An Energizing Trip!

February 25, 2013

This weekend, I had the chance to travel to Kirksville, Missouri. This is not a place that you just happen upon; you have to really want to go there. We flew into St. Louis and drove three hours to this small town where we joined our Truman State University chapter for their kickoff event. Over a hundred students braved the snow to join us for this event.

Over a hundred students at the Truman State kickoff event.

At our most recent Praxis retreat, one of our mentors, Jake Harriman, challenged us to really think strategically about how we define our role as the leader. He challenged us to keep a running list of the activities that energize us and the ones that deflate us. He showed his list that he kept right in the back of his notebook. While I believe there are some things, like casting vision, that should not be delegated, we should try to bring people around us who are energized by the tasks that deflate us. 

I share that brief tangent because working with college students is so energizing for me, and it is something that will always be part of my role because it gives me incredible joy to see students who serve tirelessly to make an impact on a country they have never been to and for a people that they have never met. Going to encourage college chapters definitely makes the “energize” list for me. Make sure that you build your role around the tasks that:

1. Only you, as the leader, can do.

2. You are BEST at.

3. Energize you.

This Truman State event was my third college event this month, and each campus did a great job in its own respect. However, Truman State really outdid themselves by preparing a traditional Kenyan meal for everyone to enjoy and then taking the students through a recreation of CARE for AIDS centers that they built using cardboard. Each student was given a scenario of a client, and as they progressed through this experience, they learned more about their story. Some clients were chosen to be in the CFA program and others weren’t. Their scenario played out differently depending on that factor.

What an innovative and compelling way for students to experience the impact that HIV/AIDS and our program have on people’s lives. No description I could ever give would paint the same picture that these scenarios did.

What do you need to delegate that is deflating your energy? Are their things that you need to take back on your plate just because they give you life?

The phenomenal leadership team behind this event.

Traditional Kenyan dish, rice pilau. Served with chapati and chai.

CFA center replicas

The volunteer at the health station handing out scenarios to students.