“Inspire others to dream more, learn more, and do more.”

“Inspire others to dream more, learn more, and do more.”

Blog Post 11 - Photo 1

Leadership comes in a multitude of shapes and forms, manifesting itself as a social concept, a state of mind, a role of responsibility, even a form of self-perception. Everyone encounters some kind of leadership experience in his or her life, from the obvious captain of an athletic team to the iconic President of the United States, from a courageous Malala to the selfless collaboration known as Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders),  and, of course, the little-credited leadership title, Mom. Anyone can be a leader, but to become a good leader in every sense of the word takes practice and experience, although sometimes, it is just destiny at work: your calling. With every activity I participate in, I strive to be a better leader. For me and where I am right now in my life, the skill known as leadership means learning to be an attentive listener and a helpful, productive team player. In other words, I believe a good leader must first know how to be a good follower.

It seems that not very many students are familiar with Loyola’s Student Leadership Development (SLD) programs, which define leadership as “an ethical, inclusive, and collaborative process in which people work together for positive change.” I am currently taking advantage of the Leadership Development Certificate programs, to enhance my leadership skills as well as to “become a more effective leader in order to create change in our world.” Last week, I attended my first leadership workshop and really enjoyed it. I met several students on the executive board of a sorority as well as a peer assistant for UNIV 101 classes. Here are the requirements for the certificate, which are not difficult to achieve and only have to be completed before graduation, allowing busy students plenty of time.

SLD has another program called The People’s Institute (TPI) as well as Be the Change Week, both of which are held in February at LUREC. I look forward to applying and hopefully participating in TPI in order to help advance their mission: To raise awareness, examine privilege and responsibility, engage in self-exploration regarding multiple identities, and learn skills to create positive social change. Be the Change Week is supposed to challenge our way of thinking and encourage us to be men and women for others.” Being men and women for others is one of the core values of Loyola.

SLD also promotes everyday leadership, a buzz word coined by TEDx speaker Drew Dudley referring to the impact you can make on someone’s life simply by offering them a lollipop. I happened to stumble across his video on a day when I was sick in bed during high school, but had forgotten about having watched Dudley’s presentation, until it was mentioned at last week’s leadership workshop. His six-minute talk has been voted “one of the 15 most inspirational TED talks of all time.” It is definitely worth watching.

John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, and do more, then, you are a leader.” I hope to one day be able to impact others this way, whether it be through small gestures and everyday leadership, or, by taking part in an organization seeking to effect change on a planetary scale.


Image from: http://www.cbrmarketing.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/leadership-development.jpg

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