Author describes ‘ZING’ needed for leadership

by Stephanie Trabold

Student leaders explored their personal experiences and contributions to the lives of others during an interactive leadership presentation on Sunday.

The Leadership Development Program (LDP) invited students campuswide to participate in its annual Team Leadership Challenge. Keynote speaker Nancy Hunter Denney explained the concept of leadership through ZING from her book ZING! 21 Insights on Maximizing Your Influence.

“ZING is the ability to override competing forces to positively influence others toward a greater good,” said Denney. “ZING illustrates the process of charisma and connects people together through their relationships.”

Denney illustrated the role of life, leadership and legacy on an individual basis through the use of interactive games and self-evaluations and explained “the possibility of possibility.”

“I really enjoyed learning how to use my past experiences and channel my energy to make a positive outlook,” said LDP sophomore, Mitchell Buonpastore.

The self-evaluations emphasized developing leadership skills, self-analysis, self-reflection and interpersonal communication in a way that is customized to one’s individual style and needs.

“I liked the opportunity to learn about leadership and to meet new people that I wouldn’t have normally talked to,” sophomore Andrew Garcia said. “It really opened my eyes to new experiences.”

Denney said that “legacy is the outcome of influence.” She explained that a person’s attitude can make a difference in everyday life situations and how they are perceived by others.

“Denney made me feel empowered because I can reflect on my own personal qualities and think how can I use them to influence others and make a difference in someone else’s life,” junior LDP student Megan McBride said.

Student leaders were inspired, empowered, and able to meet other students during the event and will be looking forward to next year.

The LDP hosts the Team Leadership Challenge yearly as an interactive way to connect student leaders from all majors together and encourage outside students to apply.

Students interested in applying can do so by downloading the application from the Rider Web page. Students are required to become active in campus activities and events, complete some community service, be a positive role model for other students, attend leadership seminars, and take LDP 200, Foundations of Leadership.

“At the end of the course, students will understand and develop different leadership theories,” said LDP Director Laura Seplaki. “They will have a better understanding of what leadership is up front.”

The course is designed to enhance the individual’s experience with leadership in the classroom. Students must plan and execute a community service project as a requirement of the Foundations of Leadership course.

The LDP has also participated in outside community service activities such as the Special Olympics’ Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights, N.J., and various leadership trips to New York City’s Lower East Side and Carnegie Hall.

“I hope that students take the opportunities that both LDP and Rider have to offer,” said Seplaki. “By learning leadership, students can have a self awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses.”

For more information on the LDP, contact Seplaki at x. 5791 or

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