader by aspiring to be like them and it is also beneficial that they believe in what you do. Though it is cliche to say that I want to help others, I want to help other. Seeing impoverished humans first hand gives you a desire to help those who are less fortunate than yourself. That is what leadership is all about, doing for others what they cannot do for themselves.

  • Sabrina Bermudez

    The lenses I try to see through when it comes to leading is a lenses that looks for opportunity to share Christ’s love. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize the needs of others or to put myself in 3rd place, but I have to remember that as a believer I’m not called to be comfortable or to prioritize myself. I’m called to be a servant, first to God, then to others. By humbling myself, I’m able to suppress what I want and work towards showing love to others. If I do things for myself, then I’m not being the leader God has called me to be. Even though this is what I strive for, I know I’m not always this person, but by setting this as my lenses for leadership, opportunities to lead as a servant become more and more apparent.

  • Bailee Bronson

    Ms. Binkowski spoke much on how her faith in Christ has developed her as an individual, a leader, wife and mother. She also gave us her “five minute story”, which consisted of her journey through family accusations, pain and eventual grieving, all the while staying true to her beliefs as a Christian woman. I share Ms. Binkowski’s leadership lense, as I know that all I have done and will ever do is part of God’s plan. As a devout Catholic, my lense for leadership is seeing everyone as a child of God, filled with beauty, hope and dignity. All people are worth time and are worth helping. Seeing Jesus through others, especially my wonderful family, drives me to be the best leader and servant that I can be. Mother Teresa said, “God has not called me to be successful, He has called me to be faithful.” Although our hard works may not pay off in money or fame, doing all things for the glory of God is more precious than any object.

  • Chloe Freeman

    Ms. Binkowski came from a tragic childhood, but she stood in front of us smiling through her hardships. I think an important way to look at leadership and the world is with a positive attitude. I try to look at situations like Jesus would. Every situation is going to have a positive or negative outcome. It is our job to decide from the very start how we are going to handle each event. Having a positive outlook on life will not only benefit yourself, but your community. Handling a situation with grace and love will get you a lot further than handling it with a negative attitude. In the end, life is made up of a million moments and each moment is foreshadowing the next moment. If we want our life to be happy, we must Handle everything with a Friendly and positive attitude.

  • Jessica Solis

    I see my leadership capacity through the lens of selflessness. This guides my desire to serve and lead. Being a leader to me has always been to lead people to do for others what has been done for you. Being able to give back to a person, group or community is the best feeling in every way, shape, and form. I have always believed in doing something positive for others even if it doesn’t benefit you. I want to make an impact on people so they can have the inspiration to make an impact on others, then so on and so on. Eventually it can spread across cities, states, and countries.

  • Lenses can be different colors to show a different kind color of lights. One lense of mine would have to be red. Red is a color of passion. Everything that I do is because I have a passion for. I try to do every activity whole-heartedly and with all of my energy. Through dedication and hard work you will be surprised on what you could accomplish. Another lense of mine would be purple. Purple is the color of unity. When being in a leadership position you get to work with other highly qualified people to accomplish any task. It amazes me on how much a team will so much faster if the group is communicating all giving the same effort. That is what drives me to serve and lead. My passion is what drives to keep working hard, and through all the projects you get to meet many people and make life long friendships.

  • Micah Jones

    Looking through my lense, I see there are a lot of leaders today that hold distorted morals. Whether they step up in that role of leadership or people have naturally looked to them as role model, they aren’t looking in on a healthy lifestyle. Its important to me to live my life in a respectable, moral way that will hopefully serve as an example to the people who I may influence. Specifically those that are younger than me. I couldn’t have asked for better parents, so I try to live my life in a way that would make them proud and ultimately please my Heavenly Father.

  • I believe leadership is seen through many lenses in various parts of our lives. We have many aspects of ourselves that may impact how we see things. For myself, it is my faith and my family. The way my parents have raised me guides how I view leadership, service, and the world around me. My faith and my church are extremely important in my life and also color my sense of the world. It is these things, the ones that we set at the top of our prioities that decide our lense for life. What we hold dear is how we will base our decisions.

  • Britton Hodge.

    my desire to serve and lead is driven by the smile on peoples faces. after you have just got done with an event, or just got done with a service project. somebody is always smiling. I see my lenses through GOD, what our speaker said is that GOD gives us a vision, not every vision that he gives us are the same though. some may be called to service while others may be called to major leadership positions. through my experiences in high school, a lot of people gave to me when I was in need. this also drives me to give back to my community and help one person at a time. Susan said in her speech that she’s doing all these things to give back to her community. I want to do this. that inspired me to go out and help somebody. helping others through my vision through GOD is what drives me to be a leader.

  • Sydney Richardson

    Susan Binkowski opened up her person stories and struggles to help us get further in life. She taught us about our 5 minute story and what our story says about the person we’re becoming. Mrs. Binkowski inspires me to give back to the community as much as I can. “Be aware of opportunities for leadership.” What I take from that statement is, if there is a chance that I can better this world or even make one person’s day better I will take that opportunity. I am a very blessed student, friend, daughter because of all those around me and those who raised me, the way I see leadership through my lens is to give back. To serve others and help make this world a little better each day.

  • Macie Snowden

    My desire to serve has come from my desire to love. Though I don’t always succeed, I try my hardest to view life through the lens of Christ, or Christ’s perspective. I strive to love others as Christ first loved me. I enjoy leading others by encouraging them and pointing out their admirable qualities. Everyone wants to feel important. The best way to explain my desire to lead and serve is because I “love to love.” I enjoy seeing others succeed and seeing their hard work pay off. One smile makes it all worth it. I wouldn’t see life through this lens or with this perspective if it wasn’t for the sacrifice of my Savior. He has set the ultimate example of coming to serve instead of be served. I make it a daily effort to continue on the journey to become more and more like Him.

  • Jennafyer Sullivan

    Like Susan, I had to face some challenges growing up. The experiences that I went through definitely help develop my desire to lead. Because I faced certain hardships, I’ve learned to lead mostly through love. Everything I do, I do because I want to leave the world a slightly better place for the people who live in it. If I can change just one person’s life for the better, then I’ll have felt if I succeeded in my dream of making a difference.

  • Darian Covington

    Why are YOU a leader? When she asked this question it hit me right in the heart and made me evaluate what my ‘why’ is. Everyone wants to be a leader but it’s your actions and what drives you that determines this. I want to be a leader because I have been given so much. I want to be able to give back and truly live a selfless life and be a servant leader. The littlest things make the biggest difference and the best part of being a leader is seeing how you affected someone’s day or life. Seeing other people smile is extremely rewarding and to me it’s one of the best feelings. People have gone above and beyond to better my life and I want to do the same. Susan spoke about faith avidly and that hit home as well. I recently got baptized and also got to baptize a little boy who had asked me. I am a firm believer in faith and it gets me through many obstacles; faith helps me find my reason, my purpose. My desire is to make people happy and to leave an impact on their life because it soon becomes a chain effect. You can lead through other people and in doing so that multiplies the goodness in other’s life. One person changes someone’s life and it carries on because of either what they were shown or what they received.

  • I feel that the lens I view leadership through is through the ultimate purpose of serving people for the greatest good, which is Jesus. But, Jesus uses people’s work of seeing people assisted and brought to the best conditions ever. Because serving is leadership, as I said in the last blog, the ultimate good is everyone’s furtherance of joy. Jesus desires to serve people and that is done through people, so that is part of why I strive to be in service leadership.

  • Angela Thampi

    I see leadership through a lens of encouragement. In my life, I have always strived to make others happy. I want to see this world be more consumed in positivity and joy than it is now, and my goal is to have a significant part in that. As a leader, I am able to encourage people and make them feel like there is always someone who cares about them, and that is something very important to me. I aim to be the type of person that people feel like they can always come to for help and support. That is what I have always considered to be the most important part of being a leader. I want people to know that they can depend on me whenever they need anything, no matter how big the problem. Only then can I feel like I have truly fulfilled my purpose as a leader.

  • Michael Johnson

    The one topic I admired most about Susan’s story is that she said, “If God calls upon you to lead, it’s to lead for the people.” That statement helped me understand that God made the ultimate lense for me to look through, and that the lense that I view my leadership through is only limited to what I make it. Jesus said that the second greatest commandment is to love thy neighbor as thy self, so I try my best to do what I think is right towards other people so that I may lead by example. When somebody needs my help, I put myself in their shoes and think, “What could I do that would benefit this person most?” I do this because I believe if the whole world would think like this, it would be an even better place!

  • Sadie Price

    A lense I see leadership through, as well as my life, is fate. To me, this is a very important perspective in my life; I am a FIRM believer that everything happens for a reason. When Dr. Susan Binkowski mentioned that “none of us are here by accident,” a bell rang inside my head. I think that all the leaders at UCO, especially in PLC and LOT, were brought together for a reason that can only be explained by fate. I mean sure everyone has their other passions outside of LOT like sports and clubs, but we for sure all didn’t end up here by accident. Although I think that where I’m at now is the result of also my love to serve people and see them smile, the insight of my actions and decisions, I still can’t help but to think of one word: fate. Overall, it’s simple to me: I was put in this situation — LOT — with these circumstances and other fantastic people for a reason, why not do my very best and be the most bomb-tastic leader I can be?

  • Blakely Elliott

    One thing that guides me in my leadership is that I want everyone to be proud of themselves and confident in who they are. That is one thing that has been a struggle for me in my leadership journey, but now that i do have confidence and am proud of my accomplishments, I want everyone else to experience that as well. I hope that as a leader I am always being 100% me, and not trying to be someone else. I hope by doing that that other people will want to do that too. I think that with that goal and aspirations I will be able to make an impact in those lives around me.

  • Lauren McKenzie

    Mrs. Binkowski talked about how her heart for uplifting people who are less fortunate has influenced her to do everything she has done. She has used her resources through Buy For Less and Uptown Groceries to fulfill her goal of growing the community. Personally, God has given me my heart for people around me. I have been on several missions trips, and each time I go, it reminds me to continually think of others instead of myself. I want to serve my community because I know that even if I am not impacting by a lot, at least I am doing something. I would not want to be someone who complains about the community, but does nothing to make it better. The phrase that has stuck with me is “be the change you want to see in the world”. Overall my love for others along with my love for God had been my lenses for leadership.

  • Kat Hartley

    Much like Susan, I believe my lens is my faith in God. It helps me see in every aspect of serving and leading. Jesus was a servant, and for that, he became a leader. I believe that to lead others, you must first learn how to serve. Giving and gaining respect is something you get from helping others, and allowing them to help you in return. What guides me is the thought that one day, I might need help from someone who I once turned down. I like to think everything happens for a reason, and you always end up where you need to be.

  • After listening to Mrs. Binkowski speak, I was inspired. I think that it is amazing that she was able to overcome her past struggles and work to make the world a better place for everyone. I want to be able to see the world through a lens of it actually being a good place instead negatively as it is so often perceived. I want to help to improve the world (like Susan has, locally) so that other people may see the potential in society that I see. To be a good leader you must see everyone and every situation to its’ full potential; by looking through a positive lens you can achieve this outlook and help to make the world a better place to live for all.

  • Haley McKinzie

    Susan said, “As a leader when you’re in a crisis, it will make you decide who you are.” Life throws challenges at us every day, and it is your choice how you react to it. Faith is a lens I see life through. By having this foundation it encourages me to be aware of my surroundings, and take the opportunities to lead and serve by example. When someone else is in a time of need, I try to remind myself of what it would be like to be in their shoes, and how I would want to be encouraged. I know that I am called to lead and that gives me the desire to build that person up. Ultimately, I want to live a life full of purpose.

  • Hearing Susan speaking last Tuesday really opened up my eyes on wanting to make a difference. With her providing the services that she does with uptown is helping feed lives all across Oklahoma. She gave me one of her books and within these few days I’ve tried my best to apply what I’ve learned from the book and her lecture. I plan to apply for her SALLT program in the near future. Ultimately meeting Susan Binkowski was a learning experience.


    Susan experienced a lot of hardship during her life. In my case, I think satisfaction and happiness guides me desire to serve and lead. From my early childhood, i like to lead others. In order to lead others, i need to improve myself. When I was in elementary school, I had a friend who was not good at math and i want to help him. So, to help him, I studied much more and then I can finally explain math solutions easily. At the end, he did good at math. At that moment I felt satisfaction and happiness. By helping or leading others, I always feel happiness and satisfaction. Also, with helping others i can improve myself. I like lead others because it can improve both me and the other people.

  • mason thompson

    There are three things that stuck with me during mrs binkowskis presentation. The first was when she said to take all opportunities to lead. i personally believe that this is a very mportant part of leadership. You are not a leader only part of the tim, you are a leader all the time and it should have your full attention. Secondly she said to stay humbled and always understand that you are not the best. when you can understand this it makes you always strive for something greater. and the last thing i liked that was said, was to have the courage to change your community, and to overcome personal insecurities.if you can do these things it will help in developing leadership skills.

  • Michael Blunck

    I took a lot away from this last week’s speaker, Ms. Susan Binkowski. During her presentation she stressed the importance of following your passions and beliefs; that an individual should pursue what they feel called to do in life and that we each had something that drives us to lead. On this point I am in full agreement with Susan. Each of us have come to our own points in life because of the decisions we have made and the values that have informed those decisions, and because of that I feel it is of the utmost importance that, as leaders, we recognize not only our own unique frames of reference, but also those of others.

    As leaders in our communities and future careers we will work with any number of people who we either share values with or do not, and while this might cause difficulties at times, it also provides us with many learning opportunities. For example, Susan discussed the project she and her associates have embarked on to revitalize the Northeast side of Oklahoma City, a neighborhood in much need of economic development and growth. As our speaker outlined her plans to help this community I learned not just about her project, but about the lenses through which she viewed the world, and perhaps more importantly, what this meant for her approach to solving the very real problem of economic stagnation. Susan’s approach, long with those she is partnering with involves attempts to implant the area with new business and new housing; and while I agree with the need for these things, I realized I differed in how I felt such a problem ought to be approached. There in lies the beauty of understanding different frames of reference. I didn’t just learn about Susan’s leadership style and approach, I learned about my own, and I learned more about my own lenses. I realized that I might seek out ways to solve such communal problems in the future with more partnering with local non-profits, or to seek out federal assistance to solve similar situations instead of relying so heavily on private sector business investment.

    Ultimately, I learned that the lenses I view the world through revolve around community development and the finding of ways to achieve these aims through ethical and equitable practices that are informed by the specific needs of all parties and stakeholders in a situation. I feel that investment in our communities starts with investment in the individuals who live in them, and not with distanced and abstract models of returns on investment. I have realized that I value helping the underprivileged, and this means addressing the systemic problems of society by starting at the simplest level and abstracting from there instead of working from a top-down perspective.

    Finally what guides my desire to serve and lead is the number of lessons I’ve learned in life about people and our basic needs to support one another. Once again, like Ms. Binkowski said, everyone has a five minute story, and mine has shown me the importance of healthy and supportive social networks that lift up those within them. I feel that I want to be a facilitator of these networks. Two vastly different sources have influenced my views here. One was the published results of a ten year longitudinal study of social networks, and the other the chores of a rap song I honestly don’t know the title to.

    The book was titled “Connected” and showed that networks are everywhere and that whatever they are seeded with, for better or worse, is given back ten fold. This includes rumors and support, toxic work environments and communal love. All of it is magnified across the networks we all form around us with those in our lives. between this and the line “… started from the bottom now we’re here, and we brought the whole team…” I found that I want to do just that: reach my best potential while working to systematically do the same for others. I don’t want to succeed alone, but I want to bring the whole team, I want to help raise up communities by enabling those within them to raise up each other.

  • Hung-Lin Lai

    I forgot to blog but what i remember is what is your story and live with it