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The Five Pillars: Personal Leadership

Did you ever go on a road trip with your parents which you weren´t exactly excited about? They just decided to take a weekend off at the most remote place imaginable where Wi-Fi hasn´t been invented yet and kind off dragged you along. Screw all the plans you had yourself, right? But I mean, they ARE your parents, so there isn´t really anything you could have done about it. However, now you´re an adult, can plan your own trips and take care of all the planning yourself…and then you notice it´s much harder than it seemed like. When to go, how to get there, how much it costs, what to do there, and where to actually go; how do you figure that out?

Hi and welcome to our first blog entry in the “Five Pillars” series! We´ll introduce each pillar and give you a few examples of what it might look like in a project. This first blog post revolves all around the first pillar: Personal leadership. A quick Google search reveals that it is the ability to take responsibility for all aspects of your life and to take it in the direction that is best for you. Basically, leadership turned inwards!

How to develop personal leadership

For that, you first need to be aware of what your strengths and weaknesses are as well as where your interests and passions lie. It´s always required to take a look at those factors at every step of your learning process to reevaluate how far you have developed. So, you don´t need to have a 100% insight right from the start! It is an essential step to formulate objectives fitting your values and interests, so you have a way to measure your progress. You reflect on those objectives on your own mainly, but feedback from others is just as important as we might not notice things that others do about us. The first level of X-Honours is all about exploring this and responding to it by formulating goals and objectives.

On level 3, this becomes natural behavior for you as you continuously direct your own development process. Objectives and goals are not static either; at this stage you are able to adjust your objectives as long as you can explain why. If it would have to be brought to the point, this pillar is all about consistency between your values and your behavior, actions and choices. Therefore, this pillar is so important for the other pillars as well, as you reflect what each one means to you personally.

Where to work on this pillar

Great examples of ongoing projects where you can work on your personal leadership include:

  • Arting Code; this project combines art with programming and offers a small community of people with various different skill sets working together to create something nice. There is no end goal here, so you can follow your own goals and work on the art you want to create! This project is all about exploring your own creativity and how you want to use the given tools to create something extraordinary.
  • Bloomers; for the less art-orientated students there is also this inspiring project which is centered all around uplifting women. It offers a platform for women to share their experiences regarding various issues like self-confidence, independence and societal pressure. Reflecting on your position in this world and developing more self-confidence are great opportunities to work on your personal leadership!
  • Student team members X-honours; something more directly related with shaping the X-Honours program is this project. Continuous brainstorming and giving feedback on how to improve the program might give great insights into how you fit in with it. Here, you not only will have an impact on your own learning process but help others developing within an ideal program as well.

More information about these and other projects can be found in our Teams channel under “Projects and activities”!

All in all, I hope I was able to convey to you the importance of this pillar. It is essential in the X-Honours program as you reflect on your progress on all other pillars as well. You set your own goals and you are responsible to achieve them. So now, it´s finally time to climb from the backseat up to the driver´s seat and drive where YOU want to go!

– Written by Laura Kaiser

Want to write a blog entry yourself? Contact me via email!