Living Well and Leading Well
Superlative Student Leader and Outgoing ICSS President –
Aman Chohan – Reflects on Living Well and Leading Well
“It was at Innis College I learned that being a leader was more than just a rank or title. Instead, and most importantly, it was about responsibility.“
When we think of leadership many of us have different ideas of what leadership embodies. Some of us think of examples of great leaders, others think of great acts of leadership. To me a particular person or act does not embody leadership. Leadership is a never-ending journey of self-growth and self-development. I believe leaders are not just here to lead, but to teach and help those around them to develop leadership skills in order better their own lives, and the lives of others.
As a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, and an alumnus of Innis College, I created my personal blog “Live Well Lead Well” in order to spread the knowledge that leadership is not solely based on money, power and prestige. Rather, leadership is a trait that anyone can develop and use to positively change their own life and the lives of others around them.
Ben Parker once said, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Innis emulates this message with every interaction the College has with its students and student leaders. The amazing part about Innis is that it places the same amount of value on leadership as it does on academic success. Students who graduate from Innis College graduate with more than just a degree. They graduate with a tool-box filled with experience, skills and knowledge that will allow them to not only be successful in the real world, but noticeable game-changers when it comes to social, national and global issues.
The success of Innisians is possible because Innis provides both theory and application-based education on leadership. Workshops such as IN2U: Pathways to Leadership and IN2U: Backpack to Briefcase provide students with the confidence to become an active and contributing member of the Innis community. There is also the opportunity for students to join councils and committees such as Innis College Council, InSight: Mentorship Program, Innis College Student Society and Innis Residence Council. It is important to note that the student voice at Innis is just as valuable as the faculty and staff voice. This allows students to voice their concerns, and apply what they have learned to real-life situations. By providing Innis students with leadership theory and an environment to apply those skills, Innis not only produces academically successful students, but world-changing leaders.
It was this amazing balance of theory and application-based learning that shaped my love and passion for leadership. This passion was the main reason why I decided to pursue a Masters Degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) related to Leadership in Higher Education. It is this same type of teaching and application-based learning I want to bring to students at the University of Toronto and other Ontario universities. I want students to understand that leadership transcends all barriers and by learning these skills they are able to be a leader in a group of doctors, or in a group of engineers, teachers, or politicians. Innis taught me that leadership is not just for a select few, but is for everyone.
With four undergraduate years behind me, there is an overwhelming comfort in knowing that Innis College will always be there to support me in my future endeavors. This feeling of support is what I now try to emulate with every blog post I write. I try to help my readers make positive choices to better their lives and hopefully the lives of others. Graduating from a college that is known for always pushing the limit and trying new things, I know I have the expertise and drive necessary to make a positive change on a grand scale. Innis is wholly unique -while we may be the smallest college, we produce the highest amount of student leaders to emerge out of the University of Toronto. For that, we should be proud.
Read Aman’s blog at livewellleadwell.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter @amanchohan