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Pen and Ink Possibilities:So you wanna be a leader?

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By Kirsten Laskey

The world loomed large and tall. From my perch, the crowd below me looked small and distant. I lifted my hands and fell.

This was the final act of a two-day orientation, which kicked off this year’s Leadership Los Alamos program. The class of 25 students, including myself, clumped together around a ladder and one-by-one, each of us climbed onto the ladder, leaned back and fell into a nest of hands. This was just one of several exercises we participated in to crank our teamwork skills into gear.

We placed our feet onto strips of fabric and grabbed onto hand straps to become an odd-looking chain gang. We all shuffled one foot and then the other. We were blindfolded to form a square with a piece of rope, hopped around on a rug with gray squares to avoid the spots that released a soft beeping noise and hoisted each other up to move through a set of cables.

Sure we looked silly – we were a group of adults performing tasks that children probably learn at summer camp – but who said becoming a leader would be easy? Apparently there are lessons you can learn at any age.

One of the lessons I learned during these two days is if you want to grow as a person, you have to get your hands dirty. Reading a PowerPoint presentation is one thing, grabbing someone by the ankles to lift them through two cables is quite another.


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