Changing the World
by Adam Goodwin | 2013 | Last Updated: December 10, 2013
As a student affairs professional in the United Kingdom, I work on many initiatives and programs for university students that take place outside the formal academic classroom. One area student affairs professionals focus on, and this is pretty congruent around many universities, is leadership development.
Why? Leadership is about using relationships to elicit change. More specifically, leadership is about the process of developing strong and grounded relationships with other individuals, groups, and communities, to work on the day-to-day process of changing things. These things may be policies, services, ideas, laws, social justice issues, and the list continues.
Why should students, many 17-19 years old when they enter the world of higher education, care about this change? If you read any articles or books, or speak with individuals who consider themselves to be happy and/or successful, they have an outlook on life that focuses on serving others. Leadership development helps students to look outward, instead of inward. While helping students transform an outlook that is beyond just themselves, it gives them the skills to find parts of the world that do not make them happy, and try to go about eliciting social change to fix (or start of the process of fixing).
Changing the World
When many speak about changing the world or ask, how to change the world, too many focus on the end result. As if changing the world will end in some utopia. Changing the world is an on-going and never-ending process. It has nothing, or very little, to do about creating or shaping some sort of utopian world. It is about identifying something that does not align with values/beliefs/opinions and attempting and going through the process of trying to change this.
We must focus on helping students understand the process of changing the world, and trying to create a utopian world. This will be a large challenge, to get someone thinking about process rather than results. If we can achieve this, thought, it will have many benefits to society and the planet.
A Call To Action
I greatly enjoy reading and learning about other individual’s ideas and thoughts about leadership. Please share yours by commenting below!
Based on reading this blog post, you may also be interested in: Nelson Mandela.
These are one person’s thoughts and opinions. I welcome and strive to get your feedback and own thoughts. Feel free to comment below or connect with me via social media.
Adam Goodwin is a Canadian working in the United Kingdom, and is a proud shameless idealist. His parents currently work in Cairo, Egypt. He has siblings and distant family in Canada and around the rainbow nation’s only home. Follow his year+ overseas on Twitter (@adam13goodwin) and on this blog