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Help me understand "leadership"

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Replies to: Help me understand "leadership"

  • sorghumsorghum Posts: 17
    edited May 2013
    Historically? Not being Jewish. Today, say some? Not being Asian.

    Yes! Another way to make all acceptances so subjective as to be unchallengeable.
  • LBowieLBowie Posts: 14
    edited May 2013
    Back to answering original question. Camp counselor. Coach for younger children. It can be in the community and does not have to be a popularity contest or some contrived endeavor, or title-only position. Should be genuine. Does this help?
  • HuntHunt Posts: 153
    edited May 2013
    I would like to point out that leadership involves leading other people. Other activities, no matter how worthy they are, are not leadership. For example, practicing your musical instrument, and even playing first chair, is not leadership.
  • LoremIpsumLoremIpsum Posts: 38
    edited May 2013
    They may not be the "natural leaders" I have described above, but a consistent work ethic and a tendency to stay on top of everything is recognized and admired by a group over time. Theses kids often end up in leadership roles with minimal effort after a year or two in a group, even though some of them may be more introverted and not able to form connections with people quickly.

    Introverts are not necessarily unable to form connections with people quickly -- they are just not driven by the need to do so. Strong extroverts thrive on larger group interactions: it energizes them. Strong introverts are internally driven and constant group interactions tend to wear them out. I've always been a borderline extrovert and am able to "kick it up" and take charge when I need to, but I'd much rather defer the leadership role to another competent like-minded person who enjoys it and be the "idea person" (staff assistant in a hierarchical chart). When I play the leadership/sales role for an extended period of time, I find that I need some solitary downtime to recharge my energy.
  • ProudpatriotProudpatriot Posts: 13
    edited May 2013
    Introverts are not necessarily unable to form connections with people quickly -- they are just not driven by the need to do so.

    This is something that is very true. My oldest son is an introvert yet he was the captain of four different varsity teams in high school. He is a natural leader. People are drawn to his warmth, natural level headedness, and his ability to do what needs to be done, without drama.

    People often think that introverts are antisocial and withdrawn but that is not the case. My son will say what he needs to say when he needs to say it. He is quiet, but not shy. However, he does not NEED to be around people like extroverts.

    Introverts can be quite strong as leaders. People like my son are often called on as leaders because they are people who do things instead of talking about doing things. He inspires confidence in people and they are willing to trust his judgement. That is what makes a good leaders. A person does not need to be an extrovert to be a good leader.
  • ProudpatriotProudpatriot Posts: 13
    edited May 2013
    For example, practicing your musical instrument, and even playing first chair, is not leadership.

    Being a section leader does require leadership though.
  • cromettecromette Posts: 25
    edited May 2013
    D2 was President of the Choir, which had definite leadership duties. Not just a title. Organized activities, planned for finances, delegated various responsibilities to make sure things got done, etc. She also volunteered her time to help with the junior varsity choir class and help underclassmen with solos, and helped with the class for students who are mentally challegened, which meant participating in class with them, mentoring, guiding, etc.

    D3 was section leader, treasurer and librarian in the band. Section Leader was not an elected position. It was appointed by the directors. It meant passing off music for the section during marching season, teaching the section drills, managing needs of the section (i.e. someone lost a glove, someone needs music, etc.) And she was Teachers Assistant for the choir class for students who are mentally challegened. She also trained young acolytes in her church.

    I consider these leadership activities, without a doubt. Organizing a group of people towards a goal, or mentoring/coaching and providing support to others - definitely valuable skills and worthwhile activities.
  • cromettecromette Posts: 25
    edited May 2013
    "I would like to point out that leadership involves leading other people. Other activities, no matter how worthy they are, are not leadership. For example, practicing your musical instrument, and even playing first chair, is not leadership."

    Being first chair in my D's school carries other responsibilities. Similar to section leader in marching band. You're in charge of pass-off's for contest music, organizing sectionals, distributing music, encouraging section members to compete in Solo & Ensemble and Region Band competitions, helping them select music, resolve issues with uniforms, etc.
  • ProudpatriotProudpatriot Posts: 13
    edited May 2013
    My son's school is similar with respect to band. Section leaders have responsibilities that are additional to playing the music.
  • cromettecromette Posts: 25
    edited May 2013
    Band leaders at my D's school actually have to attend leadership seminars to teach them about mentoring, inspiring and coaching, having a contagious positive attitude, etc.
  • YoHoYoHoYoHoYoHo Posts: 18
    edited May 2013
    I think that leadership does not matter on college apps as much as people think. D had no leadership activities but still got accepted into a top school. She is good at organizing and planning but does not lead a bunch of people to get a project done. I know some incredible leaders who were not accepted to their #1 choice.

    But I agree with other posters, people often tend to be leaders or followers. Which one are you, op? Which one is ur kid? But regardless of the answer, it might not matter as much as you think. A room filled with leaders can get overbearing.
  • HuntHunt Posts: 153
    edited May 2013
    Being first chair doesn't necessarily imply leadership duties. If a particular first chair has leadership duties, you'd better make them clear in your college application. That's kind of my point--leadership is leading. Even being president of a club doesn't necessarily mean you did any actual leading, although it at least implies it.
  • boysx3boysx3 Posts: 7
    edited May 2013
    What adcoms are looking for in "leadership" is how you make a difference, how you motivate others toward making a difference. It's not a leadership title they are looking at, what they are seeking is "what did you achieve?"

    Adcoms don't really care if you were president of the sophomore class....they know it's a popularity contest. What they will ask is, how did you put your popularity to use? How did you channel it?
  • ProudMomx3ProudMomx3 Posts: 3 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    Thanks for all of the input. I wish I knew how to quote.

    Anyway, the question asked by YoHoYoHo, is my kid a leader or a follower...that is difficult to really say. If you mean in the traditional H.S. sense of being popular enough to be student council president, then no. Captain of a sports team? No again because he is not an athlete. A natural born leader that is starting a nonprofit or heading up a political movement or protesting social injustices? Definitely no. But is he a follower? That is also absolutely a no. He is a highly extroverted and outspoken individual that has never followed the crowd. And now that I think about it most "popular" student council president types tend to be followers in a sense--in terms of dress, interests, social norms, ect....yet they are considered the school leaders...so much to ponder!

    As to the discussion of first chair/section "leader" and the associated duties and whether or not it is a leadership role, to me it sounds more like a role of responsibility/organization than true leadership. They are given a job that requires commitment, but leadership? I don't really think so. They seem to be filling an assistant role from what I read in the numerous descriptions, but that is why I asked the question. Perhaps I am being too literal with the term?

    I do appreciate your opinions. True leadership is obvious-you know it when you see it, but for the regular kid that has to conjure a way to fill vast blank space under the heading LEADERSHIP, this discussion may help the creative(ahem, bs) process.
  • zip100zip100 Posts: 1 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    Here's a link to my favorite Ted talk about Leadership.

    Derek Sivers: How to start a movement | Video on TED.com
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