What Leadership means to me and a time when I was affected by good leadership | Teen Ink

What Leadership means to me and a time when I was affected by good leadership

January 11, 2010
By Claire Westlie GOLD, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Claire Westlie GOLD, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
13 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
Those words were spoken by the sixth president of the United States of America, John Quincy Adams. He almost perfectly describes leadership. A leader does not have to be rich, smart, or elegant; a leader is someone who inspires. I believe the reason people, like John Quincy Adams, become great leaders is because they were inspired by something. They see a need for change, and they have an idea of how to get there. Leadership to me is when someone does not even know they are the leader, yet they inspire many.
Last September, I got a new job at Marshalls. I felt a little nervous and lost my first few days, but then I met Theresa. Theresa moved to the United States from Poland in the early 1990’s and she has been working at Marshalls for thirteen years, the longest anyone else at Marshalls in Delafield has. I was immediately drawn to Theresa because she is exactly what I think of when I think of leadership. She is innovative, fun, and has excellent work ethic. She coordinates the front line and when Theresa is there, everything gets done. Everyone listens to her and everyone loves her. Though her accent was a little difficult to understand at first, I always go to her for help. She unknowingly inspires me to be a better person. I say unknowingly because she is not trying to be a leader that is just her personality. I was uncertain I made the right decision switching jobs, but if I had not I never would have met Theresa and that would have been a terrible loss.

The author's comments:
This was my essay submitted for the St. Norbert Diversity Leadership scholarship. Wish me luck!

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