Friday, June 12, 2015

PlayerLeak: A Deeper Look

Last month we shared a post from Towson University Institute graduate Chris "CP" Patterson. In it, he introduced us to PlayerLeak, a sports focused social networking platform. It left us wanting more! We hope you enjoy learning more about PlayerLeak! And don't forget to pass the information along to those who would be interested in engaging with the platform.

What is PlayerLeak?
PlayerLeak is a sports dedicated social networking platform, built to provide the player, team, and coach a network that will help them gain exposure, get to the next level, and realize greater opportunity in sports. The platform allows a user to create a digital profile to help promote themselves and collaborate with other people in the sports community.

PlayerLeak also has a unique feature called a Sports Map. This is where the player can list out goals they would like to achieve and their coaches, teammates, fans and other connections can offer advice and support to help them reach their goals.

Here is how you can engage with PlayerLeak:
  1. Log onto PlayerLeak (for FREE) at – today!
  2.  Sign up and create a profile.
  3.  Fill in your profile information – photos, player/team/coach info, experience, skills, etc….
  4. “Fan” (connect) a few users from the Suggested Users section.
  5. On your profile, fill in your “Sports Map” with goals for the upcoming Season/Off-Season.
  6. Invite your teammates, fellow athletes and coaches to join PlayerLeak.
  7. Continue to build your sports network and collaborate.
  8. Continue to set goals to get to the next level, and help your connections get to the next level!
  9. You can access PlayerLeak on your desktop, or by logging into the website on your mobile device.

What are the benefits? As a Player, Team, or Coach you will:
  • Gain Exposure – by joining a focused sports community you’ll increase your chances of being noticed. No more managing multiple accounts to maintain a strong social presence in sports. No more clutter about things other than sports. It’s all sports all the time!
  • Get To the Next Level – by using your Sports Map you’ll increase your chances of reaching your goals. You’ll have the opportunity to set goals for yourself and receive suggestions, advice, and support from your teammates or coaches on your way to success. You’ll also have the opportunity to offer support to a fellow athlete, or teammate, and help them on the way to achieving their goals. It’s a WIN-WIN situation.
  • Enhance Your Sports Experience – by becoming a user of the world’s first social networking platform dedicated to sports. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with sports users from around the world, and help shape the community. You’ll be able to build your sports network and use it to your advantage to enhance your own personal experience. Whether you are a player who wants to check in on players in another state, a coach who wants to connect with other coaches in the community, a fan who wants to build the ultimate fan network, or a parent who wants to keep track of all of your families sports moments, PlayerLeak will be the one stop shop for your sports social networking needs.
  • As a Player – you can showcase your skills; build your brand, or share photos and videos of your performances in a dedicated sports community where everyone will be excited to see what you’ve got! You can also connect with your team, follow other users, and give Props (our “like”) to your connections when they share something cool.
  • As a Team – you can build a public or private team page, invite your team members to join, and use the team message board to post comments to your teammates. You can share your practice and game schedules, team reminders, updates, and accomplishments. You can also set team goals to achieve with your Sports Map.
  • As a Coach – you can use PlayerLeak to help bring your team together and get everyone on the same page. Your players can provide updates on what they are doing in the off-season and in the gym, as well as track their progress in-season. It's a great way to give the player responsibility for their own career and hold them accountable. Plus you can utilize what they've put together to help promote them to the next level – whether at practice, at home, or on travel. You can also showcase your own coaching education, career, and awards and achievements on your personal profile. Build up your coaching network, and connect with other coaches who have Sports Maps to share and receive tips.

If you know an athlete, team, or coach who could benefit from using PlayerLeak, please pass along the link and encourage them to join! We look forward to building the world’s largest sports community with you!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Story Cubes

We recently purchased a couple of sets of Story Cubes to have at the national sessions of the Institute. I wanted to try them out and this is the (silly but fun) result.

A #Day7 tale inspired by Story Cubes...

Once upon a time, there was a participant from the Institute named Chris. 

It was the last day of the program. Chris was nervous leaving the program and camp where she spent the past 6 days getting to know herself and some other interesting, caring,  fantastic people who are also committed to making our colleges, communities, and the world a better place. And even though she was energized by the program, she was also feeling a bit unsure of what it will be like when she isn't surrounded by these other 60 people. She wasn't sure if she would be able share her true self beyond the Institute or if she'd continue to wear the mask that she sometimes put on, hiding her authentic self. 

On top of being a little nervous about leaving, Chris was was tired! Her Family Cluster, the Pyramid of Leadership, was up most of the night on Day 5, taking advantage of their last evening together talking, laughing, dancing, and playing board games. It's hard to say "good bye" to a group of people who has become like family. And it was worth losing a little sleep to spend as much time as possible together.

But we have a secret that maybe Chris hasn't discovered yet. 

The scales are tipped in Chris' favor. She has learned so much about what it means to live a life of integrity, to believe in possibility, to understand who she is more deeply, and to consider how she wants to contribute to the world. All of that knowledge is at her disposal. She is ready for #Day7 and to defeat any dragons that try and stop her. 

And she lived happily ever after in #Day7. 

PS: Pyramid was a real stretch here. :) 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Towson University: 10 Year Anniversary Reflections

Towson University recently celebrated its 10 Year Anniversary partnering with LeaderShape to offer the Institute at their institution. We are excited to highlight some history and personal experiences from administrators, participants, and facilitators in this blog series. 

This post is the speech that Towson University graduate Angie Hong delivered at Towson University's 10 Year LeaderShape Reunion. Angie, a proud Baltimore native, currently working in D.C. as program coordinator for the National Center for Family Philanthropy, where she supports the development and organization of programs, services, and strategies that advance the practice of family philanthropy. Additionally, she serves as assistant director to the nonprofit organization BULA, Inc., where she assists in the management of programs, organizational development, and communication efforts to secure brighter futures for Ugandan youth. Angie previously served in a variety of international development positions in Uganda and Nicaragua where she assisted with alternative care for children and health development. Before this, she worked at the Office of Civic Engagement at Towson University, encouraging active citizenship within students and the community, including the curation of two TEDx events focused on creating a better world for citizens. 

Good morning! I’m Angie Hong and I am a proud 2009 LeaderShape graduate.  The type of pride I have in being a Leadershape graduate at TU has developed into something much deeper now than it did five years ago. I also want to mention that saying five years ago only freaks me out just a little bit. But, we’re at the 10 year reunion so I can only imagine how some other alumni are feeling.

Reflecting on five years ago, I remember feeling honored to be chosen as 1 of 60 people to
attend Leadershape, I was excited to finally figure out what all the hype was about from leadershapers before me. Five years ago, I was living a week- long Utopian Dream of Visionaries, and my new friends were the visionaries. When we reflect back on our times at Leadershape, it was full of vision, friendship, tears, and this intense feeling that we could make some real change in this world. But, I’d like to remind you all of some of the “tougher” learning moments, ones you may have blocked off from your memory. Remember the star power game where all too much power was given to the Squares and we hurt our fellow circles and triangles. At this point, we even questioned the trust we built from the day before, not only with other people but our own selves- dealing with the consequences of realizing that we too, are humans and leading with integrity is not always easy. Speaking of trust, let’s talk about the challenge course. Noone ever told me that I’d have to help some girl, who was crying to no end over her fear of heights, get over a huge wall. And then later, I’d have to walk on a tightrope with her. But, I’m glad I did because she’s definitely going to be one of my bridesmaids. Now, I’m no where near getting married but we all need some vision to bring into reality, right? On that note, let’s think back to the agony felt over creating our goals and visions, all while using this foreign concept called, a healthy disregard for the impossible. But, we made it through that and found ourselves together in a circle with a glass pebble in hand, representing the ripple effect that we would make into the world. The power of one, the power of all.

Looking back now, Leadershape is not a utopian dream of visionaries, leadershape is a microcosm of the real life. It eased us into scenarios we would face in the future and challenged us to not only maintain our integrity, but to also practice the act of forgiveness. Our world needs more leaders with integrity and a good moral compass. We need people who will do the right thing even when no one’s looking. This reminds me of the time I was in Uganda and discovered that that the children I grew to care about for over 8 years were being abused by their guardian since 2011. Everything that was thrown at me during this time was almost familiar… or something I learned to navigate through. I made connections with the Ugandan government and police, but I was told that cases like these never hold up because of corruption and fear. They told me most westerners would flee the country at this point and that served as a type of warning. But, leaving never even crossed my mind. I worked with the police with limited resources, went on numerous investigations and interviews of the kids, and ended up getting the children out of an abusive home. As he went to jail, the government granted me temporary guardianship of all 24 children. During this, time I had to find a home to care for all the children, trace their family members in the village, and prepare them for the biggest change of their lives. Most nights, I was crippled with fear for the next day. I endured threatening phone calls from people I never event met because a man they respected so much was put into jail- and eventually prison. They accused me of buying off the police. I won’t deny that the temptation was there. But, you see, even though this man committed heinous acts, I still believed in a fair trial. Even though he made my life and others’ a living hell and I felt like I never hated anyone more, he was still a person and I needed to remember that. Before the children moved back home to their families, we organized a retreat for them. This was my glass pebble moment. From setting up a learning community for the children to facebag (which I believe is a generational leadershape thing) to action planning for the future, we did what we could to make sure the kids were ready to tell their story as they wanted it to be told. That was unknowingly, a step towards reaching my vision- giving a voice to those who had theirs taken away.

My second story, much briefer, was when I came home from an international development job. The difference in the stories is in Uganda, I stayed and Nicaragua, I chose to leave. I had no problem with the living conditions and in fact, I loved living there. But I felt myself deterioriating on the inside and losing myself little by little. Each day, as I walked to work or did an errand, I would get cat-called. I’d hear kissy noises, unwelcomed nicknames for me and marriage proposals. One day, a man even ran up from behind me and ran his fingers through my hair. I had never felt so disgusted and low in my life. So, even though this job was a goal of mine since I was 16, I came to the realization that I wasn’t that same 16 year old girl and it was no longer a goal of mine, which by the way, is a very frightening thing- to be so sure of your path for so long and then changing it instantly. I worked on my vision so passionately and for so long that I decided that it was now time to work on my inner- self. So, I left. I never felt more empowered than I did when I put in a request to leave. Even though I was coming back to the states with no plan, I knew that this was right for me.  And since then, I’ve thought to myself, “how fascinating.”

Thank you.