Paradigm Shift is at the MAEOPP (Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel) Conference in beautifully brisk Kansas City. MAEOPP represents the TRiO professionals in 10 states!
Come by and see us to learn about all of the trainings and opportunities in 2013.
Founder, Paradigm Shift
The consultants at Experiential Adventure have decided to completely overhaul the company…and we are starting with the name. Let me say from the beginning that I loved the name Experiential Adventure. It makes complete sense to me…but there were certain reasons for changing the name:
1. Experiential is hard to say and even harder to spell.
2. Most people do not know what experiential means…I had to explain it way too often.
3. It made my email really long…and let’s face it…no one likes a long email.
4. It didn’t encompass the three-pronged approach to our consultation needs:
- Train the trainer trainings (say that 3 times fast)
- Interactive keynote presentations
- International Leadership Trips
So…since you now know why we were wanting to change, let’s get to the big name change reveal (in case you didn’t read the title)…Paradigm Shift.
We love the new name. It more easily relates to the clients we serve, and has real-world implications to the type of activities we perform. Please be patient with us as we change over all of our documents, forms, information, and all other things that might be lying around in my car.
Let me know what you think about the new change…the website is now http://www.myparadigmshift.org and my email is now email@example.com, but there is no need to update your emails, we have the old ones going to this new account.
Thanks for your continued support and thanks for helping us achieve our dreams.
Founder, Paradigm Shift
Hey folks…it has been awhile. I’ve missed ya. Sorry for the lack of blog posts (I know all the 10s of you have been missing me!). My lapse of blogs is due to several reasons, some good, some bad.
Reason #1: I love this little girl.
I love spending time with this little girl. She is tons of fun and I get so much joy watching her with Kristin. She has her mother’s easy demeanor, laugh and looks, and she lights up when she sees me everyday! It is hard to spend time writing about leadership and experiential-based activities when I could be hanging out with this little one.
Reason #2: Work has had me hung-up.
I have been incredibly busy at work! I work for a brand new Educational Talent Search grant at NSU-Broken Arrow as a grant coordinator. Basically I help students who desire to pursue a post-secondary education and get them into the college of their choice. My new coworker Lindsey and I have been hop-scotching all across the state recruiting new students, meeting with administrators, and taking students on campus tours. This leaves very little time for me to blog. I have been busy, but when you are doing a job you love, busy is good!
Reason #3: Traveling the world!
I have been traveling all over the US hosting leadership camps, facilitating workshops, and delivering keynote addresses. Momentum is building, and as my good friend and personal assistant Jerrod Murr always says, “Once you get Big Mo rolling…watch out!” I love traveling, I love facilitating and meeting new people, but it makes it hard for me to blog.
Reason #4: 70.3 = busy
I am training for my first Half-Ironman. The race is in September, includes a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile cycle, and a 13.1 mile run. I recently joined the world’s nicest gym and have been pulling some two-a-day workouts. I typically workout before work and on my lunch break just so I can get my body adjusted to this type of training. I love it and look forward to seeing the tangible results of my swimming and weight training (I typically drink 1-2 gallons of water while swimming). It is hard to blog while swimming, but I may try it while cycling, 56 miles is a long way to ride.
Reason #5: I have been as tired as David Ott.
When you are going like I have been going, it is easy to get tired. It is almost as easy to get complacent and lazy as well. I have just been too tired and too lazy to blog. This stops today. I have only a few events coming up, so I plan on updating my blog consistently.
A few things to look out for in the next few weeks:
1. Reflections on my recent trainings.
2. Many pictures of Sweet Baby Jane and hilarious stories of her jovial antics.
3. A list of Twitter-ready quotes. Twitter>Facebook.
4. The latest and greatest videos YouTube has to offer on experiential-based activities.
5. Several book reviews (you know you love ‘em).
6. New (and free) activities to use with your group.
7. An update on my 2012 goals.
8. My thoughts and musing on leadership.
9. Rundowns of my happenings with TRiO, ODSA, SWASAP and ETS (and explanations about TRiO’s fascination with acronyms).
10. My upcoming Leadership Conference in Brazil, and the big news about 2014. (Huge news!)
I’ve missed you. Hopefully you haven’t completely forgotten me. Let’s get reacquainted over the next few weeks. I’ll send out some blog posts, you’ll read them, it will be awesome.
As always, let me know if there is something you want me to blog over. If it isn’t ridiculous (hard to get ridiculous with me), than I will make it happen. Comment below and subscribe if you are feeling frisky.
This activity is for all of my TRiO lovers out there! Do you want an activity to do with high school students who are interested in pursuing a post-secondary education? This is the one for you. As a counselor for Educational Talent Search, I have often caught myself lecturing my students about the different reasons to pick a college. Do they want to go to the University of Texas because of its academic prestige, student life, or because of the location? What about Tulsa Community College, are you going because of price, location, or the admissions criteria? Is one criteria more important that the other? This activity will help guide the students to answering these questions in a fun and interactive way.
Objective: As a group, rank a list of reasons why someone would attend college.
Group Size: You can use this activity with any size group, but to help with ease of communication, try to limit the group size to fifteen. If you have a larger group, separate the group in to several smaller groups, even groups as small as two to three people.
Props: Type of a list of factors that any student would consider when choosing post-secondary education. Place these terms on their own piece of paper. It helps to have each term on their own paper so that the participants can move them around and actually rank them on the floor or table.
Set Up: Simply place the factors on the floor or on a table so each participant can see the different words.
Description: The rules for this activity are very simple, tell the group that they should try to come to a consensus and rank all the college admission factors from most important to least important. This means that they will all agree to the final rankings. It is often hard for the group to come to a consensus, and it is more important that they begin talking about these factors than if they come to an actual consensus. Feel free to put a time-limit on this activity to keep the activity from lasting several hours!
Debrief: Take notes during the activity to some of the things the participants are saying to each other as they rank the college admission factors. Use your experience as a TRiO professional to help guide them after the activity to the most important factors in their own individual college admissions decision.
Variation: Have the participants view the factors and then write their own rankings on a piece of paper. They can then share their list to the group and explain why they ranked them.
College Admission Factors:
Type (Private or Public)
Your Friends Go There
Setting (Urban, Suburban or Rural)
My good friend and brother from another mother, Darrin Ballard, put together this video that encompasses our trip to Cuba last July. Enjoy!
Welcome to 2012! How was your 2011? My 2011 was awesome, and in case you missed it, we welcomed Sweet Baby Jane, I traveled to Cuba, completed The Labor Day Challenge, wrote a book, and of course started Experiential Adventure.
With the sun setting on 2011, I have caught myself dreaming and declaring the upcoming year. So, what does 2012 have in store for me, my family, and Experiential Adventure? What resolutions, goals, and dreams will I aspire to achieve in the next 366 days? (You have an extra day to accomplish your goals this year.)
In the past, I have set entirely too many resolutions to start a new year. There has been considerable research on how to actually follow and keep your new aspirations, and my research year after year tells me I struggle with multiple resolutions. This year I have one resolution:
1. Become more flexible.
Anyone that has ever witnessed me trying to sit on the floor knows I am ridiculously inflexible. Not just inflexible, but pathetically inflexible. It’s not that touching my toes would be nice, but I would jump with joy if I could touch my ankles. I would love to be able to sit on the floor without having to support my back. I do not know when I became inflexible, but I have struggled with it my whole life. I never passed the President’s Fitness Challenge as a kid because I failed the stretching test every year (dominated the run, however). Breaking my hip in high school and a lifetime of never stretching has made things worse over time. Becoming flexible has been a constant resolution on my get-better list, and obviously it hasn’t happened. Now, I am getting older, and it is getting worse.
How I make it happen:
I plan to stretch for a minimum of five minutes per day. I plan to occasionally practice yoga. I plan to stretch after each workout. I will measure my progress by writing on my legs as I start to stretch lower and lower. (Not really..but maybe) Seriously though, I will be happy if I could touch my toes and sit on the floor with ease.
You know what is awesome about goals? Very few people know how to realistically set goals. You may be asking yourself, “why would he say that is awesome?” It is awesome because once you correctly learn to set SMART goals, it is almost as if you are predicting the future. Whaaaaaaa?
If you determine that you will positively, without a doubt, no questions asked make your goals a reality, you are determining the direction your life is headed. Eric Pio says, ”If you know it’s going to happen there’s no need to call it a dream.” Let’s change our mindset about goals. Let’s become SMART about the goals we make for our life. Let’s start directing our future…might as well start today, might as well make 2012 the year.
This year I have many goals, but I am going to highlight my Top 10 goal list…
1. Pay off student loans.
Going to college was one of the smartest decisions I have made in my short life. Some of the decisions I made in college, not so much. I started at NSU in the fall of 2001 as a bright-eyed freshmen with a full scholarship. I graduated 5 years later with a degree, amazing experiences, and nearly $20,000 in student loan debt. What happened you ask? Well, I’d like to blame it on a tough major (pre-physical therapy), my busy fraternity and social lifestyle, girls, or even my professors. However, I was lazy, unmotivated, and ill-prepared for the rigors of collegiate academics. I lost my scholarships and had to pay my own way. Eventually I regained my scholarships, and even attained a master’s degree, but not before I racked up thousands in debt. I do not regret the loans, I did what I needed to survive, but it will sure be nice to not have the $205 payment every month.
How I make it happen:
Kristin and I owe $3,808.26 to student loan debt (Kristin graduated with 151 hours and a 4.0 in four years with no debt at NSU…I hope Jane is like her momma and not her dad!). We typically pay $205 a month to OSLA, but since it is the only debt we have other than our mortgage, we are able to pay more each month. We also plan on placing our entire 2012 federal tax return on the student loans. I expect to be out of student loan debt by March.
2. Save $10,000 for emergency fund.
One of the most influential books I read last year was Dave Ramsey’s “The Total Money Makeover.” It was a eye-opening look at how to handle finances, and I have been following his plan with gazelle-like intensity since I finished the book. Ramsey explains “baby steps” a couple should follow to become debt free, and eventually rich. Step 1 is to save $1,000 for an emergency fund (check). Step 2 is to pay off all debt using the debt snowball (almost check). Step 3 is to save up 3-6 months emergency funds (2012 check). The reason Kristin and I have so little student loan debt now is because we nearly depleted our savings account paying our student loans. We still have the $1,000 emergency fund, but Ramsey suggests using your built up savings to pay off debt to avoid heavy interest payments. So far this has been extremely successful for our family’s finances. After we pay off our student loan debt in March, we will only have our mortgage as debt, and we will be able to place over $1,000 a month into our savings account. This was money we were paying every month into several different types of debt and interest, but now will be freed up to place in savings.
How I make it happen:
Pay off students loans, live a financially responsible lifestyle, make any extra money we can: give plasma, garage sale, etc. I fully anticipate reaching this goal by the end of 2012. (Next baby step for 2013, retirement savings!!!)
3. Facilitate 25 paid EA events.
I started Experiential Adventure in January 2011 as an opportunity to make some money off of one of my hobbies. I truly envisioned it as a means to my dream of traveling with my work. If you know me at all, you know I love to explore the world, regardless of destination or reason. I thought Experiential Adventure would allow me to get paid to travel, meet new people, and hopefully share some of my passion of experiential learning with others who wanted to better reach their students/clients.
I never dreamt that I would have presented events in four states and Cuba in one year. I facilitated at church camps, leadership camps, universities, and at ropes courses. The highlight of Experiential Adventure so far is definitely the Cuba International Leadership Conference, where we worked with 300 Cuban youth leaders to better reach their students.
How I am going to make this happen:
This upcoming year I want to facilitate 25 paid events. I have already booked 10 events for 2012, but my overall goal is 25. I hope to meet my overall EA goal of training trainers, presenting keynote addresses, and facilitating the international trips. I am going to follow-up my leads from exhibiting at SWASAP, and I am going to present in TX, OK, NM, LA and AR.
4. International Leadership Camp
As stated above, I traveled to Cuba in July of 2011 to host the Cuban International Leadership Conference. I have a long-term goal of hosting a leadership conference on 6 continents by 2014. I am currently at 1! We have researched hosting camps in Thailand, Brazil, and Australia in 2012, but it seems certain that our international leadership conference will be in Romania.
How I am going to make this happen:
Jerrod Murr, my personal assistant (inside joke) for Experiential Adventure is gathering the details of this trip as we speak. I am currently in the process of raising funds to make the trip a reality.
5. Project Adventure Training
Project Adventure is an experiential-based non-profit organization based out of the Boston area, and they are by far the Godfather of challenge course facilitating, adventure based programming, and all things awesome. I was fortunate enough to travel to Beverly, MA with NSU ETS in 2007, and this trip specifically ignited my passion for experiential learning and leadership. I have used their initiatives and activities with my students in Educational Talent Search, and with my EA programming.
I need to go back. I need to enhance my skills. I need to meet the facilitators who are the experts in the field. I need to learn what it will take to become an experiential-based expert.
How I am going to make it happen:
I have saved up money and allocated some funds specifically for this training. As of now, the hardest part of making this trip is finding the time. I declare 2012 as Boston or Bust.
6. Read 52 books.
I read about 20 books in 2011. Books of all types and genres covering 100s of years of literature. My favorite book of 2011 was “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield. I also really enjoyed Karl Rohnke’s “On the Edge Games for Youth Leaders,” “Great Expectations” by Dickens, and “Of Mice and Men” by Steinbeck. I am about a quarter of the way through “The Leadership Challenge” by Kouzes and Posner, and I have a stack of books I am very interested in reading.
How I am going to make it happen:
A book a week. This will require steadfast dedication to reading, and I plan to set aside time every day to read. I will read on breaks, listen to audiobooks, and turn off the TV, computer, and iPhone in lieu of a good book. I don’t know if I will accomplish this goal, but I will certainly be better off for trying.
7. Check 12 things off the Bucketlist.
Let’s be clear, I love checking things off my Bucketlist. I am constantly looking for things to add to my list an researching how I can accomplish these tasks. However, 2011 was not a good year for my Bucketlist.The only thing checked off my list was on June 28, when I took my first Yoga class. This year is going to be a different story. I am officially declaring 2012 “The Year of the Bucketlist.” I have a goal of checking 12 items off the list in 12 months.
How I am going to make it happen:
These are the 12 items I am going to try to accomplish. I will work very hard to accomplish one item each month throughout the year.
2. Learn to Legitimately Play a Song on any Musical Instrument
3. Teach someone illiterate to read
4. Write my will
5. Have six-pack abs
6. Create a Family Tree
7. Hit a hole-in-one
8. Go to a nudist colony
9. See Mt. Rushmore
10. Bungy Jump
11. Make a clay pot
12. Be involved in a heist
Of course, if anything ridiculously awesome happens to me that I want to add to my list and check off…I’ll make it happen.
8. Set a World Record.
I think most people want to set a world record. Most people aren’t able to, which is why it is a world record…makes sense doesn’t it?? This past year, I applied to attempt a world record. You can’t just break a record and then call the Guinness people to get your name in the book. One must apply to attempt a record, then get approval to break said record, and then break the record.
I applied to attempt a unique record…”Fastest mile hopped on one-leg.” I heard back from Guinness and got the approval. I have been waiting for the right time to break this record…and I have decided 2012 is the year.
How I am going to make it happen:
I plan to “train” for this event once a week until I feel prepared to actually pursue the record. After I am ready, I will need to find an official timer for the event, and someone to officially measure the course. After these things happen, I simply need to break the record!
9. Get 6-pack abs.
Insert this goal under the self-vanity category. I have been half-way pursuing this goal for several years now (my whole life). I know this a frivolous pursuit, but I tell myself that the reason I want six-pack abs is to prove tom myself that I can do something ridiculously hard. I of course do this to ease my conscience a little.
I have conquered being skinny recently, and it was a challenge. Getting a six-pack takes an unreal amount of dedication and perseverance. You not only need to be physically fit, you must workout consistently, eat well, and stay focused for months. It will literally take me almost all year to accomplish this goal.
How I am going to make it happen:
I have found an effective abs routine that works for me. The problem is it is no fun and very hard. I will complete this exercise 3 times a week. I will also follow the Abs Diet for as long as it takes to get the six-pack. I need to weigh around 185 to have a six-pack, and I currently sit at about 200 lbs.
10. Get back into church.
I recently facilitated activities at the Assembly of God Oklahoma Student Leadership Retreat in Turner Falls. This place holds a special place in my heart, and every time I go back I am flooded with nostalgia. I remember times of Mud Mountain, KP duty, Brandon Nickell and the MG, and of course awesome services in the old outdoor tabernacle. As I walked up the hill to the cafeteria past the concession stand, I thought about how important my church family was to me as a teen. I lived and breathed Muskogee First Assembly. I was there Sundays, Wednesdays, and any other day I could catch a ride to the church. I literally grew up under the pews. I was saved there, baptized there, and even married there.
The fine folks at M1A helped me build the foundation of character I depend upon today, and I am who I am at my core in large part due to my tenure at that church. At some point I stepped away from attending church, not because I didn’t like it, but because it wasn’t convenient. I got busy, I had things to do, and going to a service on Sunday morning to hear someone preach something I had probably already heard did not fit into the schedule.
In the next few months I am going to take Sweet Baby Jane back to M1A to be dedicated. I am going there for the dedication for a couple of reasons, primarily because of my past history and my parents involvement in the church, but partially because I have no where else to go. I am still a Christian, and I still have my core beliefs gained as a youth, but I have no home church. This needs to change in 2012. I know that my baby girl needs the same opportunity to seek in her life. A chance to see if growing up in church is the right thing for her.
How I am going to make it happen:
Kristin and I have already discussed, and every Sunday we are in town we are going to church. We plan on getting involved in a small group. We are currently attending a small group with our good friends the Hahns on Sunday nights, and we plan to keep that up too.
Those are my goals. I hope that you didn’t fall asleep while reading my aspirations. I at least hope you enjoyed the photos. I am going to check in every quarter (every three months for you non-business types). I will update my results and hopefully my successes.
What are your resolutions? What are your goals? Is there anything I left off the list? Is there anyway you can help me achieve my goals? (If you feel so inclined to help, Number 2 would awesome) I challenge you to develop your own resolutions and goals. I challenge you to take control of your future and make your life the life you have always desired. It starts today and continues tomorrow. Take this life one day at a time and 366 days later, it will be 2013 and we can build upon 2012.
Make it happen.
So, in case you have been wondering where my blog posts have been…well, I have been pretty preoccupied with my new baby girl! Jane Erin Eller was born Mon., November 21 at 6:35 pm to two very happy parents (one parent…we won’t say any names…was bawling like a schoolgirl).
We went to the Dr.’s office early Monday morning for Kristin’s 39 week checkup like any other day of the week. We had no idea that this would be the day that changed our family forever. While Dr. Martin was checking Kristin’s dilated level, (gross, btw) she got this very surprised/excited look on her face. She told us that she could feel the bag which should have broken already, that Kristin was having a contraction, and that she was going into labor. She suggested that Kristin and I go across the street to St. Francis and check into the hospital to be monitored for labor. Kristin and I had no idea what that exactly meant, because Kristin was in no pain, her water had not broken yet, and I genuinely think Kristin could have jogged to the hospital that morning.
We checked into the hospital at 10:30 am, and got comfortable in the labor and delivery room. We had called our family members and told them that we might be having a baby in a few hours, but we weren’t sure that it was going to happen. Soon after the nurse came in we asked for some clarification. She confidently told us that we were definitely going to have a baby that day. We both got very excited (Kristin shrieked with joy) and told our family to make their way down to T-Town (My mom also shrieked with joy).
Our family started trickling in from across the three state area, and Kristin was still doing very well. She was not feeling contractions, she was not in any pain, and she was pleasant to be around. This all changed once the Dr. broke her water and the contractions started coming faster and harder. She was such a trooper though, she did not ask for the epidural until she was dilated to a seven, and she did not actually get the epidural until she was dilated to a nine. Almost as soon as she got the epidural she was dilated to a 10 and ready to deliver. At 2:30 pm, Dr. Martin came into the room and was ready to get the pushing on, but found out the Baby Jane was facing the ceiling, and she needed to face the floor. (Who knew?) The process of turning Jane over involved a ton of awkward positions for Kristin for 30 minutes at a time, and she finally turned completely over after about three hours of laying around.
At 6:00, Dr. Martin came into the room and Kristin started pushing. She showed everyone how strong she was, and delivered our baby after about 35 minutes. As soon as Jane came out, Kristin got to hold her and kept saying, “I can’t believe I have my own baby in my own arms.” This is when I started crying (dang it, I said we weren’t going to say any names).
Kristin and I enjoyed a little bit of time just the three of us, then I went out and delivered the good news to the packed waiting room full of my family and friends. It was a very cool moment and I got a ton of hugs and high fives (mostly from Stevo) and then the grandparents were able to go back and see their new grandbaby.
Everything was a blur after than moment. Family came in to visit, Jane was cleaned up and weighed and measured (7 lbs 7 oz, 19.5 inches long), we got a decent amount of sleep that first night, and then we were able to go home the next day. (I drove like a old grandma on the way home…scary stuff).
Since we came home we have continued to have visitors, ate wonderful food, and spent time with family. We overcame a stomach bug that nearly wiped out both sides of my family (Jane did not get the bug), and we are getting into a routine with this new blessing. Kristin is doing great and still strong as a champ. Jane is sleeping and feeding very well, and has gotten two perfect reports from the pediatrician (already taking after her momma).
Expect more pictures as I get them…and I appreciate your support, prayers, congratulations and excitement. She has been every bit as awesome as advertised. I love my Sweet Baby Jane.
Experiential Adventure is very excited to announce that we have written a e-book, Not The Same Name Game Book: Creative Ideas for your Group to Get to Know Each Other Better.
Not The Same Name Book is an essential piece of every facilitator’s book collection! This hands-on book is perfect for any group wanting to get to know each other better.
Add it to your digital library by clicking the “Add to Cart button below!”
Name games are not limited to the ropes course, classroom or birthday parties. Use these simple name games in any situation where a group will be together for an extended period of time.
Use a name game to:
- Introduce students to their new teacher and classmates
- Present new members to a team or organization
- Open up participants in group counseling
- Have fun at a birthday party
- Generate camaraderie within a family or team
- Open up sequencing activities on a ropes course
- Start a meeting or workshop
- Energize participants after lunch or during a long day
- Develop similar interests within a committee
- Create opportunities to meet new people at a conference
- Introduce new students to your youth group
This is not an all-encompassing list; there are so many options that will best fit your group’s needs and size. The best way to use these name games is to try them out! Use them early and often to get a group excited to learn about each other.
Learning and remembering someone’s name is absolutely vital and important to the success of your leadership. We have seen firsthand the results of taking time to allow a group to learn names. The more quickly group members learn the names of other group members the more quickly they will bond and work together.
This will lead to a higher level of success regardless of the type of group you are leading. It is most unlikely that a leader would ever think, “I wish my group knew each other less. I wish they did not know one another’s names.” This idea is, of course, preposterous. So too, is the lack of a strategic plan to encourage stronger group interaction.
Not the Same Name Game will aid that strategic plan. This book will encourage stronger group interaction. We have facilitated these games all across the country and in our international leadership camps. In our realms of leadership, we have seen these name games proven.
We have chosen to use name games early and often in our roles as camp director, small group facilitator, youth pastor, TRiO personnel, and many more. This is a choice we have never regretted. Neither will you.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as we enjoyed writing it, but more importantly, we hope you enjoy facilitating these activities as much as we have. Try out new variations, put your own personality and influence on the activities, and create new stories on how you learned these name games. If you have fun during these name games, your participants will have fun too, regardless of age, gender, position or location. These activities have been tested and approved all across the world, and I hope they bring you the same joy and camaraderie they have brought us!
Ryan & Jerrod
“And so with all things: names were vital and important.” – Algernon H. Blackwood
Well, my Labor Day Challenge is over! It’s been 6 weeks of consistency , perseverance and tons of blogging! I appreciate that so many of you followed along and supported me throughout this endeavor. I learned new things, spent time with family , talked to the masters, swam and rode, attended leadership conferences, supported TRiO, and gave some awesome presentations (and here). I would like to wrap it up by being completely honest on my progress throughout the 42 days by assigning a grade to each activity I was trying to uphold throughout the challenge.
Running – B – I have still ran my long runs and even trotted outside from time to time, but I never got the consistency I desired due to my ever-growing schedule and obligations. I will, however, never stop running, or keep running as long as I can because I know the long-term benefits it has instilled in my life.
Eating Healthy – B – I ate well about 90% of the time during the past 6 weeks. There were days, like my baby shower weekend, where I threw caution to the wind and ate everything in sight. I mostly ate well during my routine and average days, eating lean meats, low-fat dairy, whole grains and my fruits and veggies. Some days I went with my good friends Ben and Ethan to the buffet on campus…that never ended well. I did not track my caloric count as close as I should have, and I know that it is a great way to hold myself accountable.
Praying – A+ – This is a habit that I really wanted to start during the challenge, and I can gladly say that I have kept to it the entire process! I am not an intercessor or prayer warrior, but I am laying the foundation of consistency that is needed in my life.
Going to the Gym – C – This is one area where I started off strong and faltered late. I will be honest, I got busy and tired and just pushed it aside. I need to spend another challenge focusing solely on going to the gym and making it a priority.
Reading my Bible – C – I read my Bible on and off throughout the challenge, but not as much as I had wanted. I was following a daily Bible reading plan which I did not enjoy, and Murr told me to start reading books of the Bible that I enjoyed. I started reading from the New Testament and really enjoyed it, but did not read it as consistently as I should.
Reading Everyday – A+ – I was soaking up any material I could read during the Challenge. I finished several books…”The Success Principles,” “108 Skills of Natural Born Leaders,” “Weird,” and almost finished “Greater than Yourself.” I even listened to several audiobooks. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time reading, and I wish that I could have spent more time reading. I am excited about my future reading and would encourage you to do the same!
Be a Leader – A – I decided to post a leadership quote everyday on Twitter and to work on my leadership qualities, and I am excited to say I did well on this challenge. I had an awesome phone conversation with Dan Rockwell, the Leadership Freak, and it was everything I hoped it would be. I know I have a long way until I become the leader I want to be, but I will work on it everyday until I become the man I want to be. (Follow me on Twitter @ryan_eller_EA)
Spend Time with the Pup – A – I spent time with Lucy nearly everyday, teaching her new tricks and loving on her! She can now get her towel and put it back in her crate when I ask her to! It is very nice to have a dog that cleans up after herself.
Get Organized - A – I created lists, calendars, notebooks and followed through with them until I became more organized. In full disclosure, I am nowhere near as organized as I should be, but I am going to continue to work on it until I am efficient in that area of my life.
Spend Time With Friends – A – I spent more time with my friends during this 42 day challenge than I normally do. I went to the fair with good friends, watched a few OU games with friends, and certainly went on shenanigans with my good friends Ben and Wes. I enjoyed good times at NSU’s Homecoming, went to awesome events with Murr, and met new friends at my leadership conferences. I feel as if I am closer to many of them after this process than before!
Floss – F – If I could give myself and F- in flossing I would. I never got into the habit of flossing and I know I need to start. It does not help that my teeth were falling out, but I really have no excuse, I just did not do this consistently…or much at all.
Sleep – C – I know this is going to make me sound like a baby, but living with a pregnant woman has made my sleeping habits horrible! Even if we go to bed early I have a hard time falling asleep. She is either snoring (loudly) or moving too much for me to sleep! I did work hard on getting to bed early, and there was only about 5-6 nights were I stayed up entirely too late. I guess the only positive to the lack of sleep is that it is training me for when the baby comes!
Dress for Success – A+ – I am still excited about this one! I tried to dress as well as I could everyday, and besides the one day I spent the night at my parents house and left my clothes at home, I did dress as nice as I could everyday! I am not a GQ model, and I do not have the best style, but I made a conscious effort to dress well everyday.
Be Prompt – B – I showed up for work on time nearly everyday! I got busy sometimes or stuck behind a slow driver, but I made it to work on time almost every day the past 6 weeks. I will continue to work on being prompt in my everyday life.
Give Thanks – A – I wrote nearly 40 thank you notes. Sometimes I would need to write a few in a day to catch up and I still have some to send out, but I was pretty consistent on writing a note. I really enjoyed expressing my feelings on paper and letting people know how proud I was of them or how much they meant to me. I hope that it is a habit I continue forever.
Journal – B+ – I journaled almost daily and only had to catch up on my journaling a few times. I am happy with the habit I picked up and I am now excited about journaling for my Sweet Baby Jane.
So…what did I learn throughout this whole process? What advice could I give you about trying to improve your life? I learned that I took on too many challenges at one time. I learned that I don’t have the self-control and discipline I would like to have in my life. At the same time I learned that I am capable of much more than I even know. If I could do it again I would pick 1-3 things to focus solely on for six weeks until I mastered that area, then I would try something else.
A few areas I truly thing are going to remain a habit. Eating healthy, journaling, reading, dressing well and being prompt stuck well. Some areas need 100% of my focus to become a habit…going to the gym, flossing, and reading my Bible are areas I still need to improve upon.
I do think I will keep this type of challenge for the rest of my life. I am going to start over with going to the gym for the next six weeks. I have six weeks until Sweet Baby Jane comes into our lives, and I want to look my best when she comes! I’d hate for her first view of me to be anything but the best.
I challenge you to pick one area that needs some work in your life, or one area that you could improve upon even if it isn’t a weakness, and work for 42 days on your own personal challenge. Work on that skill or lifestyle change until you have mastered it, and then move onto something else. You can do this…make it happen. There is no better time than now and no better person to do it than you. If you would like some accountability feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly help you with your challenge.
One more day down on my Labor Day Challenge and this journey is almost over. This weekend I had a great time, in fact, it may have been the best weekend of the past six-weeks: I attended our two baby showers.
I know what all the men out there are saying, “You went to your baby showers??” Not only did I go to my baby showers, I very much so enjoyed them! I was able to hang out with family and friends, and of course with Kristin and Sweet Baby Jane. We ate cake (I know, not very healthy of me), punch, and even had a cookie and milk bar. These ladies know how to do it right!
Jane got soooooooo much stuff. I don’t think everyone can understand how much we have already. We could change Jane three times a day for the first 9 months and still not use all of her outfits. I know we will eventually run out of diapers, but we have nearly 2,000 by my rough estimation. We got a mattress, crib sheets, books, and so much more.
It is still surreal to me that Kristin and I are having a baby. I don’t know if it will ever hit me that Jane is coming, but having the showers sure helped. The nursery is put together, we have all the supplies, and even a car seat. I am prepared for her arrival, but I do not know if I am ready. I know I will be a good dad, and I know everything will be great, but it is hard for me to even fathom how much change is coming in our lives. I am excited about this change, and I know it will be for the better.
Throughout my entire Labor Day Challenge I have challenged myself to be consistent, try new things, and organize my life. But this whole process is nothing compared to the challenge I am about to face. I am excited, I am prepared, and life is going to be great. I already love her with all my heart, and I look forward to meeting her soon! Being her father will be my greatest challenge, but the most rewarding one too.
Welcome back to the Labor Day Challenge. Throughout this whole process I have tried my best to journal and document my progress and experiences. I decided to journal everyday, and this blog has facilitated this part of my challenge over the past six weeks.
My mom is an exceptional writer (check her out her website), and she challenged me a long time ago to start a blog. She told me that I would enjoy conveying my thoughts and that even if no one read my blog I would start to build confidence in myself and my abilities. I don’t always take her advice, but I did on this one, and she has been right so far!
I have chronicled everyday of my Labor Day Challenge, and it has been a fun experience for me. My readership has gone up, but not by much. A few people have subscribed and even commented, but this process has been mostly about me. I have been trying to grow and develop into a better writer, leader and person. Journaling my process has been influential in my growth, and that is what my Labor Day Challenge is all about.
I challenge you to start writing, either in a journal or on a blog! It is free and easy…here is a video on how to set up a wordpress blog.
Welcome back to my Labor Day Challenge, 38 days in and things are great! Today I went to OKC to the Oklahoma Division of Student Assistance Executive Board meeting. ODSA is the state organization for all the TRiO programs in OK, which governs the Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound, Student Support Services, Educational Opportunity Centers and McNair Scholars Programs. The TRiO programs serve over 25,000 students in Oklahoma alone, and over 800,000 students nationally. There are nearly 3 million TRiO alumni across the nation, and most of them have moved on to become undeniably successful individuals.
TRiO programs are targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs. TRiO works and is important to the development and structure of the United State’s future.
ODSA’s vision is to promote and preserve the TRiO programs in Oklahoma, and I am very excited to be able to sit on this board. We discussed the different state initiatives, conferences and workshops upcoming for our membership, and delved into the opportunities which await our students.
I believe in TRiO, and I encourage you to support TRiO too. If you know of any students who would benefit from these services, find a TRiO program near you and encourage them to sign up! Challenge young people and old people alike to use all the services they can to follow their dreams. TRiO works!
On to day 37 of the Labor Day Challenge, and I can see the end of the tunnel! I wanted to challenge myself in many areas, and one area that needed improvement was our financial budget.
I am married to a CPA. She is so much smarter than me when it comes to money and numbers and finances…well most areas, but especially our budget. So, when I told her I would like to create a monthly budget to follow she was very excited. Unless you are an accountant or married to an accountant you can not understand the excitement a CPA can get when talking about creating budgets and spreadsheets. I was also excited because I just had finished reading the “Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey and was ready to take complete control of our spending.
We are fortunate to make more money than we spend and to only have debt with our house and student loans. It makes it easier for us to budget and gives us the flexibility to quickly pay off debt. We now sit down at the first of each month and agree upon a proposed budget, plan to spend our entire income (whether that be for debt or savings or for entertainment), and plan for surprise expenses. We looked at what we had spent our money on in the previous months and made an educated guess on all of our budget expectations.
We have not stuck 100% to our budget, mostly because we are still trying to figure it all out, but this has been an incredible process for our family. Talking about money once a month for an hour has been much more pleasant that talking about it several times a month for short periods of time. Since we agreed early in the month where are finances are going we have been positive and agreeable about money and spending throughout the month. We both know where our money is going and how much is being spent, and our communication has been better. Amazing how that works, huh?
This is certainly a habit I will stick with for the rest of my life. I know not all of my challenges this past six weeks will stick, but budgeting will.
I challenge you to start taking ownership of your money and spending. Read Ramsey’s book as a reference on how to start, it should only take you a few days and will completely alter your mindset on money. Talk to your family about the things you spend money on and come to an agreement about your budget.
Money is a main source of stress for most people, don’t allow it to be a stressor for you. I know you can do it.
Welcome back to the Labor Day Challenge. I don’t know how many people are still reading, and if you are even engaged, but I have really enjoyed giving you an insight into my life, and I have certainly been challenged. This weekend was NSU’s homecoming weekend, and it is always a great time.
The festivities started Friday with the annual golf tournament, which I usually participate in, but I was forced to miss it because of the awesome Ozarka Leadership Conference. When I arrived to Tahlequah at 7 p.m., my old friends from college were waiting for me and ready to get the weekend started. I went with my father to the Come Home to the Dome festivities, and was able to see many old friends and colleagues. I saw my first little brother from my days as a Lambda Chi, Scott Weartherman, who had been traveling all over Europe for the past six weeks. I saw many of the people who have challenged me to be the best person I could be, and I was grateful for the opportunity.
During my Labor Day Challenge I have spent a ton of time working on things I need to improve upon in my life. On area I wanted to improve upon was my relationships with those who have supported me over the years, and NSU’s Homecoming was a great opportunity for me to do just that.
This Thursday night Jerrod Murr and I traveled to the great state of Arkansas to present as keynote speakers at the Ozarka College Student Leadership Conference. It was amazing. I do not think I could emphasize enough how well this event went, and how much fun we had during the presentation.
Jerrod and I started out on our way to Melbourne, AR at about 7 p.m., considerably later than our planned departure of 5 p.m. I had been looking forward to meeting up with Murr to discuss the Labor Day Challenge, our opportunities with Experiential Adventure, and our events with Believing in a Better Way. As discussed in the car, Murr is my third favorite person to road trip with, after Kristin and my dad. We get lost in conversations of our vision, goals and dreams. It is often hard for us to pay attention to the directions because we are so entangled in our conversations. This happened several times on the long trip through Arkansas.
If you have ever traveled in Arkansas, you know that there is only one straight, flat road in the entire state – I-40. Since we weren’t traveling to Little Rock or Memphis, we took the curvy roads from Tahlequah, OK to Fayetteville, then east-bound on 412 through Harrison all the way to Melbourne. Highway 412 is a collaboration of highways in Arkansas, and it will often travel the same route as 3,4 or even 5 other highways.
It is very easy to get turned around on these curvy roads, especially in the dark of night and especially when in deep conversation. Murr and I talked so much that we more than once had to stop and make sure we were on the right path. Regardless, we made it into the beautiful town of Melbourne at about 2 a.m. and checked into our romantic bed and breakfast, the only lodging in town.
After a quick breakfast and shower, we headed to Ozarka College to meet up with Deltha Shell, the director of Student Support Services. Deltha has been a champion of our services and even had us come and speak at her Student Leadership Conference last Spring. I was fired up because I get many opportunities to facilitate groups and lead workshops, but rarely do I get the chance to be a keynote.
We presented about momentum, and how students could use their momentum to achieve their goals and enhance their vision. Despite a slow start, the presentation went extremely well, and was by far the most well-received presentation I have ever given.
During my Labor Day Challenge I wanted to expand my business with Experiential Adventure, and this was a huge step in that direction. Murr and I left inspired and uplifted about our futures, both together and separately. After presenting at this event, I am even more sure now about my future and my decision to pursue my passion.
What are you doing to pursue your passion? Is there an area of your life you would love to follow but are too scared to get there? I challenge you to start heading in that direction, it is never too late.
I am rolling through another week of the Labor Day Challenge! This week I followed the advice from the book I just finished, “The Success Principles” and contacted someone who is currently achieving the success I aspire to someday have. I follow a man named Dan Rockwell on Twitter (so do over 75,000 other people) who goes by the Twitter name of Leadershipfreak. Mr. Rockwell is a man of many talents. He serves as a pastor, writes a uber-successful blog, travels the world as a leadership consultant, and is obviously a Tweeting expert.
I decided to step out on a limb and contact him and asked if we could talk. He promptly replied to me and we set up an appointment for a phone conference. I was so excited! I had so many questions to ask and so many ideas I wanted to discuss. Mr. Rockwell called exactly when he said he would, and we spoke for nearly an hour. We talked about our dreams and vision, our goals and ambitions. We talked about what my future entailed and what his future entailed. Our conversation was very uplifting and inspirational for me, and I hope that he felt the same way.
He told me a story of the time he interviewed Jack Welch, the guru of corporate leadership and former CEO of General Electric. He told Mr. Welch that he was one of the 1.5 million people who followed him on Twitter, and asked if Mr. Welch would follow him back. Mr. Rockwell played it off as a pipe dream, but now the Leadershipfreak is one of the 29 people Jack Welch follows on Twitter. All he did was ask, if Jack Welch would have said no or played it off as a joke, Mr. Rockwell would be no worse off than before he asked. However, he did ask, and Jack Welch did follow him, and there is no doubt that has played into his success.
I challenge you all to ask someone you want to emulate for some advice. The worst that could happen is they would say no, and the best that could happen is what happened to me…you could hang up the phone inspired, grateful, and more motivated than ever. I challenge you to contact someone you look up to today, you have nothing to lose.
Who would you love to have a conversation with if you could? Have you tried reaching out to them? What’s the worst that could happen?
Welcome back! I am so excited, I just finished “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield! If you have been reading this consistently, you know I have been raving about this book throughout the entire Labor Day Challenge.
I literally feel as if this book has altered my outlook on life. Canfield is an extremely successful person as a motivational speaker, author, radio host, entrepreneur, coach and trainer. He is best known as the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, which currently has nearly 200 titles and 112 million copies in print in over 40 languages.
Starting with chapter one Canfield gives you the tools and advice necessary to be successful. He tells you to take 100% ownership of your life and to stop making excuses, he shows you how to declare a vision and set goals, and how to create relationships that benefit your success. I have never read a book and immediately wanted to reread it, but “The Success Principles” kept me captivated, motivated and inspired. After reading this book, I truly feel I could do whatever I wanted in life.
I have been known to say that every person should do a few things…have a list of goals, have a bucketlist, and run a marathon. I now tell everyone I see they need to read “The Success Principles.” If you have a desire to be successful, if you want to do more in life, if you want to break the status quo…read this book. I vouch for it 100%.
Have you ever read a book that changed your life? Is there any books you think I should read? Let me know!
This has been a great weekend for my Labor Day Challenge. Friday I spent time with my TRiO folks at the ODSA Fall Summit and even got to listen to the masterful Jerrod Murr deliver a rousing speech to motivate our membership. Yesterday I ran with the awesome Fleet Feet group, and then watched OU dominate Texas in the Red River Rivalry. I was even able to spend the evening with the wonderful Kristin and Lucy the Pup. This morning Kristin was at Just Between Friends, basically a resale convention for mothers. She loaded up with a car seat, stroller, two bases, a high chair and several Dr. Seuss books! So excited!
Since she was busy, and the weather is so nice outside, I decided to air up the tires on my bike, strap on my cycling outfit (it is really tight…don’t worry, I won’t load any pics), and take a nice Sunday afternoon ride. I didn’t have a route to ride or anyone to push me along, but I thought it would be nice to just see the area on my bike. If you get right outside of Broken Arrow, the area becomes beautiful, and is a perfect place to ride or run.
I got my bike in July for my birthday, and have been wanting to ride much more than I actually have. One reason for my Labor Day Challenge was to force myself to do the things I had been putting off, the things I had wanted to do, but hadn’t actually done. I had been lazy, there have been multiple chances for me to ride, but I haven’t. Today was the day! I was not doing anything productive (unless sitting on the couch updating Twitter is productive). I took a few steps out the front door, got on the bike and pedaled away! I went through the neighborhood, onto the main side streets in Broken Arrow, and then after about 4 miles, I was all by myself on the back roads of Wagoner County.
Let me assure you of one thing, I do not like being alone. I am well-known on my campus for asking people to walk around with me during my errands, or even to my car from the office to grab my wallet. My student workers make fun of me, and my good friends know to go with me without asking. However, this ride was nice. After my initial panic of being alone, I was able to clear my mind and really think about my life. There are so many changes happening right now. My wife is pregnant with our first child, and if that wasn’t enough, I am switching campuses to NSU Broken Arrow after being in Tahlequah for 10 years. I will serve all new schools and all new students. To add to that, my family is growing and my career goals are shifting. Life is always changing and I haven’t wanted to think about it, but on my ride I was able to think through some issues and feel refreshed and refocused.
I only went 12 miles, which was long enough to make my legs feel like Jell-O and my heart rate rise! I hope to ride again soon, and even get good enough to compete in a sprint triathlon or even a half triathlon. I am rejuvenated and excited about my future, all because I got off the couch and did something I’ve been putting off. That is what my Labor Day Challenge is all about.
What have you been putting off that you need to do? It can even be a small thing, like cleaning the garage or calling a family member. Take the initiative to get that thing out of the way, and I promise you will feel great!
Welcome back to my Labor Day Challenge. Friday I went to the ODSA Fall Summit. This was a great opportunity for TRiO personnel in Oklahoma to meet together and discuss the state of our association and programs. I’ll be honest, things are tough in TRiO right now, especially in OK. We serve tens of thousands of students in the state, students who need our services. These students are the first in their family to go to college, they are low-income, and they more often than not a minority, working part or full-time, living with someone other than their parents or on their own. We have high school students who are homeless, college students who try to support their family while being in school, and students who need tutoring and advice just to get their college degree.
Last week we found out that some of our most prominent programs lost their funding, and it is very hard. Not only did our colleagues lose their job, but over 1,000 students lost a support system that would help them achieve their dreams. President Obama and congress have decided to either cut funding or provide level-funding for our programs, even though most in congress admit we must get kids into college. They are cutting off their nose to spite their face. Things are tough, but we will survive.
Jerrod Murr, founder of Believing in a Better Way, delivered a passionate and inspiring speech to the association, telling us how to find motivation in our everyday life. He said that we are the “facilitators of dreams.” He told us that we are the ones who create change in our students lives, we are the constant voice of support that helps them move forward in life. After his speech I was ready to go meet with some of my students to help them achieve their dreams.
I am impressed by our leadership in ODSA. Scott Cady, our president, is strong and fair, and continues to stand up in the face of adversity to lead our association. The members of our programs are passionate and motivated to help our students create a change of culture in their families. I am inspired by my colleagues, men and women who do whatever it takes to help their students. I am excited about the future of ODSA and TRiO, I know we will not be defeated, we will not be silent, and we will triumph. TRiO Works.
Last night I did not blog, mostly because I was hosting a workshop with the Association of Black Collegians at NSU. As a part of my Labor Day Challenge, I inspired to be a keynote speaker! I know being a keynote for NSU ABC was not speaking at the White House, but it was an amazing opportunity and I am so glad I was invited.
We started off the event with dinner on campus, where I met with the leaders of the group, who inspired me in so many ways. These students are goal-driven, intelligent, passionate and fun-loving. We discussed our dreams and goals, and I was fired up! We started the workshop discussing communication, leadership, and professionalism. Below is my prezi for the workshop:
I was really excited about this workshop. I felt it would be a challenge professionally, culturally and personally. Although I talk in front of a crowd all the time, I rarely get an opportunity to be a keynote presenter. I am very skilled in experiential education, but not a polished speaker. I left the evening enthused, excited and full of hope. I know this is the life I will lead, I am going to take whatever steps it takes for me to pursue my dreams. Thanks for facilitating that for me ABC.
Tonight I spent part of my Labor Day Challenge walking my favorite pup, Lucy. I love Lucy! She is a two-year-old golden retriever, and I think she is the sweetest thing God ever created. She literally smiles and has been an absolute joy to Kristin and I. We brought her home when she was just 8 weeks old and a pile of fur!
She is so smart, and she loves to learn. She can fetch, sit, stay, roll over, lay down, balance things on her nose, put up her toys, get in her crate and so much more. When we go into the living room to eat (don’t judge us), she just goes patiently in her crate and waits for us to be done! We don’t even have to ask her. She loves us more than anything in the world, until she meets a new person. The only real problem we have with her is that she gets too excited when she meets new people and wags her tail too hard when we wake up in the morning.
I know we need to spend some time with her because a new joy is being added to our family, and Lucy pup is going to have to take a back seat for a while. She will spend more time outside, be ignored at times, and not walked as often. I know that she will be sad and wish to be with us, but I know she will be a good older sister to sweet baby Jane!
I wanted to love on her more before time got away from us, and I hope she enjoyed it as much as I did. I know it sounds silly to treat a pup like a family member, but if you knew Lucy like I did, you would love her too!
This past weekend at the SWASAP SLC, I met Juan. Let me rephrase that, I met Juan again! Juan is a student at Weatherford Upward Bound at Weatherford Community College in Weatherford, TX. (That sentence gets an award for most uses of the word Weatherford) Juan is an outstanding young man, one with character, values, and strong leadership skills. Of everyone I met at SWASAP SLC, Juan had the most refined set of leadership skills. He was patient, kind, thoughtful, respectful, and easy-going. He was never over-bearing, he spoke with authority, and he was eager to learn.
This is what Juan wrote on my Facebook wall after camp:
As you can tell, Juan wants to be a lawyer. He plans on attending Baylor University and is working on becoming a better student and a better leader. Here is his scholarship-winning essay he wrote about leadership which was posted with his permission. I am proud of you Juan and I will believe in you no matter where you go.
Everyone is a leader whether they realize it or not, but what distinguishes a good leader from an average leader are five very important qualities: trustworthiness, communication skills, respect, determination and responsibility. There are all qualities that I feel I display, and this is why I feel they are important.
One of the first things that a leader needs is to be trustworthy. Trustworthiness is very important because if the people who need leadership can’t trust their leader then the project will fail. The next thing a leader needs to have is great communication skills. One reason people are unable to communicate and feel left out is because the leader can’t or won’t share his or her ideas. Being respectful is the third characteristics that any great leader should have. If a leader doesn’t respect the people that he or she is leading their followers will not cooperate with them. A leader must give respect in order to receive the respect that he or she feels they deserve.
Determination is a must and it must shine through as a good leader. The reason that determination is so important is because if the leader is not determined to accomplish the task at hand, then he or she is setting a terrible example for the rest of the people in their group. The fifth characteristic that a leader should have is responsibility. They must be responsible because there is a date that something is due and someone must take charge. Therefore the person that takes charge of the task is the one that is responsible for the outcome of the task.
These are things that good leaders should have, but are not the only qualities that they need to possess. I don’t consider myself a great leader like Dr. Martin Luther King or George Washington, but I do believe that I am a good leader. Every time I have been given the opportunity, I have risen to action. One of these times was in my math class, I was put in a group of five, and we had five days to finish the project and very little class time to work on it. My group didn’t work the first two days, and there wasn’t really any communication between anyone. So I began to work on the project and assigned everyone a part in the project so that no one would feel left out. On the fifth day, I took it all home to put in order and turned it into the teacher. We ended up getting the best grade in the class.
I think these five qualities make a great leader, and I hope that one day I can be considered on as I continue to reach for my goals and learn more about leadership.
Juan, you are a great leader, and I look forward to seeing great things from you!