Connections Conference [Reflection]

Destination: Great Wolf Lodge, Traverse City, Michigan

Attendees: LAS fam jam + fellow leaders of CMU

What did we do? We packed our bags, hopped on a bus and headed north. Connections Conference 2014 – Built to last. Filled with various seminars and food and a Magic Show by our very own Trino. Here’s an inside look at my time at Connections:

10683532_598869800219795_8554136542407854144_o[gals from LAS – dressed fancy for dinner]

GET INSIDE THE BOX: This activity facilitated by Steely Pegg and Taylor Gehrcke taught me that according to the Myers-Briggs (personality) type indicator (MBTI) test I am an ENFP. I am an Extrovert – I am comfortable in crowds of people. I make friends easily and thrive my energy from that. I also however throughly enjoy my time of solitude, to stabilize myself and grow closer to myself. I am iNtuitive.  I can change the world with just one idea. I use more than just my five senses, and therefore know something exists without physical evidence. I make decisions based off of Feeling. In a situation I rely more on what feels to be right in that situation rather than what may be consciously right for situations across the board. I live my life based off Perceiving. I am free spirited and can act on a whim. Spontaneous adventures are near and dear to my heart. Knowing my personality type gives me a greater appreciation of how I work with other personality types and how to create harmony while doing so. [Mckenzie and I being our extrovert selves]


LEADERSHIP THROUGH THE EYES OF DISNEY: Steely Pegg took us back to our childhood roots, but challenged us too look at them in a different light. What specific characteristics and values do our favorite Disney characters have that we want to have in ourselves? “Leadership is a process, not a position.” Knowing that, we are able to adapt ourselves with certain values that we wish leaders to have, and we will become those leaders to best provide for ourselves and others wants and needs.


EAT THAT FROG: Harley Blake dove us head first into exploring the art of getting tough things done. Mark Twain once said, “Eat a live frog every morning and nothing worse will happen to youth rest of the day.” Mr. Blake taught us how to effectively manage our time and prioritize. He told us to make appointments with ourselves, and don’t skip out on them! He gave us the analogy where there were five birds sitting on a wire. Three decide to fly South. How many birds are still on the wire? Five, because that is the art of procrastination. He challenged us to stop making pity excuses and simply get things done.

KILLING CREATIVITY: Facilitated by Bo Parker and his wife Carolyn, we weren’t killing creativity, but rather gaining a better understanding of it’s role within leadership. There are certain types of people that can come up with brilliant ideas, ideas that are revolutionary or never thought of, and there are others who have trouble doing so. The 5 takeaways from this were:

1. Establish creativity partnerships – an outside perspective helps

2. Cite your sources – using your resources is not against the rules! Just be sure to give credit where credit is due.

3. Loosen your grip on sacred cows – just because something isn’t done your way doesn’t mean it’s not going to get done or the best way possible.

4. Wander aimlessly – sometimes allowing yourself to think with no set destination leads you to paths you will find are worth traveling

5. Experiment with ideas – the thing about creativity is that nobody can tell you that you are wrong. Time laps photography is something that I find interesting.

[doodle drawn during/inspired by their presentation]


2 HYDROGEN 1 OXYGEN: Our free time was spent setting free our tied up inner child. From water slides to squirt guns and giant tipping buckets, the water park was wet n’ wild and absoloutely wonderful. This time of freedom allowed us to strengthen relationships through laughter and fun.

[group of LAS fam while in the water park]


OHANA MEANS FAMILY: This trip grew us together and stronger as a family. Although tensions were high at times, as the group of leaders we are, we were able to work through it. Effective communication and ideas for improvement allowed us to grow into the strongest and closest we have been as a cohort. We continue to challenge ourselves to better meet individuals alike us, and different than us. We learned to utilize our resources of each other. To connect, use someone else’s assets to better help you, and hopefully they in return can do the same.


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