• By Calli Delsman

Looyenga leadership workshops offered this spring

This spring, the Looyenga Leadership Center is offering multiple workshops that cover a variety of topics ranging from stress management, leading meetings, to team goal setting. These workshops are offered every Tuesday and Wednesday in Old Main until May 5. Any Minot State student can participate for free. There is a limit of 20 students in-person because of social distancing precautions, but others are able to join via Microsoft TEAMS. Students must sign up either in the Leadership Center or by emailing James Sturm, james.p.sturm@minotstateu.edu.

Minot State student Lauren Cowden, one of several students to attend multiple sessions this semester, has had an amazing experience so far.

“The leadership workshops are an opportunity to build leadership skills, make new friends, and increase your productivity,” Cowden said. “The best part is they’re free. Jim (Strum, who runs the sessions) takes pride in keeping each session under an hour in consideration of our busy schedules.”

Along with hosting the workshops, students can earn virtual badges by attending specific sessions, which can be placed on resumes to show potential employers specific leadership strengths. For example, the Personal Leadership Badge is given to students who attend five specific sessions: The Power of Positivity: Why Attitude Matters; Building Mental Toughness; Don’t Panic — Stress Management Basics; What Matters Most — The Anti-Time Management Workshop; and Ethics. Students can also achieve two other badges 一 the Collaboration Badge and Problem-Solving Badge.

The Collaboration Badge is earned by attending Working with Teams; Ignite the Flame — Motivation Tips for Leaders; Professional Communication; Leading Meetings; and Team Goal Setting. The Problem Solving Badge is achieved through attending Conflict Management and Confrontation; Decision Making; Preventing Burnout; Working with Difficult People; and Bouncing Back: How to Recover When You Have Messed Up.

During their time at Minot State, students can opt to earn a certificate or concentration in Leadership Studies through the Looyenga Leadership Center. Both the leadership certificate and the concentration are made up from three Leadership courses: LEAD 101: Introduction to Leadership, LEAD 102: Collaborative Leadership, and LEAD 103: Experiences in Leadership. To earn a concentration, students choose one additional course from a list of six classes.

These programs focus on personal leadership development as well as leadership processes within group, organizational, and community contexts. This ultimately will help students like Cowden in their future endeavors.

“I am so thankful for the insight, experience, and support Jim has offered us thus far and encourage everyone to take advantage of this free and incredible opportunity,” Cowden said.

In a 2004 study, two researchers, Jay Conger and Douglas Ready, found that nearly 75% of businesses and professional organizations focus on competencies when recruiting new hires and evaluating current employees, according to the Minot State leadership website.

Made possible through the generosity of Roger and Ann Looyenga, the Looyenga Leadership Center offers a comprehensive array of programs and services to help build students’ leadership competencies.

“We all have the ability to be leaders; however, leadership skills need to be developed and honed,” Roger Looyenga said.

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