One of the most important things on a team, whether it’s a sports team, a student government organization, or a church youth group, is leadership. Leaders can be quiet or they can be loud. They can have years of experience, or they can be new to the group. They can be labeled with a title, or they can be natural. But no matter what they are like, leaders are important.
Leadership always comes up at the ropes course. We see leadership show up in a variety of ways. Leaders step in front of the group on the course to lend a helping hand to those behind him. Leaders stay in the back of the group to ensure that everyone can get across. Leaders are in the middle of the group, encouraging those around them. Without these people, our challenges can seem impossible.
Leadership reveals itself differently on the course than it might at school. The quiet boy in the classroom might be a ropes course guru and step up, giving advice, encouragement and setting an example. The brand new member of the sports team might have an opportunity to speak up in a way that he might not have had back on the court.
One of the many groups that we work with is the Ruck Leadership Academy of Sigma Phi Epsilon. Over 140 gentlemen from chapters of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity come to Richmond every year for a week of leadership training. The hope is that when they go back to their chapter, they will shine as a leader. Part of this training is doing the ropes course at the University of Richmond.
About two weeks ago, we had the pleasure of working with these students. The boys were engaging, fun, and eager for a challenge. They were respectful, poignant, and determined. We were surrounded by student leaders.
One of the students, Matt Rowe, an incoming senior at Virginia Tech and the president of his chapter, spoke about his experience with leadership in his organization, the benefits of the Ruck Leadership Institute, and the outcomes of doing Challenge Discovery:
“In my chapter, leadership is people stepping up to accomplish a goal, or challenging the process of our normal routine. Leadership is also in the hands of an active follower. Even if you do not hold a position in the chapter, we need active and passionate ‘general members’ (followers) to help the chapter running. This paralleled on the ropes course because we all relied on each other for support, while actively listening and participating to get to the other side, or reach a goal. My biggest take away from the Challenge Discovery program was that you must lean into your team. While you think you can accomplish a goal by yourself, you must be humble enough to ask for help and lean into your brothers. After attending Ruck and the Challenge, I feel more confident than ever to lean into my team and ask for help.”
Leadership is a great thing, no matter how it looks. As a leader, being able to support your team and humble yourself around them is a beautiful thing. That day at the course was a fantastic day and I’m confident that the boys won’t forget their experience with Challenge Discovery. Contact us today to learn more about the leadership-building experiences we offer!
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