One-on-One Leadership Coaching Enables Undergraduate Students to Reach Their Full Leadership Potential

October 7, 2016

Atlanta, GA

Anthony Remensnyder claims he’s never one to exaggerate and simply tells things as they are, but ask him about Leading Edge and he’ll say that it changed his life.  A leadership development program offered by the Office of Leadership Education and Development (LEAD), Leading Edge is a one-on-one leadership coaching program that pairs undergraduate students with trained leadership development coaches to explore and improve their leadership skills.  Though it is only a semester long, Leading Edge can have a big impact on students’ college career and beyond, as was the case with Anthony.

Anthony is a third-year Business Administration student, with involvement in a host of different campus activities and organizations. As his responsibilities in school and in his personal life steadily grew, Anthony found himself yearning for a way in which he could further develop his leadership skillsets and his approach to leading.  The way he puts it is, “The problem that arose is that I started to approach these opportunities to lead others the same way I had approached it all my life – I had not changed or grown at all.”  Around this same time, a professor had recommended him for Leading Edge, to which he duly applied and was accepted for the following semester. 

At the beginning of the 2015 spring semester, Anthony was paired with Leading Edge coach (and health educator at Stamps Health Center) Michelle Segall.  Throughout the semester, Anthony and Michelle met and discussed how Anthony could become a stronger leader by identifying the areas Anthony sought to improve and then brainstorming “leadership experiments” to work on these areas within his existing leadership positions as a soccer coach, a soccer referee, and a friend.  One tool that has proven to be extremely useful is a journal that Anthony spends 30 minutes a week recording three specific leadership experiences from that week; this practice of self-reflection has helped him to better respond to different situations he confronts throughout his life.

Overall, this process of self assessment, determination of action steps, experimentation and critical reflection with his coach has allowed Anthony to reflect on his past leadership experiences and gain a greater awareness of his behavior.  Through the leadership coaching process, Anthony found that an essential part of becoming a more effective leader was better understanding himself, saying “Not only could [Michelle] help me dissect situations and see what I could improve on for the better, but she also helped me better understand myself and how I emotionally respond to different situations.”   As Anthony’s coach, Michelle also noticed this transformation, saying, “Anthony recognized even more of his strengths, including his authenticity, his ability to build rapport and develop relationships with others, and his ability to serve as an authority.” 

In building this self-awareness in Anthony and other Georgia Tech students, Leading Edge aims to enable students to lead with confidence and purpose.  As they continue their journey at Tech and beyond, we look forward to the exceptional leadership they will provide and the role Leading Edge takes in growing them.

Leading Edge is currently accepting applications for the 2016 Spring Semester. Deadline to apply is Wednesday, November 18th at 11:59pm. Request for a deadline extension until Friday, November 20th - email leadingedge@gatech.edu.

For more information visit leadership.gatech.edu

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Mindy Kao

mkao6@gatech.edu