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This book was created by Jamie Sordo. Inside, you will find my personal leadership philosophy and manifesto.

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jamie sordo


leadership portfolio

Created by: Jamie Sordo


This portfolio was born on: April 18th, 2016

table of contents

5 practices in the leadership challenge 


personal best leadership experience


personal vission statement


a look at my box


clarifying my values


defining my voice


personal development plan 

leadership practice report

Modeled from The Leadership Challenge (Kouzes & Posner)

model the way

I almost always set a personal example of what I expect of others.


I rarely spend time & energy on making certain that the people I work with adhere to the principles & standards that we have agreed on.


I almost always follow through on the promises & commitments that I make.


I almost never am clear about my philosophy of leadership.


I fairly often make certain that we set achievable goals, make concrete plan & establish measurable milestones for the projects & programs that we work on.


I occasionally make progress toward goals one step at a time.



*** Survey Responses Indicated:

  • ranged from sometimes - almost always
  • best - 
  • worst - 

what I said...

"Let your dreams be bigger than your fears & your actions be louder than your words."

"You've got what it takes, but it will take everything you've got."

inspire a shared vision

I almost never talk about future trends that will influence how our work gets done.


I almost never describe a compelling picture of what our future could be like.


I sometimes appeal to others to share an exciting dream of the future.


I occationally show others how their long-term interests can be realized by enlisting in a common vision.


I am sometimes contagiously enthusiastic and positive about future possibilities.


I seldom speak with conviction about the higher meaning and purpose of our work.


"Coming together is a beginning...

keeping together is progress...

working together is success."

I almost always search outside the formal boundaries of my organization for innovative ways to improve what we do.


I very frequently ask “What can we learn?” when things do not go as expected.


I very frequently experiment and take risks even when there is a chance of failure.


I almost always take the initiative to overcome obstacles even when outcomes are uncertain.


I very frequently look around for ways to develop and challenge my skills and abilities.


I seldom look for ways that others can try out new ideas and methods.


Once in a while, I keep current on events and activities that might affect our organization.


I usually make sure that we set goals and make specific plans for the projects we undertake.

challenge the process

insert video of emma spinning

Once in a while, I foster cooperative rather than competitive relationships among people I work with.


I very frequently actively listen to diverse points of view.


I usually treat others with dignity and respect.


I very frequently support the decisions that other people in our organization make on their own.


I almost always give others a great deal of freedom and choice in deciding how to do their work.


I seldom provide opportunities for others to take on leadership responsibilities.


enable others to act

I frequently praise people for a job well done.


I almost always make it a point to let people know about my confidence in their abilities.


I rarely make sure that people are creatively rewarded for their contributions to the success of our projects.


I rarely publicly recognize people who exemplify commitment to shared values.


I seldom find ways to celebrate accomplishments.


I almost always give team members lots of appreciation and support for their contributions.

encourage the heart

I generally thought that people were way too generous in there survey answers.  Inspire a shared vision ranked lowest overall, which was consistent with my own beliefs.  Enable others to act ranked highest overall, which was surprising to me because I feel that my behaviors lean towards modeling the way and challenging the process more.

how others rate me...

my personal best leadership experience

The purpose of reflecting on this experience was to begin my process of learning and develop a foundation for personal development.

 --Centered around strength & conditioning training with the Miami University Varsity Synchronized Skating Team --


Our coach, Mackenzie Cutter, and the senior class developed teams for a more competitive and accountable atmosphere in the weight room.


She uses a point system to reward athletes for various efforts that essentially improve our Miami Skating.


Examples of efforts include: increasing reps/weights, encouraging others, displaying positive attitude, cleaning up weights, exceptional work ethic & winning small competitions against other teams.


 Actual Results:

Ask for specific numbers/points I've earned individually and as a team. (compare to others).

measure increase of performance in both weights and points.


At the end of the semester, Team 2 finished 2nd place in overall points.

We train strength & conditioning twice a week with Mackenzie for about an hour each day.  For the purpose of this reflection, I'm going to focus on the series of sessions within Fall semester of 2015.  We were assigned teams within the first couple weeks of school.


My specific role in this situation would be defined as a Team 2 athlete and teammate.  I was not selected or appointed as the leader, but I emerged as an informal leader with influence on the team.



 Hopes & dreams:

Strength & conditioning are crucial aspects in our training towards becoming National Champions.  Our success as a team depends heavily on our physical strength & endurance that is developed in the weightroom.  An equally important factor, mental strength & stamina, is additionally challenged and endured beyond our percieved limits during this training.

Our coaches periodically cancel our lift sessions for various reasons, like team travel, hockey game performances, monitoring from officials, etc. When this occurs for reasons that are not directly time-conflicting, I have organized for my teammates and I to come in for a lift, despite the formal cancelation.

It would be nice if more of our teammates would participate in optional workouts.  I hope that our teammates don't cut corners, but rather push themselves to increase weight on the bar, or the number of reps accomplished with correct technique & form.  I dream for a higher level of individual commitment & enthusiasm about this facet of our training, becuase I believe that will foster a collective appreciation towards its value.

Individuals face injury throughout the season - many have alternative exercises & rehab they do to accomodate their injuries.  For example, when I felt an old injury in my wrist & shoulder getting a bit irritated, I told Mackenzie about it after 2 weeks, & she suggested I go back to doing some of the preventative exercises I previously did in rehab.  So, in addition to weights, I did my extra shoulder exercises in the weight room - apparent to all 52 skaters - as well as in the training room at the rink during varying times around practice - also apparent to many skaters.  I purposefully committed to my preventative exercises in a visable way because wrist injuries are among the most common in skaters.  This committment resulted in decreased pain & increased performance.

At the beginning of the semester, I felt frusterated with the slower pace and instructional setting in the weight room.  While I was a bit impatient with the rookies/ freshman, I was excited to be someone for them to look up to.  I felt confident with my experience and strength in comparison to the team, and I felt motivated to raise the bar even more.  I was eager for the whole team to improve; however, I felt dissapointed with some individual teammates in their committment to our prescribed 'weights' packet of workouts scheduled over the summer.


 Initial Emotions:

  • I led a dynamic warmup each lift - usually with a different person each session.  I ask for their opinions on the exercises & dynamic structure of the drills.  With 52 athletes trying to fit on the gyms open floor, it sometimes led to an ineffective warmup.  After failing at trying to pick up the collective pace, I took the initiative to ask Mackenzie what we could do for a more effective warm up.  She appreciated the question & taught us an alternative warmup we could use in tight spaces.  In addition to that, Mackenzie spilt the 52 of us into two groups for typical warmup - one upstairs & the other downstairs - resulting in a more efficient & effective warmup to our lifts.
  • I would share personal records broken, & personal SMART goals that were either in-progress, achieved or adjusted (which some might describe as failed).
  • I emit energy & enthusiasm by encouraging those last couple of reps that someones struggling with.
  • I take pride in my own improvements, and compliment others for their small accomplishments - such as successfully fighting through those additional reps or that heavier weight.  This creates an uplifting atmosphere right away with our teams shouting genuine encouragement and/or praise across the room to eachother.
  • Along with that, I don't allow myself to be complacent because I consistenly strive for more small accomplishments.  I encourage others to do the same by suggesting adding an extra rep or another 2.5 pounds.  Our coach, Mackenzie says not to wait to move up until it feels easy - because it will never feel easy.  It's always going to be hard.  The only time it will be easy is when you step back and look at the weight you were lifting 20 pounds earlier.  I've committed to following this motto in the weight room - becuase if were not failing, are we really pushing ourselves to the fullest?


 My Behaviors:

  • Sometimes less is more --> especially when talking
  • Sometimes you have to sacrifice your personal beliefs or values on certain things when it comes to doing whats best for the team.
  • The best leaders are the ones who help make leaders out of everyone around them.  Great leaders aren't just inspiring, they're empowering.
  • Leaders who develop personal relationships with each member of the team will see intrinsically motivated members in return of the challenges.

 Guiding Principles of my Actions:

 What I learned:

 What I learned:

I wanted all of the skaters to have someone to look up to in the weight room, so all of my action are based off of what I would want to see out of a leader.  Challenging myself to go beyond my own expectations is something I focus on - almost as if it is an out of body experience and the leader is someone greater & more capable than myself.  I led by example by never sacrificing form for completion.  I take time to spot others if I challenge them to increase weight, or to just cheer on their last couple reps.  I keep a positive attitude in the weight room - showing grit through a 100% work ethic, 100% of the time.

Everybody responds to leadership styles differently.  I have to adapt my role for different individuals.  It's difficult to help people realize there own potential when they are afraid.  Being the leader doesn't mean you have to be the best at everything, but leaders celebrate and bring attention to individuals own best practices, behaviors and gains.  Not everyone can excel at everything - but when everyone is aware of the records set by someone for a certain practice... then the team as a whole will grow and continue to raise the standards.

The Classic Profile Pattern - an integrated interpretation of my behavioral style - presents me as an Inspirational Leader.

Disc Profile Debrief 

A personalized interpretation of my behavioral tendencies.

My DISC Profile

• Founder of a company that makes a difference

• Travel the world making an impact on people of various cultures

• Travel the country as an inspirational speaker - Inspiring others to continually challenge themselves & the world around them

• Have a family and raise our kids into strong individuals

• Coach a synchro skating team to the olympics – and

not only coach them in skating, but also life – changing their

lives for the better & coaching them to be leaders themselves

• Die with happiness & fulfillment – knowing I gave everything

I have to give to the world and people around me

• What connects all of these accomplishments

is my values of leadership

[[Coach a synchronized

skating team to the olympics – and not only coach them in skating, but also life – changing their lives for the better and coaching them to be leaders themselves]]

personal obituary

my main accomplishments

I picked this one because I believe,

as of right now, that this will bring me the greatest

internal satisfaction. I would have to challenge the Olympic committee to make it an Olympic sport, which would open up the opportunities for elite athletes to represent their nation in figure skating for years beyond my own. Knowing I made a difference coaching people around me and that my behaviors will have inspired them to make leaders of themselves



why I'm attracted to my career

I enjoy being a leader.

I love to help people realize how

much potential and talent they have, and how there

is no cap or limit in what they can do. If they persevere

hardships & are passionate about the challenge, then they

will grow and achieve more than they ever thought they would.


It takes an individual with grit – passion & perseverance – to accomplish the extraordinary. This mindset or what many people call, an ‘athlete’s mentality’ is what makes me who I am.  And I’m attracted to the entrepreneurial mindset because they are one in the same.  An entrepreneur has the fire within them and they are determined to ignite it.  They move with intensity and purpose. Entrepreneurs are doers, they don’t just think, dream or wish, they take actions that move them. Entrepreneurs, like athletes, are willing to make sacrifices to get closer to their goals. They make great teammates and impacts around them.

I’m attracted to the freedom and creativity that

entrepreneurs take advantage of. I love the

environment that entrepreneurs & athletes

not only make, but thrive in.

I will be leaving behind my family, students, athletes & friends (also colleagues) 


Abby Wambach, US female soccer player, said goodbye to professional soccer a couple months ago. Her behaviors and attitude - reflected in the video below - sums up remarkably well how I hope to leave life.


Watch:  Beginning – 1:15  & 4:20 – 5:00

who I'll leave & when I do

I want to have helped people

who needed help the most.

I want to have fought for equal opportunity.

To have provided education to the uneducated.

Opportunity to the disadvantaged.

Love to the unaccepted.

Treatment to the sick,

and recovery to the treated.




The following lyrics show

an analogy that has guided my beliefs

& has inspired me to share this outlook

on adversity with others.

White Privelege II, by Macklemore:


”Black Lives Matter, to use an analogy, is like if there was a subdivision & a house was on fire. The fire department wouldn't show up and start putting water on all the houses because all houses matter. They would show up and they would turn their water on the house that is burning Because that's the house that needs the help the most. My generation's taken on the torch of a very age-old fight for black liberation, But also liberation for everyone, and injustice anywhere is still injustice everywhere.”

who I've helped & how

I think one of the biggest questions life will have asked me is whether I’m living an authentic life and more importantly, how I’m going to empower others to do the same?

Who am I to judge others? For their opinions, beliefs, actions, clothes. For their past, their present & their dreams of the future. Who am I to judge a person for being who they are?

I am not more or less worthy

of anyone else to

make judgments of them.

We shouldn’t be so quick

to judge people in society

for being who they are.

This question will have developed my guiding principles that I lived by. I don’t think there will have been a single response, but instead continued responses. My responses would have been shown not only through thoughts, words & actions – but also through questions. The main question that life has asked me is a heuristic. It enables me to ask more questions, and it enables me to explore responses in many different directions.

the main question life has asked me

Both physical health & mental health are building blocks to greater fulfillment. It is only once this is satisfied, that other values may also be attained to their true potential.


This does not mean that suffering from depression, a respiratory virus or a broken leg will prevent someone from living - or even fulfilling - their other values… But it means that your health is of such high importance to you, that you're motivated and willing to do whatever it takes to help yourself be as healthy as you can be. And as long as you are both actively aware of and reaching towards those steps for a healthier you, than you are living up to this value.


Self-actualization is what drives my actions. It's the search for the gap, and the motivator to close it. Self-actualization is living creatively to actualize your potentials - it drives consistent growth. It requires confidence to imagine your potential, and desire to live up to the challenge.


Independence relies on your own experiences & judgment - it means you are independent, not reliant, on the culture & environment to form opinions and views.  Independence does not mean that you don't learn from others.  Independence means that you take it upon yourself to learn from others. 



Perseverance pushes you forward. It's the will to fight through challenges and setbacks - and too stubborn to quit when it gets tough.

Perseverance keeps the fire lit when it pours.

 Grit is said to be at the intersection of passion and perseverance. Grit drives you to success in what you want to achieve.

Grit makes the fire sustainable.  Passion, alone, doesn't keep the fire. Perseverance, alone, doesn't make a fire.

Passion is internal. It comes from deep within. It's at the core of who you are and what you want to do. Passion is authentic & energizing.

Passion ignites the fire within.


 core values



         my voice

My authentic voice is loud.  Sometimes it's overbearing and dominant when I'm too excited.  My voice is confident but humble because I am always trying to learn and soak in everything happening around me.  Likewise, my voice lives in the present when I'm around other people.  But when I get home for the night, my voice becomes reflective.  So, when I wake up in the morning, I am forward looking and excited that it’s a new day.  This cycle keeps my voice from burnout.

My voice is hard to describe because my actions speak louder than my words.  I share my voice with others as if we were having a conversation without words.  It's complicated and takes more time to understand.


I have a very hard time getting things I want to say across to people.  There's definitely a gap between how I understand things in my head and what comes out of my mouth.  This mostly hurts me when I'm teaching or coaching.  I often ask people if they understand what I'm saying or know what I mean.  I struggle to get words out that truly reflect my understanding of the topic, which in turn, negatively effects my coaching abilities.

work process & more

My Obituary Rough Draft

click each button to the download .pdf file in a new tab

Personal Values Exercise Process

Pause To Envision

My Values List

Aligning Values & Actions

My Box