Brett’s Final Blog

Getting Back from Mexico was like waking up from a wonderful dream.  I was extremely sad when we left, and I just kept wishing we could go back and stay longer. It was a trip where I could forget myself and experience how other people live, their culture and what they do on a day-to-day basis. No one moment was my favorite, but I think the moment when I started realizing the great opportunity this was, was talking to Maria, the lady that hosted us in Arizona. Maria told me about her struggle to get to the States. All she wanted was to help her kids and to work hard to support them. She was willing to sacrifice everything.

Later, as we journeyed deeper into Mexico, we had chances to serve. We were able to help paint houses with Familias Unidas in Kino, and then work at Casa Franciscana in Guaymas and serve food. The thing that stood out to me is how grateful the people were. They wanted so much to let us know that they appreciated us.

Sometimes during the week, I would feel bad in thinking how ungrateful I was because I had so much more, and in a way my life was better. But I don’t think life is measured by material things. I was able to see how much happiness these people still had and the love for one another. They would always be smiling and laughing, and that is greater than any material thing.  Even though we served others, we were also being served. I felt that every story and person I met was inspiration for me to work harder in my schooling to one day visit again and to serve others in any way possible.

Lastly, I want to say that the group was great. We were able to build friendships and share an experience that will stay with us forever. I never heard any complaining and we were able to work together in whatever the task. I wish to thank all of them. This was a great experience and a wonderful opportunity.

Delegation vs. Facilitation

Delegation vs Empowerment

To delegate means to choose or elect a person to act as a representative for another.  To empower someone means to give power or authority to someone else.  Do you hear the difference?  To delegate something to someone is to only give them enough leash to act on your behalf-as you would for yourself.  To empower another means you give them enough power and authority to act on their own behalf.

This is not good versus bad.  There is a proper time for delegation.  I can think of two: when someone is truly new to the ways of leadership and in times of crisis. When someone is cutting their teeth on leadership then you want to teach them how to handle responsibility.  It is the principle of seeing if they will be faithful in little so that they might grow in to being faithful with much.  In times of crisis there needs to be an authoritative decision maker and those who are willing to simply carry out those decisions to meet the critical need of the moment.  But these two scenarios leave a whole lot of opportunity for empowerment.

In my mind there are three critical aspects to empowerment.  To truly empower someone you must grant them authority, you must give them proper resources, and you must hold them accountable to organizational values and principles. They have to have enough authority to make some significant and important decisions-you have to give power away.  They have to have resources that are truly theirs to steward-people, money and tools.  Yet it is not a free for all-there should be an accountable aspect that helps them stay within the playing field of organizational boundaries.  You tell them the “what” but the “how” is left up to them.  They have to have enough of all three things to truly have the freedom to fail on their own efforts-and learn.

While there is a proper time for both things I am pushing the action point towards empowerment.  Here are some reasons why:

Delegation largely raises up followers-empowerment raises up leaders.

Delegation is less work for you in the short run-empowerment is more work for you in the short run.

Delegation is more work for you in the long run-empowerment is less work for you in the long run.

Delegation keeps you in the center of leadership activity-empowerment places someone else at the center of leadership activity.

Delegation ensures that you are your own leadership legacy-for good or for bad. Empowerment ensures that more leaders are your leadership legacy-which is almost always good.

Consider today some people around you that you can truly empower.


Harassment Post


Meeting Facilitation

Most advice on meetings focuses on the “how.” But the effort to improve meetings must start with the “what.” No matter how efficiently you meet about the wrong things, they are still the wrong things to meet about.

I have sat in hundreds of bad meetings: no goals, no agenda, no preparation, no documents, no schedule, no minutes, no action items, no follow-up, and so on. We all hate these meetings. We all want to improve them. That’s why Influencers’ posts on meeting management are some of the most popular.

But they do not address what I consider the major problem: Most meeting time is wasted because people aim at the wrong target.

In this post, I will suggest a way to cut your meeting time. Not by meeting about the same things faster, but by meeting about fewer things. This recommendation has reduced meeting time by 90% in one of my clients.

This does not mean that you can do the work in 10% of the time. You have to devote significant out-of-meeting effort to resolve the issues, but working more efficiently, enjoying a happier mood, and achieving better results.

Read more about effective meetings.


Reflection Report (20 points)


Your semester report should be a culmination of all projects and endeavors you and your committee have taken on and accomplished this semester.

  • Overview of semester goals and a progress report for each goal
  • Strategies used and successes and drawbacks of your strategies
  • Future projects and timeline for project completion
  • Personal reflection on areas of strengths and weaknesses in program coordination/organization, ability to serve on a team, facilitation skills, follow-through with project completion, and innovation/creativity

Remember that your reflection will be graded on Description/ Writing/ Application of class concepts/ Evaluation of class concepts

Facilitation Observation Analysis: Coronado BCD Staff Meeting

The Coronado Hall BCD staff met on Monday, August 27th, 2012 at 7pm. This meetings objective was to address certain issues, give reminders, discuss events and progress, determine duty hours, and deal with other forms of business while encouraging our staff and working toward the goal of bettering ourselves and the lives of our residents. The meeting was a productive meeting, although it did have some areas where it could improve as far as its overall facilitation went. Meeting environment/space, facilitation preparation, organization, inclusivity and empowerment of members, ability to address arising conflict, engaging the disengaged, shared vision, community development, and meeting closure are all factors that can either make or break an effective meeting.

The meeting was held in the Coronado lobby in the couch/lounge area. This environment was a fairly effective environment which allowed the participants to relax and enjoy each other’s company while accomplishing agenda tasks. The fact that the meeting was held in the lounge area did have some down sides to it. There are no hard surfaces or any white boards for writing which may have been of some use, but the meeting still went just fine without them. In other instances that may have required more planning during the meeting, another area may be more effective. The goals of the meeting were fully accomplished in the environment of the BCD lobby lounge.

In order to prepare for the meeting, our RD Alex planned out the meeting by writing up an agenda for each of us to have. We all came prepared with a writing utensil as well as something to write on. In the past some participants have come to the meeting unprepared which has made it difficult to be productive within the meeting.

The meeting was organized into 3 different topics: Standing Items, Announcements, and Discussion Items. We began with standing items which included the participants sharing the good, the bad and the funny of their week, maintenance and work orders, and addressing the start of in-service. Having each of us share about our week serves as a bit of an ice-breaker which is definitely a great way to start any meeting.

We moved on to announcements which included items such as weekly reports, training evaluations, and other orders of business. The organization of going from an opening ice-breaker to the announcements fit well as it allowed us to relax a bit and be informed of what is going on, and then move on to our discussion.

We ended with our discussion items, which included topics such as holiday duty, duty schedule, hall council, etc. This took the bulk of our meeting.  After we dealt with discussing for future duty and plans, we then discussed how each of our events went. The meeting closed with RA Shout Outs and a reminder of who has their One-On-One this week. Alex followed the agenda and went through each point of discussion as it stated. The meeting had an effective outline as far as its order, and was well organized with the use of the agenda and Alex’s ability to carry it out.

During our meeting, we had some conflict arise. One of our participants was around fifteen minutes late to the meeting. Alex calmly addressed the whole group and stated the importance of being on time. An issue that comes up quite frequently within our meetings is the issue of time management. Our staff is very friendly and talkative, but the excessive chatting prevents us from using our time wisely and moving forward with the agenda. Alex occasionally addressed the issue while we were trying to get through the agenda. At the end of the meeting, he addressed the conflict and stated the importance of us staying on topic. The way that Alex addresses conflict allows us as participants to see the value in our time, identify the issue and gain a desire to fix it.

We have nine total staff members as well as our RD which makes for a total of ten members participating in our meeting. Ten is a fairly small number, but any meeting can have room for members to disengage. When discussing, Alex went from person to person to make sure he had heard from most everyone. Sometimes not everyone had something to say, but in things that were of high importance, Alex made sure he heard from everyone before moving forward or making a decision. As I brought up before, our team would have irrelevant conversations throughout the meeting. This was a way of us disengaging from the meetings real purpose and Alex solved it by reminding us of our goals and purpose.

As a staff, we all have a shared vision. During our meetings, we all have a shared objective in mind. The meeting was in place to address certain issues, give reminders, discuss events and progress, determine duty hours, and deal with other forms of business while encourage our staff and work toward the goal of bettering ourselves and the lives of our residents. In accomplishing our objective we run into conflict which can affect our ability to have an effective meeting, but due to our shared overall vision, we are able to overcome conflict and make the effort to push through our meetings successfully.

As RA’s, we have a lot of responsibility and as well as several events and matters to attend to, and so during our meetings it makes it somewhat difficult to work on getting closer as a community. Most of our community is formed during hall events, while we are on duty and outside of work. By doing the ice-breaker at the beginning of the meeting, we are able to help encourage and support one another by listening to the highlights of their week. Of course we are very talkative, and so that is a form of community bonding, but over time we will need to focus more strictly on the agenda. The way we handle discussions in our meetings is an opportunity in itself to build our community. People have soccer games and events planned on certain days, and so when we are working out our duty schedule we sometimes bend over back for another fellow staff member. At our meeting we had to figure out our holiday duty schedule which was difficult due to people’s wants and vacation plans, but we tried our best to work it out so we were being fair and kind to each other. We also build community by our shout outs to one another. The way we treat each other and listen to one another, even just in a meeting, speaks largely.

The meeting closed with Alex stating RA shout outs and a few brief reminders. The shout outs are encouraging and a way that we are able to positively end the meeting. The reminders are those that are indicative to this week and so it helped that Alex reiterated them to finish.

The meeting had a solid objective, an agenda, and a commitment to involving the meeting participants in the planning, preparation, and execution of the meeting, but of course there is still room for improvement regarding future meetings.

Meeting Observation; Obama campaign by Tanisha Thomas

You would think for an internship campaigning for the election of president Obama each personal would be put into a nice hotel for the weekend nights, staying in Denver. Although this was proven incorrect after being put into hotel and hostel on 11th avenue and Broadway. The hotel was a disaster, if anyone has seen one of the many movies hostel you would know exactly where I am coming from. Aside from being in a devastating hotel in the heart of downtown Denver, I have to admit the thirteen hour training went quite smoothly. All crew members in Organizing for America; Obama Campaign were settled in one big area next door to the office for the Democratic Party. When you walked in there were many coaches and chairs lined out for everyone to sit. In front was a big stage with a screen projector and plenty of microphones to go around.

It was about 8am when all participants arrived from various parts of Colorado. Everyone would soon begin to eat breakfast which was laid out for us on a bar. The selection of food I chose for this busy morning was a banana nut muffin, blueberry muffin, glass of orange juice, banana and of course COFFEE!!!! Who could possibly start a thirteen hour meeting without all these essential items. When everyone began to sit down two of the 10 speakers who spoke that night appeared on the stage. He preceded to say good morning while maintaining great enthusiasm. After a good introduction to why everyone was here they proceeded to do three ice breakers. The ice breakers were very fun and allowed everyone in the room to mingle, laugh and share there thoughts and passions. My favorite ice breaker that morning was rock paper scissors, a battle to the end which I fell slight short of victory.

After we were done with ice breakers it was about 9:30 am, we all had sat back in our seats while the two speakers began a power point presentation on what exactly a fellows person was for this campaign and how successful they had been during the last election campaign for Obama. Inspiring everyone in the room to try their hardest to makes sure Obama won the 2012 election. The two speakers made sure we knew that Colorado was a very important state to win the election. It happens to be the number one swing state; we not only need the votes but the electoral votes for Obama to win. As we sat down listing we filled out two packets of information. Around Eleven we took a 15min break during this time they had other snacks laid out for everyone to eat. After 15mins were through another two speakers appeared on stage this time to discuss how to persuade and to pursue getting people to register to vote. Than came lunch time which they supplied also, we had at least a 45min break.

It was about around one we did another presentation with two other speakers training us to be official people to register people to vote. At around two we had began to start training for how to be great canvassers. When three o’clock hit everyone was assigned two clip boards to go out to some neighborhoods and talk to pacific houses that needed persuasion and voters that were inactive. This helped us push foweard into our next power point presentation. Dinner which was at 5:30 followed with the next presentation on doing telephone canvassing and how to input data after which was called the “VAN”. During the next couple of hours until 8pm we discussed things that I can’t actually write out on this blog; it’s like top secret lol 🙂

When I dissect the meeting as a whole I realized I have learned a lot already from event planning and leadership. I loved the environment of the meeting that took place everyone had a set goal to ensure the winning of Obama for president. Everyone put there knowledge together to make the meeting run smoothly. Questions were asked throughout the power points to make sure everyone was on the same page. Ice breakers were utilized showing everyone potential and what they can contribute to the team. We got to do one on one interactions by doing canvassing and also getting on stage role playing different scenarios. If I had to change anything I would probably change the lengthiness of it, the hotel situation. I thought having food was a great idea kept everyone motivated and energized. The location of the place was a well thought out place considering it was right next door to the Democratic party.

Well that was my labor day weekend 🙂 happy labor day!!!

Assignments Descriptions

Executive Reports (10 points each)


For each unit of instruction, each student is required to turn in an executive report to reflect both a culmination of goals, events, actions, and strategies for that time period as well as an element of reflection in regard to working with groups and personal development through project management.  Each report is to be 2-3 pages in length typed, and should include the following information.

  • Committee goals set for this time period and a discussion of progress toward these goals
  • Personal goals set for this time period and a discussion of progress toward these goals
  • Action items completed
  • Meeting summaries with committee, advisor, or outside organizations including a personal reflection of the meeting with any questions or follow-up needed
  • Please provide a self-assessment on your facilitation of the meeting (if you facilitated), anything you would change about your facilitation or the process of the meeting, conflict that arose and how you handled it, and anything you would like to change for your next meeting.
  • Goals for the next two weeks and actions you plan to take toward achieving your goals
  • Examples of how you have fulfilled your role as a leader within the committee/organization
  • Challenges you are having/assistance you need

Facilitation Observation Analysis (20 points)


You are to attend a meeting of your choice to assess the meeting in terms of effective meeting facilitation.  Please provide a thorough account describing and evaluating facilitation components such as meeting environment/space, facilitation preparation, organization, inclusivity and empowerment of members, ability to address arising conflict, engaging the disengaged, shared vision, community development, meeting closure, and other observations you may have had.  You will need to write a 3-4 page paper discussing the meeting experience and analyzing the meeting facilitation in regard                                                                                                          to the above concepts (described further in class).


Vision Statement (20 points)


Each student will create a vision statement based on the goals of either his/her position or his/her committee.  This vision should complement the overall Adams State College vision but be specific to what the short-term and long-term vision of the position or committee is.  You will need to incorporate effective visioning techniques and strategies as learned in class to your vision.


Event Critique (20 points)


You will attend an event that you did not help to plan or execute, either at Adams State, or in the community.   You are to analyze it and determine the factors that increased or limited the event’s success based on what we covered in class.  This analysis should be in the form of a 3-4-page paper discussing what the successful aspects of the program are, what the problem(s) are, what the potential solutions are, and how you would go about implementing a solution with a discussion on the risks or disadvantages involved with your solution.  Finally, discuss why you approached the situation as you did.


Strategic Plan (30 points)


Each student will create a strategic plan for AIDS Awareness Week, or his/her position or committee.  The strategic plan should be typed and presented in a professional format on the due date.  Each student will present his or her plan to the committee during midterms. The strategic plan needs to address the following areas.

  • Brief overview of vision
  • Purpose your position or committee serves
  • 5 goals for your position/committee

◦       For each goal, list at least 3 action-oriented initiatives you or your committee will need to do to accomplish that goal

  • Timeline for goal completion
  • Strategies for effectively and efficiently completing your plan
  • Outline of committee/position budget in accordance with goals, initiatives, and strategies


Fund Management (30 points)


Based on either the vision of AIDS Awareness Week or based on the vision of your position or committee, determine needs that could be fulfilled by a sponsorship initiative.  This could include any type of fundraising activity, soliciting donations of either money or goods, or other creative means of generating revenue.  For your project, you are to write a 3-5-page proposal that discusses the need you are trying to find sponsorship for as well as a thorough description of your idea.  You should research and find out what steps you would need to take to actually perform this initiative.  This includes any College policies specific to your proposal, understanding how your target organization allocates money and anything specific that is required of your plan.


In addition to writing the proposal, you are to create a 10-minute presentation to the class.  Each student is to receive a copy of your proposal for the presentations.  Sign-ups for presentation and project due date will be done in class prior to the due dates.

Here’s what you should know…

Syllabus Event Planning and Leadership (HEAL 279)

Please post your executive summaries under your assignments page. 
The list of pages is on the lower right. Thanks all!
Course Overview:

The Event Planning and Leadership course is designed to train students involved in leadership positions and event planning with Adams State College (ASC). This course will prepare those responsible for planning and implementing events to begin working with teams, marketing strategies, budget management, collaboration, vision, and program planning.

Course Objectives:

The Event Planning and Leadership Course offers students an opportunity to apply, build upon, improve and reflect on their personal leadership skills and styles. This course integrates practical/experiential work with academic work. The course is designed to help students learn the art of program planning while serving in positions responsible for events on campus.

Specific Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn to articulate values, mission, and vision as it applies to program planning
  • Students will understand the structural aspects of program planning including design, operations, and staffing patterns (recruitment and retention)
  • Students will learn about budget management and the financial process of program planning including sponsorships, revenue generation, and working with fundraising boards
  • Student will understand a variety of marketing strategies including publicity and promotions
  • Students will have the opportunity to maximize and reflect on group work experience
  • Students will develop an expanded awareness of diversity as it applies to large-scale planning including aspects of needs assessments intentional program planning, and ethical decision
  • making
  • Students will enhance their leadership and organizational skills through working with others and through the overall program planning process
  • Students will enhance their written and oral communication skills through reflective writing, out-of class assignments, and class presentations.