Learning from the Robe Leadership Institute

Colton Moran

Colton Moran,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 20 October 2013 – This Fall, I was selected–along with a handful of other ambassadors as well as a few other Russ College students–to participate in a program at Ohio University called The Robe Leadership Institute (RLI). I heard about this class my freshman year and I had always been interested in participating in it.

This year (My Senior year) I am participating and I must say it has been an eye-opening experience. The class consists of reading material (4-6 books), interviewing academic and corporate leaders, and a heavy amount of group discussion and self-reflection. All of this is gauged towards understanding leadership concepts and principles.

Before I came into this class, I felt that I had a solid grip on leadership due to my personal experiences throughout school organizations and group work along with a small amount of personal reading, but I’ve realized that’s far from the truth. The RLI class has led me to a lot of realizations about being a leader in terms of directing large groups of people, but also about being an everyday leader. The latter so far has been the most helpful and in my eyes, important.

In the class, we spent time doing a low ropes challenge course (the counterpart to a high ropes challenge course other ambassadors and I participated in). During this course I found something out about myself that I already knew, but didn’t think much about. I like to talk, a lot. But sometimes it’s best to sit back and listen for a while rather than direct the conversation. I must say I decided to implement that little lesson and I quite enjoy the results I have seen from it.

In all, what I have learned from not only this class, but every leadership experience I have had, is there is always room to improve your skills. Knowing that is the first trick, and the second is actively putting yourself in a position to lead and in each opportunity trying to do a little better than last time. Who knows, all those small improvements might make you out to be quite the impressive leader. I know that’s what I am shooting for and that is why I have enjoyed the RLI class I am taking this fall semester.

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