These four words carry so much weight for anyone who has gone through the LeaderShape experience. This past Spring Break, 70 strangers boarded a bus to Bradford Woods and a week later, 70 changed individuals returned.
I, like many of my fellow IU student LeaderShapers, did not know what to expect and was intrigued to see what I had gotten myself into when I signed up for this Spring Break opportunity. I chose to go through the program based on the number of times I’d heard other students say “LeaderShape changed my life.”
LeaderShape is hard to put into words because it’s a unique experience that in many ways belongs solely to those who were part of that week in Bradford Woods. Those feelings of community, empowerment and positivity are something that we shared with one another and that we took with us when we left.
And while I can’t fully describe what I got out of LeaderShape, I think something about all of us is different now, whether it’s a new understanding of people, a new understanding of ourselves, a new understanding of leadership, or a little bit of each. We all have a vision, a way in which we want the world to be a better place – and that’s how those who didn’t experience LeaderShape will be affected by it. We hope to see the world is filled with more justice, equality, happiness, inclusivity and positive change in part because of our visions for the future that were written on paper last week.
As far as I can see in my future, I know that I will be thanking LeaderShape. I will be thanking it for the friends that I made. I will be thanking it for the new way that I see the world and its inhabitants. I will be thanking it for telling me who I am and what I should be doing in my life.
One thing that I learned last week is the importance of interpretation. While we all participated in the same team-building activities throughout the week, each person had a different experience. The important thing about interpretation is being able to look at someone else’s view and say, “their view is different from mine, how fascinating!”
Everyone’s view is valid, and everyone has the ability to make the world a better place. Thanks to LeaderShape, I now have a support system that I know will help me achieve whatever I set out to do.