Graboys Leadership Symposium

The fifth annual Graboys Leadership Symposium takes place on October 27 and 28, organized by Tabor faculty, Chris Millette, the organizer of the inaugural symposium five years ago.

Millette loves the topic of leadership and has spent much of his time at Tabor perfecting the training of student proctors to be strong leaders for their peers in the dorms. Last year, he spent time working with team captains as well as other student service groups that help to acclimate new students to Tabor. Finally, he hosts a regular Ted Talk Tuesday luncheon to help bring great talks about leadership, motivation, and other health and wellness topics to Tabor students.

As Millette began to think about taking on the symposium again this year, he thought about the diverse strengths people have but often don’t realize. He said, “It has been so helpful to participate in some of the professional development opportunities open to me at Tabor,” sharing about the leadership courses he has taken to learn about his authentic self and how he is wired. During the symposium, he hopes to induce similar reflection and self-awareness around students’ concept of themselves as they learn how their individual personality styles might affect how they lead and contribute to groups.

Earlier this year, Millette asked students to take the simple but eye-opening DISC Assessment Test. The test classifies one into four effective leadership styles: Dominant, Influential, Steady and Conscientious. ( Each person is given a rating on each of these styles with the unique combination of percentages creating a personalized guide to one’s natural strengths. “It is fun, and I was amazed how accurately my results portrayed me,” said Millette.

After the students learn more about their style by reading and absorbing their profile, Tim Sullivan, an executive coach who works to help people become better leaders, will speak on Friday evening to kick off the symposium, On Saturday morning, the students will divide into small groups that represent each of the four styles. Alternating between activities and discussion groups that will illuminate the strengths and weaknesses of each style, students will learn what motivates people of their predominant style and how they can best apply their strengths to get things done. Students will also learn to identify the other styles so that they might improve their interactions with others and better understand how to motivate others on their teams. The activities planned will illustrate the predominant traits through frustrating, but fun tasks that will rely on students working together to accomplish them. It should all come together in a fun and informative day.

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