What is a leader?
Courtesy to Google Images
The word “leadership” has a vast and diverse definition to many Americans. Some people view a leader as being a politician, others view it as being head of a business, like a CEO or COO. Others may see a leader as some who is a role model in their local community, or even a teacher. To each person, leadership may mean something different and hold unique traits. But, I want to write about what I personally, already at fifteen, have learned what a leader is.
Although I am only fifteen, I have had many life experiences for me to already determine what a leader is. For example, I’m my school’s GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) President, so I learn every day by what my club can do to reach out to allies and members of the LGBTQ community. I also aspire to be a leader in the United States someday by being a Congresswoman. I enjoy helping others and changing the world around us.
In seventh grade, I participated in a program held in the nation’s capital that was called Jr. NYLC. The program is aimed at young people who show certain leaderships traits and to help them strengthen their traits to make them the next leaders in the world. The following traits are what I have learned from the program and how one can be a leader.
Setting goals for one’s future is vital in being a leader. When one outlines their steps to achieve goals they want to achieve, they can reach desired results. If one prepares their plans, they can guide their efforts more easily and effectively. If one does not have goals, their life plans are scattered and lost along the way. It is also easier to keep track of what works and what does not when one make goals.
Benefits of goal setting: Learning from successes and failures.
Exchanging ideas, information and opinions is important when one is a leader. Plans are also put into action by communication. From organizing, presenting and listening, different parts of communication all tie into together. A leader should be able to communicate to those who look up to them and those are inspired by them.
Benefits of communication: Developing successful plans and plans that are clearer and easier to understand.
Working with others is how leaders can thrive. When strength is given to each member in a team, everyone feels like they belong and have a purpose. Every person adds a unique perspective and voice to the team, which if done correctly, can make a successful team.
Benefits of teamwork: Developing common visions and goals in a team.
Not everyone is going to agree on everything and a leader notices that. Being considerate of others and being free of any prejudices is how things get done. Treating others how one wants to be treated needs to be remembered by the leader. Everyone can be effective if diversity is embraced.
Benefits of repsect: Understanding others makes a leader well-rounded.
Leaders are aware that making decision is a main part of being a leader. By reflecting on the problems, how to solve the problems and how to prevent the problems from occurring again, progress is made.
Benefits of problem solving: Gaining trust from others and solving the problematic situations.
Being an individual and embracing who one is how leaders are remembered. The words one uses, the actions one expresses and the thoughts one thinks determine one’s character. A leader also lives by what is right, not what is easy. One’s character impacts themselves and the world around them.
Benefit of character: Having a distinguishable character makes one be remembered trustworthy and respectable.
All of the traits above were the six I was taught at the Jr. NYLC program and that I still use today. As a young person, I know that by these traits I am able to do what I want to do in life more effectively and easily.
(Credits to Jr. NYLC and their program by teaching young people how to lead others and the world around them.)