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Help me understand "leadership"


Replies to: Help me understand "leadership"

  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Posts: 41
    edited May 2013
    That reminds me of something an old boss used to say: What's it take to be a leader? A follower.
  • waudio1waudio1 Posts: 1 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    My daughter was editor-in-chief of the school news paper (junior and senior year) and coached a special needs cheer team. What made these good fits for her were that they lined up with her passions. She loved writing and she had cheered since she was 9. I think the trick is to incorporate it into something you love.
  • mihcal1mihcal1 Posts: 3
    edited May 2013
    zip100 -- Thank You for posting that TED talk link!

    My DH and I have rolled round and round in conversation about whether our D1 is a "leader", because she has some leadership qualities but not others. She is good at herding cats, and always gets picked for work-teams because she will do more-than-her-share of the work uncomplainingly. However she doesn't toot her own horn, doesn't take credit (always says others did most of the work), and gets embarrassed when her contributions are noted. Also, she lacks "the vision thing" and prefers to be a joiner rather than step out front.

    The Derek Sivers TED talk finally explains my D1: she is a natural "first follower"! :)
  • intparentintparent Posts: 70
    edited May 2013
    My D had absolutely NOTHING on her applications that would be considered "leadership" during this last admissions cycle. She has never been a captain of anything, no student government roles, no experience as a counselor or anything else like that. She was a top performer in Quiz Bowl in our state, and the top player on her school team for two years. But nothing that meets the traditional criteria. She had great college acceptance results -- got in everyplace she applied, including U of Chicago, Swarthmore, Harvey Mudd, and Carleton -- with no hook. I guess what I am saying is, don't force your kid to try to do things that you think build "leadership" credentials for his college application if it isn't his thing. As someone said earlier, colleges would be crazy places if EVERYONE they accepted was a "leader" in the traditional sense.
  • CCsiteObsessedCCsiteObsessed Posts: 1 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    DD, an Asian American, was awarded a leadership scholarship at her LAC. I believe it was primarily because she was Student Body President at her extremely racially diverse high school and was reportedly better at this *job* (it took that much of her time!) than all her predecessors in recent and not so recent memory. She had never participated in student government and had no idea it was so disorganized at her school. Among other things, she set up a FaceBook page for students, recruited and organized dozens of volunteers for freshman orientation, organized Homecoming activities, and I forget what else. After she graduated, she put together binders of what she did and how to do them and organized a weekend workshop for incoming officers, complete with detailed schedule, icebreaker activities, brainstorming and planning modules, etc. She in student government at her LAC and plans to continue. Her current project is improving the cafeteria food and so has been working with the food service these past months and submitted some type of proposal to them this week or last week after she returned home for the summer. Anyway, this mom considers her DD a leader.
  • ProudMomx3ProudMomx3 Posts: 3 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    Thanks intparent, that is reassuring
  • CTScoutmomCTScoutmom Posts: 34
    edited May 2013
    I can't understand why on earth a college would want a class of all "leaders" anyway. Sounds like total chaos to me.
    I guess this goes to the whole definition of a good leader. A good leader is one who not only knows how to lead, but how to follow, and when to do each - someone who knows how to be a effective team member.

    I'm not surprised that GoldenWest found a difference between those with military and scouting background. One of the things we stress in Girl Scouts is the difference between community service and leadership - both wonderful things, but very different. The kid who runs yet another food drive is involved in community service. The one who comes up with an idea for a new event to raise awareness about the need for the food pantry, and jump starts a new program is showing leadership. When she takes sustainability into account, making sure someone else is available to take over when she graduates, so it won't be a one-off event, that's showing even more leadership.

    Leadership can shine through in school activities, but it's more than being a team captain or officer - it's what they do with the position. It may or may not shine through in the essays, but I suspect the good leaders don't write about it there. Instead, it shines through in their recommendations.
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