Morgan Smith, Faith Editor

Alyssa Sperrazza / The Bison

“Leadership is about the influence you have, and the opportunities for influence,” said Holly Edwards at the orientation for Emerging Leaders.

Emerging Leaders is a three year program that helps students learn leadership strategies.

The orientation took place Tues., Sept. 4 at 8:00 p.m.

It is sponsored by Holly Edwards, the Director of Student Leadership and Engagement, and Dr. Joy Turner, the Director of Global Outreach.

Both were present on Tuesday.

Students at all levels are invited to join the program this year, and applications were available at the orientation.

The program is in its second year.

Students meet in Montgomery Hall once a week to reflect on what makes a good leader.

Sophomore Jessica George was one of Emerging Leaders’ first members.

“The first year we will go through learning what it means to be a leader,” Georgesaid.

“The first semester we will do things with personality, spiritual gifts, things like that, and the second semester is more about defining your characters, your convictions, and things along those lines.”

As a second year member of Emerging Leaders, George is now a mentor within the program.

As a mentor, she facilitates small groups and helps plan the weekly meetings.

She and her fellow Emerging Leaders mentors were present at the orientation.

The orientation started off with introductions followed by an activity.

The mentors wrote cards with the names of people who have played leadership roles in their lives.

The students present received these cards at the door, and were tasked with finding out who wrote them.

The goal was to remind students that the most influential people aren’t always “big names.”

“Sometimes there’s kind of a chasm in thinking about a leader,” Edwards said. “It’s someone in front of us.”

After the activity, there was a discussion about what traits are found in a good leader.

Many of the students present agreed that traits like compassion, selflessness and a willingness to serve others were necessary for leadership.

Edwards said during the orientation that Emerging leaders is looking for leaders in a lot of different ways.

Students in Emerging Leaders can apply their leadership skills to other organizations, such as Crew and student ministries.

“We go to OBU, so a lot of things tend to have an emphasis on leadership in the faith,” Jessica said. “Ultimately, part of who you are, if you’re a Christian, is you have Christ in your life, and that should be being reflected in the way you lead.”

However, Emerging Leaders also seeks to remind students that they can have a leadership role just by being an influence to others.

Emerging Leaders uses a strategy called the “Four C’s” to remind students of the areas that impact the way people lead:  convictions, commitment, character and competency.

“It’s just the choices that you make based on your convictions and the things that you value that are important to you,” George said. “You display those as a leader, and so it’s important to know what they are.”

There will be four more Emerging Leadership workshops this semester.

Although there are no third year members yet, those who continue with the program will have the opportunity to engage in a capstone project while still mentoring others in the program.

“We’re here to continue to grow with you guys,” George said at the orientation. “It’s a complete circle; just continue to grow and feed into others.”

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