The Newest Leadership Opportunity on Campus: Mondays with Mas

by NICOLE RODRIGUEZ & NICOLE FITZSIMMONSAsst. Production Editor & Staff Writer

Students and faculty filled the seats of the Murray Room in Locke’s on Oct.7 to listen to the second Mondays with Mas seminar.  Hosted by head men’s basketball coach, Steve Masiello, and Student Engagement, the three part collaborative leadership seminar for Manhattan College students aims to discuss the qualities and characteristics of effective leadership.

Screen Shot 2019-10-13 at 12.09.04 PM
Students joined Coach Masiello in the Murray Room of Locke’s Loft for the event. @MCSTUDENTENGAGE INSTAGRAM/ COURTESY

Masiello has coached men’s basketball at the college for nine years. During his time coaching, he has led the Jaspers to back-to-back MAAC Championships and subsequent trips to the NCAA Tournament. He has also won two of the Metropolitan, Peter A. Carlesimo Men’s Coach of the Year, Awards for Division I basketball. His effective guidance is evident through the results of the team.

At each session, Masiello interacts with the students to establish a basis of components in developing leadership skills. The interaction between Masiello and students turns each seminar into more of a collaboration between him and those attending, creating a more purposeful foundation for leadership for the students themselves.

The first session was held Sept. 23 wherein Masiello discussed important factors in leadership and mentoring. He spoke to students about the five stages of leadership and emphasized the “who” in situations rather than the “what.” He also explained the three phases of state being mental, physical and emotional and how if you were to change one, the possibility to change all is presented.

After setting the most basic components of leadership straight, Masiello delved deeper into developing these skills at the second session.

Masiello began by discussing the four phases of evolving that people undergo: the unconscious incompetent, conscious incompetent, conscious competent and unconcious competent.

“For all the people aspiring to be leaders, influence and impact, here’s where quitting happens. When you are going from being conscious and incompetent, meaning I know I’m not good at this and I’m trying to get to being conscious and competent. That is where all the growth happens. This is where you see people really start to struggle. They tend to get out of their comfort zone and what happens during this time you tend to quit at what you’re doing because it’s going to hit you in the face that you’re not as good as you thought. That is a crushing blow to all of us,” said Masiello.

Screen Shot 2019-10-13 at 12.09.17 PM
The purpose of the event was to teach students about the characteristics of effective leadership through Coach Masiello, the head men’s basketball coach.

He then asked students to share any experiences where they felt like quitting while they were attempting to reach being conscious and competent. Students varied in answers, but the universal answer among all students involved work ethics, the rigorous course load in college and struggling with the thought of just giving up.

Mas mentioned the commonality of this struggle between many students, athletes, and people in general.

“It’s really important that you get this if you’re a part of a group, a team, anything like that because you’ll actually see people going through this. That’s where you become a great teammate, classmate, friend, partner in a sense when you see them going through that growth stage where they actually have processed ‘Oh my god I’m not what I thought I was’ and they’re gonna try to stick with it. That’s when a lot of issues happen. When you want to be a great friend, a great teammate that’s when you have to give the most support and the way you give that support is through what we call MAP – Mastery, Autonomy and Purpose. All people really want to see and feel is progress. You just want progress recognized and if you recognize progress in others, they will take off and go flying,” said Masiello.

Aside from encouraging peers through acknowledging their progress, Mas also describes the importance of setting clear expectations not only for oneself, but for those around them.

“If you could try to apply specific expectations to your coaches, to anyone, and hold them accountable to that- what you’re doing is making them better. They’ve given you a blueprint. You’re following the blueprint. If they don’t live up to that, that’s a totally different conversation. You can’t be afraid to have no conversation,” said Masiello.

He continued.

“It’s amazing how much it clears up any conflict and now the expectation is set for you as a leader and for your teammate.”

According to Masiello, establishing expectations is a huge part of becoming a leader. If expectations are not made, progress is not made either.

Along with establishing these expectations, he emphasized the importance of empowering others through words and how that relates to great leadership.

“Get personally uncomfortable with yourself and put yourself through it. Even if it has no benefit to what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s going to make you mentally better. That’s something I don’t think a lot of us do enough—is get uncomfortable. That’s really hard,” said Masiello.

He concluded the seminar by discussing what he gathers is the true mark of a leader.

“Sometimes we have this ideology of leadership that it has to be perfect. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about when you fall back or you stumble, how quickly do you get back to doing what you’re supposed to do. That, to me, is key. Those are signs of great leadership,” said Masiello.

Mondays with Mas has proven to be a great opportunity for students at the college to build leadership skills for future success. He encourages students to ask themselves questions throughout the day, such as how clear the expectations they made were and how much progress are they recording. In turn, a valuable self-understanding can be developed in order to help students lead others.

The final session on Oct. 28 will give students a final chance to gain insight if they have not been able to attend the previous two sessions. Students who have attended the previous two sessions will be considered for a leadership certificate commemorating their participation.