Yazed - Murray, Kentucky
Entered on June 19, 2012
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

According to Warren Bennis (2009), “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 becoming” (Bennis, 2009). Furthermore, he argues that leaders are not born, but they are made – and I agree. From the number of leaders I have observed, the people who exude the leadership qualities that I, myself, would like to exemplify, and the strategies that each leader possess or chooses to follow, leadership can be learned. Ultimately, being a leader is easy; being an effective leader is different story.

In addition to this, Peter Drucker was once quoted saying, “management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things” (Psychology Today). Leadership is different from managing followers. Although it is prerequisite, leaders are expected to do a whole series of responsibilities and duties to ensure the success of the organization’s goals. Furthermore, among the articles found in the National Public Radio website, This I Believe, I find Amy Tan’s article inspiring. She talks about how thankful she is for her “ghosts”, and through them she was able to overcome her life’s obstacles and has inspired her to write her stories. I can relate the ghosts she believes in with how leadership can be interpreted. We can believe in a leader in a sense that we’ll only believe what we want [to believe].

Leadership for me is a task that can be done by anyone. But the difference is, there is a thin line between being a leader and actually leading. I have witnessed so many “leaders” that, despite being voted to get to their own positions, fail to lead in reality. Great leaders should offer more than charm or charisma. Likewise, it takes more than social intelligence or an advocacy for change to happen; it takes a vision and a set of admirable qualities to let leaders guide others towards things they wish to accomplish.

My personal authentic leadership mission is to effectively lead with regards to the welfare of the people I lead. Meaning, I would like to lead based on the principles of leadership theories, but with great considerations to the people who will work for me. If I am able to lead effectively because the people believes in me, then we, as a group or an organization, can reach greater heights together. Additionally, my purpose is to maintain a sustainable performance. Such belief in the authentic leadership theory in conjunction with systematic testing will promote understanding within the working environment, will predict impending issues or concerns, and will be able to reinforce the leadership strength by applying positive leadership in challenges that comes along the way (Avolio & Gardner, 2005).

Moreover, my leadership intention is to continuously grow as a leader and as a [separate] individual in order to benefit the people I lead and for my personal growth as well. I do think that leaders often forget that they are ordinary people too, who also needs constant guidance and seek for opportunities to learn the proper ways in dealing with the business and with people. Consequently, I stand for my own beliefs; that leadership is a duty which requires sacrifices of personal innuendos and should be grounded on ethical principles and values, not just from my own perceptions of the terms, but as a diverse culture of workers.

In fact, I am living my life according to this purpose. The way I interact with others, regardless of the roles we each take, proves I believe that everyone should be treated with due respect and appreciation. I do not like it when leaders undermine others who fall below the leader title. Also, leadership does not only come from the ability to do the job or responsibilities, but also from making sure you perform well while encouraging others to be the best they can be and to fully inspire them by being the person you want them to be or to exemplify– that, for me, is a great leader. In short, leaders should practice whatever it is that they preach.

I believe that I am becoming my authentic self. Looking back at the events where I was assigned the task of the leader and the days when I simply followed, I know that I have a good framework or idea of what kind of leader I want to be. Lastly, it all comes down to being true to myself; what I’ve gone through and who I have become today. This does not mean that I have to change myself drastically; change is good only if it is to improve ourselves. As a leader, I want to be known as someone my followers can depend on, and, at the same time, someone they can relate to. To be remembered as a leader who inspires them, who pushes them to be the best person they can be, and a leader who looks out for them as a team would be one of my life’s greatest pleasures; a leader who believes in himself, in his team, and in the mission, vision and practices that the organization advocates — a leader they truly believe in.


Avolio, B. J. & Gardner, W. L. (2005). Authentic leadership development: Getting to the root of positive forms of leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 16: 315-338.

Bennis, W. (2009). On becoming a leader. New York, NY: Basic Books. Print.

Psychology Today. (2012). All about leadership. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/leadership

Tan, A. (2009). Saying thanks to my ghosts. National Public Radio (NPR). This I Believe. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103412215