Labor Day Challenge – Day 28 – SWASAP SLC – Juan
This past weekend at the SWASAP SLC, I met Juan. Let me rephrase that, I met Juan again! Juan is a student at Weatherford Upward Bound at Weatherford Community College in Weatherford, TX. (That sentence gets an award for most uses of the word Weatherford) Juan is an outstanding young man, one with character, values, and strong leadership skills. Of everyone I met at SWASAP SLC, Juan had the most refined set of leadership skills. He was patient, kind, thoughtful, respectful, and easy-going. He was never over-bearing, he spoke with authority, and he was eager to learn.
This is what Juan wrote on my Facebook wall after camp:
As you can tell, Juan wants to be a lawyer. He plans on attending Baylor University and is working on becoming a better student and a better leader. Here is his scholarship-winning essay he wrote about leadership which was posted with his permission. I am proud of you Juan and I will believe in you no matter where you go.
Everyone is a leader whether they realize it or not, but what distinguishes a good leader from an average leader are five very important qualities: trustworthiness, communication skills, respect, determination and responsibility. There are all qualities that I feel I display, and this is why I feel they are important.
One of the first things that a leader needs is to be trustworthy. Trustworthiness is very important because if the people who need leadership can’t trust their leader then the project will fail. The next thing a leader needs to have is great communication skills. One reason people are unable to communicate and feel left out is because the leader can’t or won’t share his or her ideas. Being respectful is the third characteristics that any great leader should have. If a leader doesn’t respect the people that he or she is leading their followers will not cooperate with them. A leader must give respect in order to receive the respect that he or she feels they deserve.
Determination is a must and it must shine through as a good leader. The reason that determination is so important is because if the leader is not determined to accomplish the task at hand, then he or she is setting a terrible example for the rest of the people in their group. The fifth characteristic that a leader should have is responsibility. They must be responsible because there is a date that something is due and someone must take charge. Therefore the person that takes charge of the task is the one that is responsible for the outcome of the task.
These are things that good leaders should have, but are not the only qualities that they need to possess. I don’t consider myself a great leader like Dr. Martin Luther King or George Washington, but I do believe that I am a good leader. Every time I have been given the opportunity, I have risen to action. One of these times was in my math class, I was put in a group of five, and we had five days to finish the project and very little class time to work on it. My group didn’t work the first two days, and there wasn’t really any communication between anyone. So I began to work on the project and assigned everyone a part in the project so that no one would feel left out. On the fifth day, I took it all home to put in order and turned it into the teacher. We ended up getting the best grade in the class.
I think these five qualities make a great leader, and I hope that one day I can be considered on as I continue to reach for my goals and learn more about leadership.
Juan, you are a great leader, and I look forward to seeing great things from you!