Leadership

November 21, 2011
When we think of a great leader, each person has a certain individual that comes to mind. Leaders are characterized differently, but there are some common traits and exemplary people in history that define what a true leader is. A leader must have to ability to stand up for what they believe in, to be mentally strong, and be respected.

It is hard to see leadership in high school students. Peer pressure seems to be the biggest discouraging factor to the potential leader trying to stand up for what they believe in. But in high school, when leadership is shown, it is more noticeable than anywhere. Even if people aren't exactly for the actions of the leader, it is still admirable. Standing up against your friends, coworkers, and even your own family is probably the most difficult part of leadership. Courage to do so is something that comes with time and starts with small actions.

The ability to be mentally strong is key to a good leader. They must be able to ignore all ridicule and judgment, but not to the point of being arrogant. There is a thin line between ignoring negative comments, and ignoring constructive criticism, for a good leader must be able to recognize both. A leader will lose admiration if they become too prideful, and they will seem immature and unwise, for no one looks up to ignorance. Being mentally strong is very important, but only when coexisting with humility.

Personally, I believe that the biggest characteristic of a leader would be respect. Respect is the key to success, for there needs to be a trusting relationship between the leader and the followers. For trust to be built, mutual respect is shared. The leader will keep in mind the follower's needs and desires, and the followers will show utmost loyalty. If this trust is breeched, the attempt to accomplish a goal will fail. But a leader has to abandon humanistic mistakes for respect to remain. There are many sacrifices for a leader to make: they will ultimately lose friends, make enemies, and be discouraged countless times. That price to pay is great, but the few who fully take the challenge are truly great lead





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