Life is full of adventure, full of opportunity, full of doors waiting to be opened and the only thing holding us back from those things is ourselves. I’ve always believed in the concept of you’ll never know the outcome of something unless you try and to this day, by living by that I have gained so much experience and have been blessed with the opportunities that have been given to me.
I have been through various experiences that have taught me what leadership is and that there are many different ways to be a good leader. Whether it was being a class officer or attending a week long leadership camp, I was given lots advice as well as experience to develop the skills that I would need to lead others in the future. Leadership can be interpreted in various ways and it all depends on the person and their own definition of what leadership is. From been surrounded by many different kinds of leaders, I have conjured up some things that I strive to achieve as a leader. Being a leader is someone who sets an example for others with their actions; someone who can understand the thoughts and feelings of others, and always keeping an open mind for new ideas. Leadership consists of many different aspects of life that there isn’t just one way to be a good leader, but just having a kind heart and encouraging others can go a long way when it comes to leading others to a common goal. From past experience, people resonate with positivity and encouragement, rather than someone screaming at them telling them what to do. If you are putting yourself within their shoes, you can figure out a way that they work well and it will allow you to lead them in a way that they will listen to you. I feel like my leadership style is one to always have a positive attitude and thinking of how others may go about a situation and I strongly believe in having an open mind about everything because your way isn’t always the right way or the only way. Someone who I believe is a leader that I strive to be like is my leadership camp counselor, my JC Caroline Franzen. Caroline is such a kind soul and you could tell that she is a very passionate person and cares so much for others. She was someone that was never intimidating and always had a smile on her face. Her high energy always made me motivated to do my best and I just admire the way she leads others to be the best that they can be. During the week of camp, she was going through a hard time in her life, but that didn’t stop her from staying positive for us. This showed me her strength and how much she cared for her campers because she didn’t want her emotions to affect how are experience was. I was so inspired by her will-power and courage to continue smiling and for me, that is the kind leader that I strive to be.
I have achieved so much since coming to college. Entering this new chapter of my life, I knew that I wanted to step it up and take on more challenges. I believe that the Leadership Institute has helped me strengthen my outlook on leadership as well as allowed me to gain more experience with using my leadership skills through facilitating various activities. Whether its attending leadership conferences to gain more knowledge of being a leader or its bettering my skills through experience in facilitating activities in class and being involved with two positions in my fraternity, I have such a better grasp of what good leaders do for others.
One of the greatest impacts for me since I came to college has definitely been my involvement with my fraternity. I always thought that within an organization or club, that in order to be a leader you had to either have experience or seniority. I didn’t really think that as a small freshman in a group of over 50 guys that are older than me would be much of an impact, especially as a new member. I really wanted to challenge that thought and run for a position because I really wanted to dive in and get involved. Now, as I am coming to the end of my first year, I hold two positions and am nominated for two more for the next school year already. I learned that it doesn’t matter the age, what you look like, or how much experience you have in order to be a leader. As long as you have the determination and you believe in that you can, you could surprise some people as well as yourself.
Looking into the future, I can only see myself being put into more challenging leadership roles and developing the skills to be the best leader that I can be. Some goals that I have in the near future include being a safari guide, applying to be an orientation mentor, and I soon want to gain enough experience and confidence to run for either president or vice president of my fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Setting goals for yourself is so important in leadership because as a leader you need to lead with a purpose. If you have the end goal in your mind that you want to achieve, you will strive yourself to accomplish that goal through having that determination.
Leadership is derived from several different ideas and concepts, but everyone has a different outlook on what leadership style fits for them. Positivity and caring for others can go a long way when it comes to being a leader and that is something that I want to do every day. Being there for someone when their down, doing good when no one’s watching, treating others how they want to be treated; these are all things that can go a long way. I hope that I can always keep a good mind set on life and always put my best foot forward because in the end, it’s not what you say or do for others that they will remember, it’s the way that you made them feel that will make an everlasting impact on their lives.