Report date
January 2021
Learning Log

This has been a unique learning journey for the first six months of my Bush Fellowship. Through this journey so far most of the Bush Fellows including myself have faced unique challenges in their leadership journeys from all types of occurrences such as a virus pandemic, political unrest, riots, lockdowns, physical and mental health, and all communications such as meetings, conferences, and class being converted to virtual type of connection over the internet instead of in person. The main thing I learned these past six months is how to adapt to any type of situation that may arise. Before the start of my Fellowship I had this idea of how my Fellowship would go, but due to the changing environment I learned how to adjust my thinking and learning to still fulfill my learning goals. Even though we are in unique times for my Fellowship I believe that most Bush Fellows would have to face these exact challenges anyway of having to adapt and rethink the way your goals are to be accomplished. These are also very good traits for leaders in general. For myself personally I would overcome all the above-mentioned occurrences during my first six months of my Fellowship. I have learned quite a lot having to overcome these challenges and I am thankful for the many obstacles that were put in front of me and my leadership journey.
My first simplified learning goal was to develop my technical side of leadership through completing a Master's of a Science Degree in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics field at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. This first semester has taught me how to persevere and become adaptable when it comes to learning. Having to take all my classes online and work through having Covid 19 was a tough battle and forced me to persevere through the semester. I never had to take classes all online before so being able to adapt to this situation was vital in achieving academic success this semester. To become a better well-rounded leader in general you must be able to adapt and persevere through some unique circumstances no matter what they are.
My second goal of maximizing my leadership growth through a development process and framework. I have been fortunate to get accepted into the Leadership South Dakota Program which started the exact same time as my leadership journey. This program is allowing my leadership development to grow exponentially by meeting every month for a week and holding developmental sessions to increase our capacities as leaders in communication, listening, public speaking, and networking. This program has also helped me to understand myself with the DISC Assessment which has allowed me to grow my vision, people skills, and character.
For my third learning goal which is to learn from Indigenous communities and people from around the world that have embraced and promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. I for the most part have had to keep it mostly meeting, attending virtual seminars of local STEM leaders up to this point due to the pandemic that has existed since the start of my leadership journey. I have been able to speak to a few leaders away from home through virtual means.
My 4th learning goal is basically to become the best version I can be of myself. One thing I have learned on my journey and heard repeated over and over whether it was from other Bush Fellows, Mentors, Life Coach, Friends, Family, and in Leadership sessions is to take time to care for yourself. To me caring for yourself means to take care of the health of your Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual aspects of your life. This learning journey has allowed me to make more time for the valuable activities that promote of my personal health. If it wasn't for hearing how important taking time for myself and then actually taking part in personal health activities such as exercising, hiking, camping, family time, golfing, reading, studying, learning, counseling, therapy, journaling, praying, reflecting, and meditating I would have probably never made it through or fully recovered from contracting the Covid19 virus. The goal of self work I believe is to get a point where you are not only healthy but also in a place where you are comfortable with being you and bringing what you have to offer yo the world. I always say I just want to be comfortable being uncomfortable and by taking time for myself I am able to continuously work on this goal which definitely one that never ends. Be able to move forward with confidence during your leadership journey and by doing so you will be able to create equity by example alone. The ultimate goal is to become the very best person you can become on your leadership journey!