The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Golden Key holds leadership training

Thirteen schools represented

Forty-nine newly elected Golden Key officers representing 13 schools from Texas and Oklahoma, collectively, underwent a 12-hour leadership training conference on campus Saturday. Leadership training highlight events included keynote speakers Jim Caswell, director of student affairs, and Carol Clyde, director of leadership and community involvement and three developmental workshops, one presented by the Hegi Career Center.

Golden Key is an internationally recognized honor society that selects its members from juniors and seniors in the top 15 percent of the student body.

Caswell opened the conference with a detailed definition of leadership and words of advice for new officers.

“Leadership is a process of influencing a person or group towards achieving a common goal,’ Caswell said.

But before you can lead others, Caswell said, you must assess your strengths and weaknesses.

Next, Caswell discussed transformational leadership, which he defined as a leader’s ability to relate to his/her followers by considering their positions and needs. Bush’s new plan to reform social security entails taking a portion of one’s paychecks and investing it into stock funds or mutual funds. The challenge for Bush is how he will use his transformative leadership to implement his proposal, Caswell said.

Good leaders modify activities or change them to meet the norm.

“The norm has rules in place and good leadership involves finding a way to implement those rules effectively within your chapter,” Caswell said. “When you go back to campus, think about your chapter’s goals in relation to Golden Key. Do they reflect the national vision?”

In conclusion, Caswell stressed one important obligation current leaders have to their organization.

“Start thinking about potential leaders within your chapter and begin mentoring them, he said. “Mentoring is the best way to ensure the legacy of Golden Key at your university continues” Caswell said.

Clyde spoke during lunch in the Umphrey Lee Ballroom and Rose Ibrahim, SMU Golden Key chapter president, said she took away with her a new outlook on what it means to be a leader.

“I learned that leadership does not require the leader to be in the spotlight,” Ibrahim said. “It can be a communal effort; upper management working with employees to instill motivation, which ultimately leads to achieving the goal.”

After lunch students participated in two more workshops, bringing the total to three. In the final workshop, three Career Center staff members taught interviewing skills, leadership ethics, advisor’s roundtable and facilitating groups.

Laura Thomas, Meadows advisor, presented “Facilitating Groups,” in which she advised students how to structure and deliver a presentation in front of their peers or a class. “Statistics state that when communicating, our attention is broken down into 55 percent body language, 38 percent voice and seven percent content,” Thomas said. “Therefore, how you present yourself is very important.”

Students then practiced speaking in front of each other.

Ibrahim found the workshops interesting because it gave students the opportunity to interact with each other and at times, share their chapter’s current Golden Key activities.

“This conference was a great networking opportunity,” Ibrahim said.

Officers from the following schools attended the conference: Oklahoma State University, SMU, Sam Houston State University, Texas State University, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, Texas Women’s University, The University of Texas-Pam America, University of Houston, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Oklahoma and University of Texas at San Antonio.

More to Discover