Week 12 – Lessons in Leadership – Representative Cyndi Munson

During her presentation, Cyndi discussed overcoming challenges during her road to being elected an Oklahoma state representative. What challenges have you faced in your leadership journey (or see yourself facing in the future), and how have you best met and overcome these challenges (or plan to meet them in the future)?


  • Haleigh Himes

    I think an obstacle I found in my journey as a leader, that also happened to echo some of Cydni’s struggles is believing in myself. I’m not the most extroverted, charismatic leader that I think I should be or wish I was. So I think one way I’ve learned to overcome this obstacle is learning that my leadership style may not look like others or fit a certain persona. I try to focus more on being myself and influencing others in a way that is genuine to who I am and my strengths. Another thing that helps ground my belief in myself is learning to be less self-critical. I am my own worst critic, so I’m learning to monitor my own self talk and treat myself with more compassion. I think that it helps me be a better leader to others if I can further develop my confidence in myself and my leadership.

  • Molly Booth

    I’ve faced challenges throughout my life, mostly from my family. My family is very educationally successful. Both my parents and grandparents went to college, so it has very really been a question on if I wanted to go to college and needed to get the grades to do so. I did want to go to college, but my older sister, Ali, had always seemed to be “better” than me, to put it simply. She had better grades, she was involved in sports, and went to a great college on a great scholarship and has been involved in some really amazing stuff since being their. My whole life I had just always felt that she was a better leader and daughter than me.
    My parents never purposefully tried to make me feel lower than my sister, but nevertheless, I did feel that way. Pretty much my whole life I struggled to find my own path while still achieving great things compared to my sister. However, since being in college I’ve found that it’s alright not be like someone else, especially your family. I’ve really worked on being okay with who I am and the feeling satisfied with the things that make me feel accomplished. No matter what my sister or parents think. I’m not perfect at it yet, and I may never be, but it’s challenge I believe I am in the process of overcoming, and I’m content with that and the leader I am trying to be.

  • Anna Schmidt

    The biggest challenge that I continue to face as a leader, is the voice inside my head that is telling me I can’t do it. I can’t make it as a leader, or a writer, or an influencer. It tells me I’m too different, I’m not smart enough, not unique enough, not strong enough.
    I work a lot on conquering that voice, because it is the sole thing that will hold me back from success, happiness, and accomplishment. I try to overcome it by surrounding myself with people who reinforce within me the idea that I am capable of the things I dream of. I also try to overcome it by always following up my initial feelings of self doubt with a correction. I hear myself believing that I can’t do certain things because I’m not x, y, or z enough, and then I stop myself in my tracks and remind myself that I am strong, intelligent, and capable.
    There are a lot of exterior challenges that I have faced, but my mind is really powerful, and it is probably the strongest force that holds me back. I haven’t overcome it yet, but each day that I combat my negative thoughts with affirmative ones, I am getting one step closer.

  • Rachel Hunt

    I have faced challenges when pursuing every leadership opportunity I have sought after. Some may be considered small, and some were very overwhelming. The easiest challenges to recognize are due to external factors out of my control; the only control I had in these situations was how I responded. At times, I have been overlooked because of my age; someone older has been chosen or elected. I have, also, been challenged when it boils down to popularity. In the future and throughout college, I realize I will have to overcome being overlooked or scrutinized because I am a woman. Especially because I am pursuing a career in the medical field. I will have to work harder, and when I am rejected or defeated, as I have in the past, I will have to try again. I have learned to never give up in the face of adversity because it is through adversity that I am the leader and person I am today. I also face internal challenges every day. Self-doubt, anxiety, and a lack of grace for myself build the biggest obstacle in my leadership journey. I worry about my outward appearance; I am too hard on myself. I beat myself up for mistakes I make which sometimes hinders my confidence to pursue more leadership roles. To overcome these obstacles, I constantly remind myself of my worth and identity in the Lord. I surround myself with encouraging people that remind me that I can do anything and push me to try. Sometimes I even have to stop listening to myself and act based on instinct and experience. The more I live, the more I will learn to deal with any situation thrown my way.

  • Makenzie Hill

    My biggest challenges as a leader began my freshman year of high school and is still something that I struggle with now. Comparison. Often, I find myself becoming envious of those I see around me that naturally lead in an effortless but still respectable way. It frustrates me because nothing has ever come easily for me, and with that sometimes I try my best at something and still fail. Rather than building my own leadership assets, I attempt to be just like other people which typically leads to me becoming upset with myself for not being exactly like the said person I am copying. Through this first semester of college I have really realized just how important self-confidence is. It is definitely something that I need to work on moving forward with my leadership journey. Another struggle that I think I will always deal with is something I see as a positive and a negative. That is my huge heart. My dad taught me at a young age that kindness was always an important thing. He taught me to love everyone and treat them with respect. Unfortunately, it had led to me being walked all over time and time again. So much so that in a high school organization where I held a leadership position I was known as “too nice.” I think that both of these said struggles can be met and overcome with very simple things: loving myself and trusting my ability to bring about change, because isn’t that what we all want as leaders? It starts with knowing my strengths and accepting and being willing to work on my weaknesses. From there, I establish my passions and decide where I can be of service. Then it’s time to move the mountain/mountains, in whatever way that I can, in however much time it takes.

  • Graysen Boyer

    I have been extremely challenged in the past year by physical injury. I was in a severe car wreck, and it has changed my entire life path. Previously, I planned on attending a big arts performance school out of state. However, this event changed everything. Now, I am not in constant pain anymore, but I do still face the mental challenges of an entire life change. I plan to overcome this by being successful in my new career goals.

  • Kallie Daniel

    I am currently facing a challenge in my leadership journey. An organization that I love and have supported for several years has failed ethically. When I say “ethically”, I mean they were not holding true to what they promised supporters. It has been hard for me to see leaders that I looked up to fall into temptations. This week I lost more than just money, I lost faith in people. Maybe it is because I have never struggled with ethics and morals… I simply try to do what is right and what I believe in. I am trying to understand the best way to overcome these challenges, but it is difficult.

  • Phoebe Kathleen Barnes

    I was challenged as a leader when I was the senior editor of my yearbook in high-school. It was a struggle to remain patient with people when I would warn them of deadlines weeks ahead of time and for them to have next to nothing done weeks after the deadline. I had to learn how to not have a coach mentality and how to better motivate staff. It taught me a lot to realize how much you have to level with people and talk with them to get good work done with high morale. I plan to continue to grow in leadership and learn what leadership style works best in what environment. As a coach, it is a coach mentality, in yearbook, it took being an example and communicating with each individual, and in volunteer work, it is simply being a willing server with a smile.

  • Jordan Broiles

    Some of the challenges I faced on my journey as being a leader is being comfortable with stepping out and challenging the system. As a Black students who is fighting for equity and inclusion for marginalize community here at UCO, it is a struggle to be heard without being shut down. It can be very mentally exhausting having to continue to fight against the white fragility. It is a challenge having to bring light to systemic inequities that are not visible and very passive. It is a challenge feeling like I’m doing more work/creating initiative that individuals who are on the payroll should be doing. Another challenge that seem to go unnoticed is also having to educated and expose some things for the individuals that I represent. Throughout history, we have been told that our voices don’t matter and that we should be silent. I’m trying reaffirm something in them that should be have been instilled when they were born. Overall those challenges are building me up to be the Black scholar/change agent that I will be.

  • Mandy Woodward

    Throughout my leadership journey I have hit many bumps in the road, but the one that sticks out to me the most is a time where I had to work with someone that I did not get along with. My senior year of high school I served as the Student Council secretary and spent a lot of my time working along side our Activities Director. I knew that her and I had the same personality and possessed the same traits, so I thought the year was going to be a breeze and actually a lot of fun, but I was wrong. Since we were both so strong and passionate about our opinions, we butted heads more times than none. I had to learn how to be open minded and consider every side of the situation from a different perspective, instead of just wanting to do my own thing. My senior year probably would have gone a lot smoother if I did not have to face this, but I am so happy I did because it forced me to look at the positives and learn how to work well with others despite our opinions.

  • Riley Jensen

    I’d say one of the biggest obstacles I’ve faced in my leadership journey has been my age. Especially being involved in politics, sometimes younger people don’t have the credibility or respect that older people do. This is something I had to overcome as I got more involved in campaigns and organizations, and after doing my time, I was able to make my mark and establish myself.

  • Kallie Daniel

    I have recently faced a challenge in my leadership journey. An organization that I loved and supported for many years has failed ethically. When I say “ethically”, I mean that were not doing what they promised supporters. I have saw leaders that I love fall into human temptations. This is going to make it harder to trust people. Many times in life people end up failing you, but we are all human. I have not figured out the best way to overcome the challenge I have been facing the last week. I believe that all of this is teaching and shaping me as a leader.

  • Renzo Villanueva

    In my journey in leadership I have already experienced the challenge of people thinking that I cannot be better than the rest. Being a part of the minority in high school and now in college especially at UCO, it has been a challenge. I know that it is not going to get any easier as I grow and excel through college, but at the same time it has shaped me into the person I am today, and it will always shape me through my journey and college and the work force. Because of my ethnicity and appearance, I will have to work one hundred times harder than the average white person. While prejudice has been supposedly “abolished”, it still lives on today.

  • Gabby Clabes

    In my leadership journey I have faced multiple challenges on many different occasions. The one challenge that I remember vividly was during my freshman year of high school. I was going to have to have a big surgery that would take me out of school for almost a whole semester. This was the semester that I had the chance to make my first impressions on my educators, make new friends, as well as be accepted into the leadership program. The leadership program in my hometown has a limited number of spots and I had always wanted to be a part of it. Luckily, I was accepted into the program but I had to face the reality of how hard it would be to keep up with my school work, create new relationships with other leaders, and fundraise all from OU Children’s Hospital. I made the decision to dedicate all of my time and energy in creating a network that would not only help me, but the others around me when I was able to get back to school. A positive and dedicated state of mind is how I get through all of my challenges and I will continue to keep that state of mind for future obstacles.

  • Hannah Morrison

    In my leadership journey thus far, my biggest adjustment has been having to learn how to balance my personality with what I want to accomplish. For example, often times to be a successful leader, you need to demonstrate a certain level of assertiveness. My personality is very non-confrontational, so I had to work really hard on how to overcome that and balance the two. To meet that challenge in my life, I think the most important part was being aware of what I wanted to change and why I wanted to change it. Because of my focus on that, it aided in reaching my goal.

  • Xaviera Burton

    one of the challenges i have faced in a leadership stand point is my tendency to listen too much. i take the aspect of “listen to everyone’s ideas” very seriously. i have let people take advantage of that quality so much that my ideas are constantly pushed back. i have not overcome it yet but my path to overcoming it involves finding a happy medium between speaking my ideas and listening to ideas just enough to where as i will not get walked over.

  • As a leader of my Pom Squad my Junior and Senior year I was faced with many different challenges. My junior year I was faced with a team who did not respect me and many other members who believed they deserved my position over me. Even though this would upset me sometimes I never let it show and did my best to treat every girl equally no matter how she treated me. I was able to still fulfill my duties as caption despite this. I think I was effective in making sure the other members knew our cheers, knew proper technique, and that if they had any concerns they knew I would listen to them. It was hard to be apart of a team where I didn’t feel valued in the role I played, but I was able to learn a lot about myself as a leader. Even if someone does not view you as a leader, it doesn’t mean you need to stop being one.

  • Every people living in this world has their own hardships and challenges. Some people face challenges with negative attitude, while the others overcome them by pushing themselves with motivation. Each person needs to believe that nothing is impossible to handle. The important thing here is how we face towards challenges. Challenges come to me too, and I handle them with positive attitude. As a potential leader, life has never been a straight line for me to achieve success, I faced a lot of hardships. Some of them might be how to adapt with so many different perspectives and how to overcome the hardship of speaking English. English is not my mother tongue, and since I decided to study abroad in a country speaking mainly English, it’s very essential to handle this problem. Moreover, a leader is a person will work under multiple-perspectives condition, where my co-workers might have so many ideas. The way of how I will receive and use them to develop people’s life is essential and hard at the same time. But, as I said, nothing is impossible, I have my own skills to overcome these challenges. My “secret weapons” are listening and willingness to learn. I always remind myself that I should not hesitate when I want to start a conversation with native students and always be a listener. Listening to different perspectives and apply all of them in a useful way. Respecting people’s ideas, working with them to end up great results, and not staggering to give your opinion too. That’s how a leader, which is me, will always remind myself when I want to overcome these challenges.

  • Alaina Webster

    I think the biggest challenge I have had to overcome is myself. I always convince myself certain people or certain opportunities are not that important and I should just stay home. Well, coming to UCO and being in Lessons in Leadership I have had to learn that I won’t succeed if I don’t let myself. Another struggle I have is putting other people I care about before myself. I let other people’s situations or problems come before mine and that has made me miss a lot of opportunities as well. In the future I want to focus on myself and make sure i put myself in more situations where I feel uncomfortable.

  • D'Lajiah Fields

    Challenges that I have encountered during my leadership journey is working with several leaders. I know that everyone has there on opinions,
    but working with head strong people can be a challenge. I have learned to take deep breaths during the situation. I have also learned to stay true to myself no matter what. Also, I listen more than I use to and I don’t summarize someone’s opinion in my head, that also keeps me open minded which was a challenge I faced in high school.

  • James Limbaugh

    Often times in my leadership journey, I find my opportunities being limited because of the size of my school. Coming from a smaller schools has its advantages and disadvantages. In a smaller school, you have the opportunity to grow closer to your class because you have the same people in every class. But the opprotunities are limited, however this can be overcome. By not relying on your school for activities, you can broaden your opportunity outlook. In the future I hope to help smaller school districts expand their reach for the sake of their students.

  • Kamryn Johnson

    Every leader faces challenges of some sort whether it be an internal challenge brought on by themselves, or an external challenge brought on by an outside source. As a leader, I have faced numerous challenges, but the one that was the hardest to overcome was an internal challenge I placed on myself. I am an extreme people pleaser and I find it very hard to come to terms with the fact other individuals might not agree with me or see things the same way as me. One thing that makes a leader a leader is their ability to welcome diversity and cope with and accommodate several different opinions. My need to please people was counteracting everything about that. I was consumed with trying to prove why my thinking was right and making sure everyone agreed with me. This hindered my ability to lead because it made me discreditable. I couldn’t be the leader I wanted because people started to assume I was telling them what they wanted to hear instead of telling them the truth. This was a big wake up call for me and as a result it made me reevaluate things. I soon realized that everyone has their own opinion and not everyone is going to agree with me and I had to be okay with that. Once I realized that and started making sure that I was a leader who stuck up for what I believed in and did what I thought was right, things started to turn around. When I finally stopped trying to please everyone, I developed into the leader I always knew I was capable of being.

  • Jacqueline Cabrera

    One of the biggest challenges I have faced towards whatever it is that I have done is discrimination. My ethnicity is different from most and as I’ve grown and my leadership skills have increased I’ve only faced more of it. I’ve been told that I’m set for failure not only because of my race but also because I’m a girl. I don’t believe there’s necessarily a way to overcome it but I have learned how to handle it. Everyone’s opinion is there own and from those experiences, I choose to grow from. The best thing I can do for myself is to keep moving forward and only take that as another ounce of motivation towards my goals.

  • Trace Linn

    During my walk in leadership the biggest obstacle I have had to overcome was my ability to step out of my comfort zone and attempt to build relationships with people that I may not always be the most comfortable around. It is not in my nature to usually go out of my way to connect with strangers but I also realize it is a necessity to build relational bridges with as many people as possible in order to gain different perspectives and guidance to learn from. In order to overcome these challenges I have had to become comfortable with the uncomfortable and ask for advice from various mentors that have been through similar experiences as myself. As regards to the future it is a necessity that in every situation I find myself in, I need to allow myself to reflect and seek guidance from my peers and mentors.

  • Dakota Gann

    As a leader, you will face challenges. One of the biggest aspects of overcoming these challenges is foreseeing them. Being blindsided by a big issue can ruin your leadership career. I can see myself being faced with challenges working with people of different backgrounds. I’m already combating this by going out of my way to work with individuals different from myself. Overcoming these challenges isn’t easy and never will be, but with the right mindset and attitude, nothing is impossible.

  • Samir Pitty

    The story of Miss Cyndi Munson is an example of overcoming, effort and leadership. Youth must be used to deliver the best of themselves and achieve great goals. But youth is also accompanied by many challenges which must be faced with intelligence. Many times young people surrender in their paths to success by some difficult test they had in their lives. But there is a fundamental tool to face these challenges and is to surround yourself with friends or people who can support you emotionally, people with an attitude of leadership. These people for sure have gone through hard tests during their path to success and therefore surround yourself with people with positive thoughts and great goals and you will surely be able to overcome great tests as I have proven in my personal life.

  • Alexis Peeper

    As a leader I have always been scared of becoming stagnate and not pushing myself to become more. If you become stagnate you lose all of your passion and to me that means you lose any hope of growing as a leader. To ensure this would not happen to me I have challenged myself, set goals that were difficult and tried new things. I am also surrounded by supportive friends that hold me accountable for my actions and push me to be the best version of myself. Lastly, my family inspires me daily to invest in my passions.

  • Sage Kroeker

    In high school, I was extremely involved in athletics. However, the class above me strongly lacked a leadership presence in the sports I played. This forced me, as well as others in my class, to step up. My Junior year, there was one senior on my volleyball team and not a single senior on my basketball team. In addition to this, we had a brand volleyball coach. Only one of us had serious varsity time, and we had a very competitive volleyball season. That being said, that season grew me most as a player- and as a person. I learned how to lead where I could, and support where I couldn’t. I learned how to handle situations that were much less than ideal, and encourage my team to stay positive at all times. When basketball came, I learned how to swallow my pride and be the most effective that I could in the position that I was placed. All of these things taught me one cumulative thing- how to be a true leader. Adversity is never comfortable, but neither is growth. My team grew under adversity, and I would’ve wanted it no other way.

  • Carlos Perez

    During her presentation she talked about all her challenges that she passed before be who she is right now. Talking about me, I am into a challenge in this moment that is to be an international student in USA. Honestly be an international student is difficult because sometimes you have homesick, you need to be able to adapt to new things, etc, but sooner or later this experiences will make me be a leader in whatever major or project that I will do.

  • Jared Bross

    I haven’t really got a good example of a major challenge that I’ve faced that I could use as an inspirational example here. The one piece of advice I’ve found useful for these is sues; if you ask someone for advice, don’t come up with excuses for why you can’t follow that advice. It’s easy to think your situation is hopeless, because you don’t see a way out. If you asked someone for advice, you probably did it because you trust their judgement. So if they give you advice you don’t appreciate, the best thing you can do is learn to trust the advice of others, because when you are in a position of leadership you will need to learn to trust the advice of others.

  • Abigail J Spiers

    Being a leader can bring about many challenges. One of the challenges I have faced and overcame is being shy. I used to be such an introvert that I didn’t like communicating with others. As I have gotten older, I became more involved in my school and community and learned how to communicate and be myself around others. I learned how to express my ideas and opinions. One of the things that helped me really step out of my shell was Student Council. Being a four year representative and attending leadership camps and work shops really encourage me to open up. Now, communicating and talking to people is one of my favorite things to do. I learned that this is a basic skill of most leaders. I am proud of myself for overcoming my challenges and stepping out of my shell to become who I am truly meant to be.

  • Karol Montoya

    During my leadership journey in high school, senior year definitely topped any challenges that I had previously. I was Student Council president my senior year, and I had no idea how hard it would truly be. My office having problems, a select few in the student body doing and saying terrible things (about Student Council), and so much more.
    I talked to my office straightforwardly and tried to resolve anything that was happening that I did not know of. The student body thing? Well, a few believed that the spirit week had to be different because Student Council picked days that “suck” and Student Council is “stupid”. No matter the burning desire I had to scream at the top of my lungs; instead, I wrote an apology and said that we were not going to change the days, but next time everyone can come and vote on spirit days for the next spirit week.
    In the end, I had to let myself know that the maximum effort I put does not mean great results every time, but it did not mean I was a failure either. (Hardest thing to learn.) I also learned that you cannot make your world perfectly round, but you keep trying anyway. I kept striving and persisting for better, and eventually, I left Student Council happy. I know I will meet challenges way more difficult than the ones I have had so far, but I will tackle them having these in mind. I learned not to beat myself up for every situation, but give what I can even in the hardest times.

  • Erika Diaz

    Leadership comes with a great deal of responsibilities and there are many challenges associated with the leadership role. There are a few areas I feel could be challenging as I become a leader like managing expectations and change and trying to please everyone. I need to be aware of what is expected of me and set reasonable goals, not being afraid to ask for help. Change is unavoidable and as a leader I have to learn to embrace it. Leadership is not a popularity contest and I need to be able to choose what’s right rather than what’s convenient or popular.

  • Angelina Sibimon

    As leaders, we come across many different complications. One of the complications that many leaders face is just coming out of their comfort zone. An example of this is being able to confidently speak in a public environment. The best way to overcome these obstacles is just to keep doing it. By practicing over and over, we will be able to get over complications like this.

  • Brenda Martinez

    Following the speech of Dr. Cyndi and answering the questions, The challenge that I have had in my leadership path have been specific and like anybody that is beginning to form a future. Specific I mean Saying “no”, when you have to say that, make decisions in case of doubt, fail, make mistakes, and take responsibility. Many times I see myself in an incredible future, but I put obstacles myself because I know that not everything is as my imagination says and in that moment I draw ideas and strategies to be able to overcome them. The key to everything is to be determined and safe to face all the bad things that cross my path.

  • Abdulmalik Shehu

    One of the biggest challenges i think i will face in my leadership journey is confronting my teammates when they do something unethical or something that is against the company’s policy. i know to be a leader, one must tell it like it is. Unfortunately, telling it like it is, is not always as easy as it seems. you have to consider their feelings afterwards, the effect it will have in your relationship with your teammates. Honestly it is one of my weakness but i hope to work on that

  • Christian Coleman

    This is a great prompt to write about. I think as I’ve moved into a new phase of life (college) things have changed. The obstacles become harder and opportunities become harder to obtain. I’ve been denied some chances to step into leadership roles and attend certain events. These experiences have pushed me to take hold and value the positions and opportunities I’m granted. I wish I knew what challenges I would face in the future so that I could prepare for them, but I’m just living my life the best I can through hard times and obstacles.

  • Austin Markham

    Cindy Munson was an inspiration to me in many ways. One being that she is a female in the House of Representatives, which isn’t easily attained. Two she stays true to her faith, which is also challenging when in the public eye. Three, she still focusing on her community, while being loaded with work and family. Lastly, I want to remind whoever is reading this and myself that she, being a democrat, cares for both parties and realizes that she represents both parties, and sees people beyond their party affiliation, which is something we all need to work better at doing. I plan to have similar challenges, whichever direction I go I will always be challenged in some way, I plan to also stay true to myself, which I believe I have achieved thus far. I plan to work hard and outwork my peers, which is the only way you can show your true persistence, and willingness to want more.

  • Jimmey Brown

    As a leader in the US or Honduras, I’ve always had to overcome challenges. In Honduras, “Age” is a key factor in deciding any leadership role and many times I had to encourage myself to be mentally strong in trying to achieve great things as young leader. This is because people feel compelled to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do because of my age. Yes, at times they’re right but at the same time life should be about following your heart, passion, and letting things play out but that’s something the elderly leaders don’t quite understand because they are stuck in their traditional ways of living.
    What other people think of me will be a challenge I plan to meet in the future. My reason for saying this is because people can be good/ bad when it comes down to encouraging another person success. I will do my best to overcome these issues by not caring and wasting too much energy trying to please everyone. If I feel good about a decision then I will not let anyone take that away from me.

  • conor wyer

    As a leader there will come a time where we meet an obstacle. Leaders, I believe are mostly defined at this moment and the way they handle themselves during adversity. In my opinion it is easy to lead when things are going smoothly, but it’s when things start to get tough when the true leaders show their abilities. One of my most rememberable moments of leadership was my jr. year of high school during football season. Two games into the season our coach was fired and a new one was hired. Being a quarterback and having adversity in the middle of the year was very tough. I had to stay up and stay positive as there were a lot of negative comments coming from the community and even a couple of team mates. Meeting daily with my new coach to learn the new offense was just one of my many tasks I had at hand. I then called weekly team meetings where we would talk about how to handle the situation and the outreach within the community. We did very well as a team and overcame all of the talk as we made a run to the semifinals after falling one touchdown away from the state finals. As we fell short I was happy with how we handled ourselves and overcame all that was given to us. I did well with putting in extra time and controlling my team mates, by learning an entire new offense and scheduling weekly meetings. I knew what had to be done and took initiative. This all was made much easier as there were other leaders on the team that helped me through the process.

  • In the path of leadership many things such as: distrust. disappointment, among other small things, but it can be overcome with self-confidence and having a lot of faith and trust in God.

  • Baylee Schmidlkofer

    For me the biggest problem that I have had through my leadership journey is simply being overwhelmed with my work and activity load. In high school and even now I always end up having too much on my plate and I get very stressed out. Whether it was sports or just campus involvement I always put as much into it as I could. Of course there is nothing wrong with that, but it can be easy to drown in school work and extra-curricular activities. The best way I can assure myself not to freak out or become overwhelmed is to manage my time and understand that I am not perfect. I know not to put myself into a situation that could potentially over-stress. I balance it all out to where I can live my life to the best of my ability.

  • Kacie Teigen

    The one challenge that comes to mind when I think of leadership is the challenge of learning how to grow my leadership style in a way that allows me to work with diverse groups of people. I have learned through various leadership positions that you have to use various styles when working with different groups of people. Some types of leadership like being outgoing and assertive may work better in some situations where as being less assertive and stepping in when needed works best in others. Overcoming this has been very hard because it’s honestly been a trial and error process for me. I feel like if I stay confident in my leadership style that I’ve created for myself and always stay mindful of others I can do anything I set my mind to.

  • Keisy Quiel

    Cyndi‘s Speech was very inspiring and motivational. I have had challenges in my face in my leadership journey with the commitment of the people because sometimes they do not take the things seriously. Another thing is that when I am in a group I try to please everyone because I try to listen to them with their ideas. I have overcome these challenges trying to have more patience. Furthermore, I do not lose the focus and also work with the people that really want to work.

  • Karabo Pamela Moalafi

    Communication skills have been the key area that has been challenging a lot lately. I usually know what to say at a given task but voicing out my view often seems like a hard task given the platform. Being in group work has clearly helped me to identify this issue and be able to work on it. I am practising my interpersonal skills through social clubs and engaging in community work. This is helping me break out of the barrier one step at a time.

  • Caleb Armer

    Challenges I have faced in my leadership journey is being put into leadership position without much experience. I was looked at as a leader on my basketball team during my junior year after playing minutes my sophomore but having seniors who showed great leadership during that year. I accepted the challenge and I went out and help my teammates accountable and lead by example everyday for others with less experience. I see this happening in the future and I am confident that I can overcome this challenge again and be a productive leader wherever this occurs.

  • Keondra Whisenhunt

    Representative Munson talked about having the inner drive to keep going when others try and drag you down. That is a skill that is difficult to obtain because you have to create a thick skin, and also pick and choose your battles to fight. It is hard to not feel defeated when people around you don’t believe in you. Sports have given me that inner determination to keep working and pushing myself to my full potential, and I need to take that same mentality and translate it to my everyday life. I want to have the ability to fight for issues that are important to me and not give up immediately after someone tears me down. One way to keep that inner drive is to be patient, and not let my emotions get the best of me. That can be difficult in many situations, but an area of weakness I want to focus on. I know that I have a long journey of leadership ahead of me, and that I am going to have to toughen up and find that inner drive within me to keep chugging along.

  • My leadership journey has been faced with many different challenges. My faith, character, heart, and emotions have been tested. One of my strengths is grit. I often have had to grit through many challenging things. It has helped mold me into the man that I am today. I look for to using my grit and pushing through any more challenges that I will have to face!

  • Breely Frasco

    One of my weakest traits is my inability to be comfortable with confrontation. In my leadership journey, my weakness of confrontation has definitely held me back from conversations that could have helped me better my leadership ability. While this weakness has held me back before, I have been persistent in working on being better in that aspect. In the future, I will be able to take criticism better, as well as be more confident in confronting other people. In doing so, I will be able to find other weaknesses and consistently work on bettering my leadership ability.

  • I Think that to become that you want to be in the future you always will have some challenge that stop to continue with your dream. One of my challenge is sometime I get afraid to speak or give my opinion to other people because I do not know if the people would like to listen me. sometimes something do not get like you hope and you feel like you can not do it and you leave your dream, but the correct thing that you have to do is never give up the trouble,God always will help you and He always being over there when you need to get overcome it.

  • Ryan Lykins

    I have fought with people on sets of films, dealt with push backs and missing illustrators for a children’s book, and dealt with people doing little to no work on programming assignments. All of these hurdles I have had in my way I dealt with a level head and an open mind. There are many things that you can’t control in life. Though if you head them off with understanding instead of hostility you can find solutions fast. I dealt with the disagreements on set by taking all opinions into considerations and gave good reason on why certain places couldn’t be used do to safety reasons. I dealt with my missing illustrator by messaging him to see why he was missing, he had had an epileptic seizure the night before and was out for the entire today. So if I had come at him with hostility then I would have been the bad guy easily. The people that did little to no work on the projects I was the leader of, I then focused on them and gave them jobs to do, even if its just to figure out logic or help others find bugs. So in the end everyone was doing work and getting the job done.

  • Cynthia Gallardo

    A majority of my challenges in my leadership journey have been problems created by myself. I am such a shy person, so I did not put myself in leadership roles that required being in front of a lot of people or working together with a lot of people. This limited my development and growth as a leader. I could have developed my leadership skills way sooner, had I really forced myself out of my comfort zone earlier than I had. The change in my shyness happened almost out of the blue. I saw changes in my confidence in an everyday aspect and in my willingness to push through uncomfortable moments in order to make a difference. Having that confidence in normal everyday situations is what really allowed me to bring confidence into my leadership roles. I do see myself facing challenges with my shyness in the future, but I know that what I should do is push through my discomfort. There is no way to change how I was in the past, but I have control on how I am today and in the future.

  • Aubrey Crook

    I loved hearing about Cyndi’s campaign stories and her door knocking experiences. I admired her for being able to be respectful to others while staying strong in her convictions. I see myself facing challenges when it comes to disagreements with peers. Not that I am not open-minded, it is just that I tend to be very strong willed and tend to like my ideas. I will overcome this by allowing myself to become more susceptible to new ideas and perspectives that I may not have considered. Being flexible and being able to consider the feelings of those around me is an important trait in a leader and it is something I need to further develop on my leadership journey.

  • Amelia Perez

    I have discovered this past year that it is nearly impossible to be a leader when you do not have the confidence within yourself to put yourself in a leadership position. Success starts with acceptance of oneself- this was something I have struggled with recently. Not having the confidence or bravery within myself to go above and beyond truly set me back from being able to reach my full potential.
    The first step to overcoming this lack of confidence in myself was to acknowledge that it was only myself preventing me from fulfilling my potential. No one was stopping me from being an outspoken leader but myself. After I realized that I was able to plan on how to change my mentality towards a positive outlook not only on life but towards myself. Learning to be my own best friend rather than a critic has enabled me to be such a better leader and has made my life improve exponentially. I am thankful that I have learned this lesson early on in my life so I am more prepared for the tests and trials of the future.

  • Paige Warrior

    Difficulties that may come my way will most likely be caused by my own internal thoughts and emotions. I have a tendency to allow worry and doubt to cloud my mind when taking on leadership roles and being met with those. I will need to learn to let things go the way they grow and be able to change and adjust my roles depending on those outcomes. I will need to learn that appeasing all individuals that I care for will not lead me to the best outcome, and that sometimes relying on oneself is the most value.

  • Olivia Sharp

    Stepping out of my comfort zone and stepping up in certain situations can be a little difficult for me. Having myself push away insecurities to stand in front of others and lead by example is a difficult thing for most people. I overcome these challenges by reminding myself that I am capable of being a leader and that I have what it takes.

  • Madison Walker

    a challenge that I face is being shy and getting out of my comfort zone. I overcome these challenges by allowing change, and developing relationships with other people. I plan to become more independent and try harder to reach out to others than watching from the outside.

  • Sheila Claunch

    The challenges that I have faced and still continue to face during my leadership journey are being able to open up and being vulnerable to others and being able to delegate and lean on the help of others. I have a problem with opening up and being vulnerable to others because I’m afraid of what others will think sometimes. I also struggle with allowing others to help me and delegating tasks to others because I am kind of a control freak in certain ways and think that I need to do it myself. This has caused me to get very overwhelmed at times and I don’t handle stress very well sometimes. This causes me to get very stressed and not be able to do the tasks as effectively as I should. I know now that I need to work on being vulnerable with others and being able to delegate and allowing others to help me because it will truly help a lot in my leadership journey. I know that I can not do everything all by myself and I need to lean on others as well.

  • Caylin Talk

    Throughout my life I have faced many challenges when dealing with leadership including: going out of my comfort zone, trying to find new ways to reach those that aren’t being reached, and to guide change. I have learned to overcome these challenges by being placed within conflicting situations and through this I have become more prepared for what could unexpectedly happen in the future.

  • Blake Hauenstein

    The greatest challenge that I have often faced in my leadership journey has been in a desire to advice rather than lead. It has always been my wish to be the friend and adviser to an awesome leader. However, when no one, save for those of blatant self interest and ulterior motive, will step forward and take the lead for the group, then it is the time to try harder and take the lead yourself. It can be difficult to take the lead when you prefer to advise, but when you have been called to do so you do it. So, should the situation arise that I need to take lead on things, I prepare like with this class so that I may be the best, most competent leader that I can be.

  • Sean Miller

    Though young, I feel as though I have my share of leadership challenges relative to my experience and abilities. My first job lasted just a week short of two years – a local company owned and operated by a couple both born and raised in Edmond. As usual, I started at the bottom of the hierarchical latter, and worked my way as close to the top as physically possible. I finished my employment as manager, overseeing 42 employees and answering only to the owner herself. I knew the inner workings to the second, payroll, individual customer quirks, every single client who came through our door, and how to effectively operate the company day in and day out. I was the go to person for every employee in the building, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Everyone, with the sole exception of one particular employee, liked me and respected me. That was in the end. The journey there was far from similar. I started working there at 16, and 14 months later I was a manager at the ripe old age of 17. It was extremely difficult to stand in the breakroom and tell a 45 year old employee I needed to see more from them. It is also extremely difficult for an old filthy rich customer to be told of an unexpected charge on their bill from a 17 year old. Because of my age, my authority was not taken seriously. The way I chose to demonstrate my authority to overcome this challenge by demonstrating how much work I was in fact putting in and going back to the positions I had advanced from and work alongside my employees – leaving my desk and going to the back to clean “suites” or going into playrooms and visiting with the dog nannies and dogs. I answered emails and scheduled appointments during my classes and linked my iPhone to the company number to answer calls during my combined 8 hours of commute time per week for practice. I put in my effort to motivate and empower those around me, deeming me an equal, and winning over their respect and civility.

  • Jaxon Missey

    As a prelaw major, I foresee myself struggling with time management and procrastination in the future. Law is well known for its rigorous workload, both in quantity and in critical analysis. I do not doubt my motivation or capability; however, I know myself well enough to say I sometimes procrastinate more than I should. I will have to face this habit head on before it becomes an issue, as I refuse to fail. I believe my career pathway is directly related to my leadership journey as it determines my interaction with others on a daily basis and what that looks like in a profession aspect. I plan on being a leader in my profession, and I will overcome whatever obstacles that are put in my path, whether they be self inflicted or not.

  • Kennedy Staton

    During my journey as a leader, many different types of challenges have occurred. One of the challenges that sticks out to me the most would be dealing with a variety of personalities. It can be difficult working with different leaderships styles, but this has taught me so many lessons. I have learned to overcome this challenge by truly listening to others and not only going with my first idea. It has been helpful to listen to other perspectives.

  • I’ve been faced with many different challenges in leadership. The one that comes to mind the most is making an executive decision to hold people accountable for their actions. I felt like the challenge was “how am I going to make it where they don’t hate me for the choice?” Every single time you make a decision, you’re going to have some type of positive and negative look. You just have to trust in what you think is best for the organization. I learn patience and trust in this because it took so much time to earn the respect from the people that thought it wasn’t the correct decision to make. I’m very thankful for all the adversity I’ve had to face. This gets us ready to step into the uncomfortable and come out comfortable.

  • Sophia Cuyo

    In my journey as a leader and in every single step I take as I continue to live out my life, I was faced and will always be faced with challenges that will try to bring me down. The most difficult challenge that I had to face and struggled in dealing with was when someone accused me of doing something I never did. That person declared that I used my power as a leader to take advantage of a member of one of my group members and bullied the student, at least from her perspective. However, from what the others and I know, all I did was help her out when she was in a bad situation. Regardless of me and the higher ups explaining what really happened, the person who accused me already had her ears shut to whatever I had to say and believed that she was right til the end. As a result, even if I did not really do what I was accused of doing, I just apologized for my shortcomings as a leader and accepted that everything was my fault, because no matter how much I try to explain and apologize, the other party already closed their minds. I believe that I will always encounter people who are difficult to work or deal with, regardless of that, I have to just accept it, apologize for my shortcomings, and deal with it with the RIGHT attitude. Like how the saying goes, “Kill evil with kindness.” Moreover, ATTITUDE IS VERY IMPORTANT. No matter what situation I am in, I need to calm down and not REACT, rather, I need to carefully put thought into how should I respond to the situation in order to not add more fire to the situation and to be able to deal with it in a better way.

  • I believe that my biggest challenge is to accept that there will always be people who will not like what I create. My mejor is graphic design, so I know I will receive so mny critiques. I need to be prepare to accept that there will be people who will not be agree with me, and will not like my designs. In the other hand there will be people who really like them. Both will help me to improve my work. I need to learn to take the good things even from the bad comments. That is a big challenge to me.