Paying it Forward
On March 5th, 2017, the students in MGMT 174 (Social Psychology of Leadership), designed, lead, and facilitated a leadership development seminar for high school youth. The participants were 75 high school juniors from the Bay Area Boys Team Charity League, a volunteer service organization “dedicated to developing an altruistic spirit in young men through active participation of parents and sons in philanthropic projects in their communities.” The idea behind this classroom project, as Professor Barry Posner explained, “was that if you want to really know something, teach it to others.” At the end of the workshop, 85% of the attendees responded that the seminar enhanced their understanding of leadership.
Management major, senior Samantha Malone, said that developing the seminar was a process, and took some amount of trial and error, and hard work on everyone’s part. She explained,
"We named our workshop POL (Psychology of Leadership) because MGMT 174 is the “Social Psychology of Leadership.” We brainstormed various activities, did some test runs of activities with our friends, organized our schedule, reserved the California Mission Room in the student union, designed t-shirts so we all matched, purchased snacks for the event, and essentially it was our workshop to lead.
"Things went by a lot faster than we thought they would and our classmate serving as MC was really great about modifying activities to make them last longer. Since it was a Sunday afternoon, the weekend before SATs, and some of the students had come from as far as Granite Bay, we tried to keep things moving so the students didn't get bored. We were all very eager.
"Overall, we thought it went well. We learned that you sometimes need backup plans to your backup plans. Another lesson was that students will respond the best when they’re engaged."
Professor Posner noted that the SCU students not only provided a great service to this community but had the opportunity themselves to learn how to productively work together to meet a common objective. The students were in charge of all aspects of this workshop (in fact, he wasn’t even present during it to ensure that they really were responsible for whatever happened). The result, as he often says in his class, is that “leaders turn their followers into leaders.”