Should I Take Learning to Lead

Prior to taking this course, leadership used to have a very definite and limited meaning to me. It often occurred to me that good leaders were those who were independent, reliable, confident, and knowledgeable. For a long time, I viewed a leader as someone who one can go to for guidance, a person who is able to stay calm in any situation and provide their experience to better the community. Now, after four months of discussing what it means to be a leader, my vision is no longer the same. While certain aspects of what I associate with good leadership still remains, I have gained a much more comprehensive understanding of what it means to lead. 


For one, I realized that a leader does not always have to be the outgoing type. People can be leaders in their own time, in their own ways. A person who is shy may lead in their own special way. There is no one formula to being a good leader. Many different traits such as positivity, inclusiveness, and integrity are all good candidates of what makes a leader; however, there is no single combination that yields the best result. Through the course of this semester, I learned that it is not about the qualities you have but what you do with those assets that shape leadership. It is not so much about what you do or how you appear, but how you motivate others that makes the difference. Sitting in a room immersed with diverse individuals from various backgrounds, I cannot help but come to see how each one of us is different but at the same time, radiating with qualities that speak to leadership itself. 


Another crucial aspect that I have recognized in leadership is the foundation of what it is based on. A leader is someone who hopes to better the lives of those around them. Through their own endeavors and strengths, effective leaders cultivate teamwork to accomplish a greater common goal. In having a vision, they set targets to be achieved each day. In listening to others, they hear the voices of different perspectives. In implementing action, they push to strive for change. In placing trust in others, they create lasting bonds that unite in times of need. In focusing on their work, they endlessly inspire others. These are the cornerstones of leadership and what makes good leaders so successful. The communication and interrelations required to lead are at the forefront of demonstrating this trait. My perspective on leadership would not have changed if not for Learning to Lead. 


P.S. The course is also strongly recommended for those who are applying for on-campus leadership positions, such as RAs, PALs, and iMentors!