Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cierra Brooke Nye's Leadership Development Plan

In my student leadership class this semester, we've been studying traits of extraordinary leaders and seeking to develop their skills and talents in our own life. For our final, we were asked to create a Leader Development plan. Over the course of the next semester, I will be working to implement characteristics to improve the manner in which I lead.

If you see ways in which I can improve and better serve others, please comment and let me know.

Extraordinary Leader Development Plan

My Strengths
(Which differentiating competencies do I demonstrate at or near the 90th percentile?)

Helping Other Succeed
Inspiring and Motivating Others to High Performance
Taking Initiative
Building Relationships

displaying high integrity and honesty
practicing self development
establishing stretch goals
taking initative
inspiring and motivating others to high performance
collaboration and teamwork

Potential Fatal Flaws
(Do I have a serious deficiency in any of the differentiating competencies?)

keeping a broad perspective
communicating powerfully and prolifically
drive for results

need to establish deadlines and goals- creating a plan
need to get outside comfort zone
need to balance enthusiasm with professionalism
helps with too many things

Passion and Organizational Needs (How will I make a unique and lasting contribution?)

I will make a unique and lasting contribution by focusing on the needs of others. By serving them, our organization will be able to meet its goals and execute events with accuracy. We’ll be reaching out to the students and be able to create a memorable BYU Experience.

Choosing One Competency (Which differentiating competency do I want to focus on?)

I want to focus on Helping Others Succeed. In human resources my duty is to help volunteers find opportunities to serve and help officers find those that will meet what their individual area needs.

Competency Companions
(Which competency companions make the most sense to work on? Why?)

As I develop this competency, it also makes sense to become more organized, improve my communication skills and to further my network. I can also delegate more effectively, be motivated by the success of others and practice self-development. As I increase these competency companions, I will be more able to meet my goal of helping others.

Ideas for Practice (on or off the job) (How will I practice the new skills in order to improve?)

WHO will support me? Kelin, Christy, other EDs, my PDs
WHO will hold me accountable? My PDs and Kelin
WHO will I practice on? My PDs, incoming and existing volunteers
WHEN will I start? As soon as possible- next Monday or over break further organization skills
WHEN will I check progress? Every 2 weeks
HOW will I know I’ve improved? When communication works and we cease to hit walls
HOW will I stick with the plan? By having it posted where I can see it and reference it frequently

Business Impact (How will I know I’ve made progress? How will I measure my success?)

I will know that I’ve made progress when volunteers are able to find opportunities to serve. The office will be flowing: a volunteer will come in, they’ll be matched with an opportunity to serve, we’ll hear how things are going and be able to account for them.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Goals & Gifts

M. Russell Ballard said, “What are your goals for the next few years? Will you pay the price for excellence? I would hope that every one of us is wise enough to realize that we can be excellent, that we can reach the top, that we can be the very best if we are willing to pay the price. We must be willing to establish in our minds this fact: In order to be great in whatever we attempt to do in life, we have to decide in advance that it is all worth it. Have you set your priorities? Are they solidly and clearly defined in your minds? Were they clear when you got up this morning, and will they be clear tomorrow morning and each morning?” “Is It Worth It?,” New Era, Jun 1984, 38

If you were having a conversation with him, how would you respond to his questions? Write as if you are writing to him.

Dear Elder Ballard,

I'm still figuring out what I'd like to do with my future. I have general goals- graduate from BYU, marriage, family, and continue to serve others. I'm working to create specific goals for myself. I've actually been trying to for awhile- since the beginning of the new school semester. I don't like to make goals at New Years like everyone else in the world. It's too cliché for me. New Years goals, at least for me, set themselves up for failure.

This last Saturday, I had the opportunity to go to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. Sitting inside, I was able to reflect on myself. I had a notebook with me and just started writing.

All of the goals I was recording had to do with others. I love people. I want to be able to have the skills to touch others in their times of need. Everyone has a bad day and by being available to serve and love them, I can become more like those who are examples to me.

I gave a talk a few Sundays back about love. Love is, or at least I'm striving to make it, the core of all my actions. Love is why I serve. Love is why I'm friends with other people. Love is why I wake up each morning.

My priorities would then be others. I am willing to sacrifice to help myself reach this goal.

Cierra Brooke Nye

Look over the Defining Behaviors for “Focus on Results” on pages 60, 74 and 82. Which 2-3 behaviors are you particularly good at? Can you give examples? How have these behaviors enhanced your leadership style?

I'm very willing to volunteer for a difficult task or assignment that requires you to stretch my current capability. One example of this would have been when I accepted Kelin's invitation to me to serve as the event lead over Involv-a-palooza. I'm great at being open and having the time to take on these responsibilities, however, I lacked skill and training to carry it out fully and in a timely and accurate manner. IVP really stressed me out at times. But, by being willing and open to take on this responsibility, I was able to learn skills to help me if I were to do events in the future. I learned planning techniques and saw immense amounts of teamwork during crunch-time.

I'm very willing to work longer hours to meet a commitment. I'm often in the office before 3 and don't mind staying past 5 if I have a task that I'm still working on. I'll also stay longer if another person in the office has an issue they need to talk out.

I strive hard to practice what I preach and to expect at least as much of yourself as you do of others. This applies especially to my life and living the Honor Code. As stated in a previous post, everyone is watching me simply by the nature of who I am and what I associate myself with. There are certain expectations surrounding me, yet more than the expectations and opinions of others, I strive to keep the Honor Code as a personal choice.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Personal Capability

Our group focused on "Takes Initiative."

One way Human Resources takes initiative is by delegating ownership and allowing the individual to create and lead the programs. Especially because HR is such a new area to BYUSA, we're not just trying to get through the year, we are setting a high standard for our future successors.

One example of somebody in our area that takes initiative would be Charlie Lambert. Elise asked him to make a volunteer plan for every event in the month of October to which Charlie replied, "Oh, I've already done it."
Elise's jaw dropped to the ground.
"ELISE!" Kelin exclaimed. "We need to get you to the hospital asap!"
He threw the Jeep keys to Cici. "Kelin, I've never driven stick before!"
"Cici, I trust you. Believe in yourself as Hiro the Horse of integrity always has."
***fade in cowboy music*****
"Gee willickers," Elise let out.
"Jimmney cricket!" Kelin proclaimed with authority.
"And amen." added Cici.
Each nodded in agreement as they galloped off into the H'Rizon.

Inside of BYUSA, the Human Resources (H'Roffice) area has experienced many successes as it has grown. By taking initiative, the volunteer plans have been more organized and students have felt a greater sense of belonging in consequence of having a knowledge of their responsibilities. Zionize. Jointify.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pygmalion Effect

Describe a time in your life when you felt the power of the Pygmalion Effect.
In kindergarten, I really struggled with reading. This was quite troubling to me especially because the ESL students in my class were achieving benchmarks much higher than mine. In first grade I had an excellent teacher, Ms. Downey. This fine woman expected a lot of me including 15 minutes of reading each night. As she expected more of me, I was able to achieve more and I soon I began to rise within the reading groups. When I entered 2nd grade we had a reading test. At its conclusion my teacher asked our class if we'd like to know who the best reader in our class was. Of course we all chimed in wishing to know who this student was. I was elated to learn that this student was me. Directly because of Mrs. Downey and her added time and attention, I found that I was able to achieve things that I could never thought were possible.
Looking back, the skill of reading has carried me through advanced classes and into my current college career.

Identify a strength you see in three other people.
Lauren Lytle is excellent at recognizing others and giving them the recognition that we each seek.
Elise May is incredible at loving others for exactly who they are.
Jessica Hart is great at listening to people and remembering what is going on in their lives.
Each of these women does know that these are their unique strengths and that is why they strive to interact with others on a daily basis and build up personal value in others.
To help these girls better visualize their strengths, I can verbally praise them and identify these skills they possess.

Mark Twain once observed, "Thousands of geniuses live and die without being discovered, either by themselves or by others." What did he mean by this observation?
In this observation, Mark Twain asserted that we need to be the ones to notice the greatness in ourselves. We each need to develop our talents and then share them. It's so important. We need to lift up others wherever possible.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Reflection 1

What was your motive for serving in BYUSA?
Originally, I came to BYUSA with the full intent of running for president. I didn't fully understand the organization; I just wanted the position and the power that came with it. Now after approximately a year of service with these wonderful people I've gained a greater understanding of all the work that goes into helping the student body. BYUSA and service with the group is not a cush-cush thing as I had originally perceived it.

My motives have changed. Drawing from my patriarchal blessing I've gained a greater understanding on why I am to be here. Service is and will continue to be a very important part of my life.

How will you apply the Divine-centered leadership principles in your home, community, and future career?
In my home I will strive to create a more loving environment. It is very important that when we have roommate council meetings and decide to enact new standards (ie making sure we're really doing our dishes) that I live up to what I committed to. I will need to be sure that I'm seeing others through the eyes of Christ.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Leader of Leaders

Evaluate your own natural leadership style and identify ways you can make it more flexible.
I really need to work on delegation. I've always been wary of group projects and releasing the work to others. In the past people have failed me and that led me to have a complex that only I could do things, that others were beyond trust. I need to remain organized and be sure when I say I'll get something done I write down the task. Once it is remembered it needs to be completed in a timely manner.

Consider the people you influence in your 360º of leader
ship. Are there ways you can help empower them more?
DELEGATE... ask questions of those around me and help when I need it. I can really improve about asking for help.

Think about the way Heavenly Father works with you…Does He ALWAYS direct you with what to do? When does He leave the decision to you?
Heavenly Father trusts my decisions although he is there for me in all my trying and difficult times. I need to keep him as my center and strive to live my life that way.

Honor Code

Why is it so important that you as student officers exemplify commitment to the standards of the Honor Code?
It is vitally important that as a student officer I exemplify my commitment to the standards of the Honor Code because EVERYONE is watching. People know what I am associated with and what I do directly reflects on the organization. I want to be one that contributes to a positive attitude and picture of BYUSA.

What are three resources available to you if you ever have a question about the Honor Code?
If I have a question with the Honor Code there is always the website (http://honorcode.byu.edu/), the actual Honor Code office on the 4th floor of the WSC, and then my mini "Honor To-go" in my wallet.

How can your understanding of the gospel principles, that the standards of the Honor Code are based upon, help you follow and encourage others to follow the Honor Code?
My understanding of gospel principals aids me as I live the Honor Code. As I live gospel principals, many parts of the Honor Code are automatically covered (not murdering, WOW, etc.). Modesty is another principal the church asks us to live and that falls under the Honor Code as well.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


What was your experience like when you first got involved with BYUSA? If you would have preferred it to be different, how can you help new volunteers have the difference you wish you had?
I don't really even remember where I first heard about BYUSA. I was attempting to figure out the BYU website and sorta just found it. I remember reading Adam and the rest of the presidency's bios and just thinking they had to be the coolest people ever... and that I wanted to be a part of what they were doing.
Coming to BYU and participating in NSO I was able to listen to Adam's advice (go to devotionals). I was star struck. When Brooke and Adam were handing out pins at the BBQ I just about died. My Y Group thought I was this crazy obsessed girl.
I kept seeing Adam around campus and saying hi. After awhile of this, I set up an appointment to come into the office and meet Adam personally and see where I could help. The night before the meeting there was a knock on my door and a group of students, including Chad Johnson, informed us that they were Service Squad, a part of BYUSA and were here to take out our trash. Funny I had all this exposure at once.
Talking to Adam the next day I learned a lot. At the conclusion of our meeting he asked me to work on Elections. I felt pretty cool being a freshman reporting directly to the President.

Working on elections was hard. Though I had weekly meetings with Adam (and soon Mike Squires) I didn't feel as though I had direction or training. I loved being in the office but was not connected to any other individuals in the organization. I did my work in Leadership Ed (what used to be half of comms with no light above our head) and really just felt lonely. It wasn't until Garrett, Chad, Lauren and Nat invited me over into Comms to do my work that I really felt like I had friends and was fitting in.
I knew that good things were happening in the office and was in there every day from 3-5, just like an ED. I never recieved a nametag, never had an offical tour... but all in all, I so grateful I made it here.

Now I'm helping out in Human Resources and am specifically the Executive Director over Volunteer Outreach and Placement. With Elise, Kelin and the rest of our forming team, our entire purpose is to make sure the volunteers are being taking into the organization through the correct means. We want everyone to have a standard office tour and be directly placed the first time that they come into the office. I love what I do.

How can you better help your volunteers feel a sense of belonging from their service?
I can make sure my volunteers feel a sense of belonging from their service through a variety of means. The volunteer uniform will unite them in their cause- they'll easily be able to recognize the others that are serving alongside them. The Huddle is a group meeting that is to occur at the beginning and end of each event to deliver the volunteer plan and break down of the event. The Event Lead should be the one to conduct the huddle. Knowing their names...

How will you personally recognize the volunteers you work with?
I will personally recognize my volunteers through verbal praise, random treats all with an attitude of genuine sincerity.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


What is a leadership characteristic of the Savior you really admire, and how would you like to implement this characteristic into your own leadership role?
The Savior always had time to listen. A big complaint in our generation is that they are being "judged." This word is usually associated with a poor connotation, however, judgment is something that needs to always occurring in our lives. Our judgment guides our decisions. The Savor loved all those he encountered with a pure heart. I would really like to develop that skill by getting to know others on a personal level.

Which one of the aspects of the Divine-Centered Leadership model touched you the most, why?
Knowing each heart really touched me. The Savior really does know each of us as an individual; he really really gets me for who I am on the inside.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The culture of BYUSA

What changes do you think you can make in your life NOW and for the rest of the year (and forever) to be more in line with BYUSA culture of professionalism and protocol?
Align myself to be a Divine Centered Leader. Really Christ is the greatest example that we have to look to. The Honor Code is a great daily reminder of dress and grooming standards as well as personal conduct.

How will the culture of professionalism here at BYU and within BYUSA impact your future as you "go forth to serve"?
The professionalism I'm being taught will be a skill that I am able to take with me into every field. By learning these traits early they become habit and aid me as I seek to serve others.

How does professionalism and protocol help you develop as a divine centered leader?
Professionalism and protocol help me to become a DCL through a variety of means. With them, I am better able to keep myself in check and avoid unnecessary disagreements.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Give 'em the pickle

Name three ways you are going to give your service providers a pickle.
- thank you cards
-converse with them as a friend with true interest in their doings
-ideally- homebaked cookies

Put yourself in the service providers shoes, what do you think you would expect from a BYU student?
I would expect the students I meet with to respect my time. They are to arrive to meetings early, know all the facts and background to the event. Manners are a must, a cordial attitude. Honor Code appropriate.

How will you maintain a good relationship with Support Staff and The Design Team?
I will maintain a good relationship with Support Staff and the Design Team by knowing their names, being their friend, keeping them in the loop, getting things into them in a timely manner and building them up.

Monday, June 29, 2009


What is the value of using RACE to plan programs?
RACE is BYUSA's planning method. Broken down it stands for Research & train, Action plan, Carry out, and Evaluate & report. RACE can be of much value as it keeps us on track and following a set timeline so our events won't fall through.

Give an example of planning "what to do" versus planning "what we want
to have happen."
Planning "what to do" would include an actual broken down plan of events and things you'd like to have happen. "What we want to have happen"

What is a SMART goal? Why make smart goals?
A SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. It is important to make smart goals to be able to really accomplish what you've set out to do. Oft times, goals fall through because part of this criteria is not met.

Of what value is is evaluation in the process?
Evaluation is probably the most important part of the process. When you report on something, it has been proven that you're more likely to accomplish more in the future. (PMG)

Friday, June 19, 2009

dun dun dunnn dunnn!

I have been wanting to blog for the LONGEST time. It's been on my to-do list but it just kept getting shuffled around on my google calendar. Finally, time appeared and my urge can be quelled.

Latest news, I've been working full time in the HBLL this whole spring term still with my same job from the beginning of last year up in the Lettering Room. After being in at work for about eight hours, I head over to BYUSA to help out all that I can. Have I told you how much I love this organization? There is just so much good, so much light, so much happiness contained here. After my time in the office, I head home, check in with the fun things that are happening at Liberty Square and then head to bed roughly around 10:30 or 11. It's been packed and crazy so far, but I'm loving it.

Today is actually the first day of NSO (New Student Orientation) and I am loving being a YGL (Y Group Leader). My group is full of fantastic people and my fellow leaders are amazing. I feel so blessed to be at this university and have all the opportunities that are available to me. I hope that by being a YGL I will be able to help those coming into BYU catch the spirit and be able to find their place. Everyone should feel like there are people that love them for who they are.

Being involved in all these freshman activities really has helped remind me just how much I love being here. One thing that I kept hearing last year as I started out as a freshman was that each student attending BYU is here for a reason. We each have a vital role to play, both here and in the world beyond our studies. An education is a life long process.

Tomorrow morning I have a role in the Education in Zion exhibit in the JFSB during the Cougar Walk. It's an amazing gallery and the students and curator there have such a passion for everything it contains. I am very impressed every time that I leave that corridor. My role is the final part of the presentation and I am responsible for filling the students with an inspirational message about just how important they are. I'm really excited for it and am still tweaking what I want to say. Cross your fingers it all comes together by tomorrow.

I just wanted to post something because it's been awhile. What's going on with you guys? Let me know your latest. I'll keep you posted. Much love!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

amor vincit omnia

love conquers all

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

what I'm going to miss about Heritage Halls and freshman year

The triangular half step on the stairs that I always trip down.

Having a grocery store ten steps away. Really ten steps.

My ward. Ward, I love you all.

Our main floor creeper window. Making friends is so easy with it.

Being a freshman and blaming behavior on that simple fact.

Never using the land line phone.

Having the majority of the boys be preemies so we really are just friends- they have missions!

Cheap laundry- 75 wash/ 25 dry

The basement piano that is played at all hours of the day.

Playing 1, 2, 3, He's Mine!

The fun of our litchen- living room/kitchen

Automatically having $30 on my signature card every Monday.

The original quote wall :)

Hall meetings.

The people outside my bedroom window that play games at all hours of the night.

The Lawbrary.

Double boys. That's right. Our ward had twice as many.

Having a main lobby and fireplaces.

Ironing in the kitchen as everyone stares at you.

Having the dumpster and recycle bins around the corner.

Tunnel singing.

Having The Chronicles of Narnia- University 101 version in our window all year long.

Living two minutes from campus.

The pictures of random men on our fridge- Dustin, Anthony, Troy, Jesse Marsh, Becham, Henry, Todd.

Using the backdoor as the front door.

The make-out space outside the backdoor- perfect place for late night talks.

Being close enough that I can go home for lunch, naps, forgotten books...

Being locked out of my bedroom and asking Kelly for help to get back in.

Church at the Conference Center.

Tons of cupboard space.

RAs- really they're awesome and I love them.

The trees outside with their gorgeous pink blossoms.

The cinder block, non-soundproof walls.

Dead silent sacrament meetings.

Getting into the house through the window.

Shenanigans- and how we get away with them because we're freshmen.

Living with five of the most incredible girls ever.

Friday, April 17, 2009

taking a breather during finals

It's nearly the end of finals. Wow. Freshman year has really flown by. College really is a time for learning, although I'd have to say that the majority of my learning this year hasn't necessarily been academic. While that's something I'd like to improve upon in the future, I've found that my learning has been more geared to juggling my many responsibilities. With a full load of classes, I've also been working in the HBLL up on the 6th floor, volunteering in the BYUSA office, had my ward VT Coordinator calling, been helping with NRHH, gone on a service trip with Kaiizen in Mexico, and been keeping up with roommates and making many new friends and acquaintances.

College really is unlike high school. Especially here at BYU, I've learned that I'm not necessarily the smartest. While I was top ranked in high school, it's been important for me to have a true understanding of who I am and to value myself just for being me.

Here are some truths I've learned over the past year:

1. Procrastination really is a bad idea.
This is something I've known since elementary school yet I still indulge in it all the time. This is definitely something I need to change about myself. I resolve to now complete my work, especially papers, a week in advance. To really have time to enjoy life, I need to be on top of things.

2. Daily scripture study and prayer is vital.
Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have a testimony of the restored gospel. Reading my scriptures daily is something that helps me keep an eternal perspective. Prayer is a way for me to speak directly to my Heavenly Father and be calmed whenever I experience fear and apprehension.

3. Proper diet and exercise gives you energy.
Living away from home, I am completely in control of what I ingest. This can be either a good or bad thing. At times, eating right is expensive. I plan to join a dinner group and create wonderfully delicious and healthy food that doesn't make me feel like crap. Also, working out is good. I'm not especially fond of running, but I may just have to suck it up. Expect to see wet swimsuits hanging in the shower in the near future. I've always loved swimming.

4. Early to bed, early to rise.
I am probably the worst night owl ever. Being down here has really made me see the errors of my ways; productivity really does plummet late at night. My current bedtime is 10:30 and I've been pretty good about that. Rising has been attempted to be close to 7. This is to be altered as needed.

5. People come first. Always.
It is so easy to get caught up in yourself living at college. So many things make you want to think that way. It's important to be service oriented in everything you do. Everyone in this life is going through their own personal set of trials. Having a friend and someone who will really listen can make all the difference in another's life.

6. Optimism makes every situation better.
Wake up every day and decided to be happy. Having this attitude will make every task quicker to complete. Your relations with others will improve and you will gain more friends. Be genuine as you do this. You'll also come to be seen as a leader and someone to count on.

7. Your word is your bond.
If you say you are going to do something, do it. Trust is one of the most important things you can have with another human being. As you become someone that is dependable and reliable, you will grow in your own personal level of happiness and it will become easier to complete other tasks in your life.

8. Approach every individual with an attitude of Christ-like love.
We are all sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves us for who we are. As we approach one another with this attitude, we create real relationships. Serving others is the most important thing that we can do in this life. Always seek after opportunities in which you can show your love for others through simple acts of service.

This is all I have for now. Back to studying I suppose. It's good to know that finals are but a small moment in the eternal scheme of things.

Friday, April 3, 2009

just a freshening up..

Where did freshman year go? It's hard to get through my head that we only have about two and a half weeks left- then the whole thing's done. We move out of Heritage, say my farewells to all these amazing people and may never see them again. I thought it might be wise to post some pictures from the last while as just a means of reminiscing while I can't sleep on this early Friday morning. And Emmie, HAPPY 13TH BIRTHDAY BSE!