First of all, Welcome Back, Golden Eagles! This is going to be a fantastic semester. For them months of January and February our blog, The Hub Happenings, will feature posts that focus on the topic of leadership and why it is so important. We are excited for you to read what students and staff have to say about this.
We are even more excited to highlight a great opportunity to get involved in a leadership opportunity through the Office of Student Activities’ Ambassador Program, click here to learn more about the selection process as well as what the ambassador program offers students.
Our first blog post is from our Student Activities Manager, Lindsay Watson…
This word is often times tossed around organizations, classrooms, and jobs. But what is leadership? Dictionary.com says, “the action of leading a group of people or an organization.” Pretty vague if you ask me. I dug deeper and cracked open a thesaurus (well, ok…checked Google). Synonyms for leadership are ‘guidance, direction, influence’. However, leadership can mean different things to different people.
When I think of leadership, my main focus is always influence…which takes me into servant leadership. I think the best way to explain it would be that servant leaders focus on identifying and meeting the needs of OTHERS rather than trying to obtain power or have concern over their own needs. Basic rule: treat others the way you wish to be treated.
Leaders have leaders.
Yup! Every leader has someone else they look to for direction, guidance, and motivation. The leadership cycle is really quite fabulous. Leaders set direction for everyone. They help us see what lies ahead, visualize what one may achieve, and most of all, encourage and inspire us to be better. Be a better person. Be a better student organization leader. Be a better student organization member. Just be better.
Is everyone a leader? Nope. However, we would never have leaders if there were not followers. You cannot have a group that consists of one person. You have to have followers to mold and build into potential future leaders.
So why is all of this important?
Well, put simply, without leaders we would have unproductive, unsuccessful, completely lost followers. Society would have few goals, little ambition, and a lack of drive and motivation. Let’s think back to September 11, 2001…or any event you recall that was devastating. What would happen if we did not have leaders? Who would people turn to? What type of ramifications would be in place? So many “what if” questions. The human race NEEDS someone to look up to. Without leaders, organizations, big and small…would become static, have lack of growth, and completely lose their way. In some cases, a boss or CEO of a company may not necessarily be a leader….but rather, just a boss or a CEO. Those companies or organizations typically do not last, do not make the Fortune 500 list, and have a very difficult time retaining their employees. We don’t just need leaders…we need GOOD leaders.
What will be your legacy?
If you are reading this, maybe you are on an Executive Board for a student organization. When you leave The University of Southern Mississippi…or wherever you are…what do you want to see happen to your organization? Will it fall apart when you leave? If you think so, you have not done your job creating new leaders. Will it prosper, evolve, and grow? Then you have done a marvelous job as a leader.
E.M. Kelly has a quote that sticks with me. “Remember the difference between a boss and a leader: a boss says ‘go’ – a leader says ‘let’s go!’” Remember to put others before you…lead by example…and INFLUENCE others. Once you have that down, you can evolve followers into leaders. You can feel confident that you left a place better than you found it.