This I Believe

Andrew - Holland, Michigan
Entered on December 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe Essay

“The point is not to become a leader. The point is to become yourself, and to use yourself completely – all your gifts, skills and energies – to make your vision manifest. You must withhold nothing. You must, in sum, become the person you started out to be, and to enjoy the process of beginning.”

–Warren Bennis

There is a leader in all of us. Without the recognition of certain leadership traits in ourselves, life as it exists today would not be possible. Everyday activities take a decisiveness that only someone with leadership traits can have. All of us on this Earth are a leader in some form or another.

As I’m coming to the close of my senior year in college, I understand more concretely the capabilities that I possess to lead. I was fortunate enough to enroll in a course at my small liberal arts school that taught us the diversity and importance of leadership. Throughout the whole course, it became more and more evident how leadership is like an ameba…always changing in its shape and structure. Without the acknowledgement that leadership is diverse, humans will be subdued by the chains of a few self proclaimed “leaders”.

It is important for every human being to recognize the strengths and weaknesses they possess in each aspect of their lives. For myself, the strengths lie in my personality. Being charismatic and outgoing is a very magnetic trait that I am blessed to have. However, these benefits do not come without their risks. Trust is a very sacred element that is hard to build and easy to destroy. Charisma allows anyone to gain trust more easily than others. Unfortunately, some leaders take advantage of that trust. Charismatic people need to be careful of how they influence others. The weakness lies in my impulsivity in making decisions. I want things done, and I want them done now.

My personal vision revolves around the ability and need to help others. Whether that be helping others in the corporate world by selling them a product they need, or by volunteering my time and efforts to benefit the less fortunate; my craving to assist is what drives me to lead. I do not feel that I am more intelligent than others, or more qualified to take these positions. I simply feel that I dedicate myself more openly and freely in order to get the ball rolling. Someone has to do it.

The process of better understanding leadership has been horribly intriguing. It is frustrating that such an interesting topic cannot have more concrete answers to its problems. It’s not like biology or chemistry. It’s a part of a broader social science that cannot have boundaries for fear of suppressing society. Leadership is like an ameba…always changing in its shape and structure.