On Monday evening, Executive Director of Ignited Leadership Jason Connell spoke to students about leadership, the “matrix” of forces that disconnect individuals from society and ways to improve the world.
“The way that you build a better world, and I really specifically mean you, is by becoming a good leader,” Connell said during his speech. “A good leader is someone who proactively improves the quality of life on earth.”
Although Connell told personal anecdotes throughout his speech, his main focus was on the audience.
“My promise is that you will walk out of this talk with a crystal clear understanding of how to become a good leader,” Connell told the students at the beginning of his lecture.
Connell asked students to think about the rhetorical questions he posed and he gave them the chance to write down a plan for a goal they wish to achieve.
He believes people’s busy lives have caused them to become disconnected from themselves and thus disconnected from others. Yet connection is at the “absolute heart” of leadership, he said.
Connell outlined six steps to becoming a better leader. These are to take yourself on a date, ignore the impossible, own your vision, make a map, act and reject failure. Of these, he said one of the most important steps is take yourself on a date. This is when people spend time alone, allowing them to reconnect with themselves and determine their goals based on what makes them happy. The other most essential step is to reject failure, he said. According to Connell, people must keep trying to achieve their dreams and never accept defeat.
“I thought it was a really good idea to take yourself on a date and think about your goals and dreams,” freshman Mandie Caulfield said. “It was a really imaginative idea.”
Graduate student Erin Webster also found Connell’s steps helpful.
“I am in the process of looking for a job so I really liked how he told us how to get some action steps and how to take our vision and to plan it into a map,” Webster said.
The event, sponsored by the Student Center and Campus Life, was originally part of a day-long leadership conference that was canceled in November due to Hurricane Sandy, Associate Director of Student Center and Campus Life Stefano Fasulo said. To honor previously planned events, the Student Center and Campus Life decided not to move the entire conference to the spring semester. However, Fasulo said it was still important to have Connell speak.
“We know that a lot of our students are involved on campus,” he said. “This is just another opportunity that we could give to the Quinnipiac community.”
Anyone was allowed to come to this event, Fasulo said, not just the people who had signed up for the conference.
This meant that a graduate student like Webster could attend.
“I consider myself a natural leader, but I figured that any advice or input is always helpful,” Webster said. “I am glad I came. It was pretty informative.”