Story by Zakiya Austin, Lindsay Long and Raleigh Norris
Leadership is a quality that is not easily explained. Defined by Webster’s online dictionary, leadership is, “the act of leading a group of people or organization.” I
But is that really all it is?
“Effective leadership to me would be providing the vision and motivation to a team so everyone can all work together towards a common goal,” senior Jordan Furtick, senior captain of the Dazzlers Dance team, said.
Whether the goal is to win a national championship or to make a difference within your community, the foundation is the same: strong leadership.
“A leader is willing to serve others and help in any way that he or she can.” said Junior class president Lindsay Shealy. “The difference between a boss and a leader is that a leader helps get the job done.”
But is that really all it is?
In 1954, Raymond Cattell, a pioneer to modern research and testing in the field of interpersonal psychology, developed the Leadership Potential Equation. The equation is used to determine the character traits of potentially effective leaders. Among the many traits included were dominance, enthusiasm, emotional stability, empathy, charisma and social boldness.
This is one of his many respected theories but, as he said himself, “psychology is a more tricky field, in which even outstanding authorities have been known to run in circles describing things which everyone knows in language which no one understands.”
In regards to leadership, this means everyone recognizes a leader, but no one can tell us exactly what leadership is. Some come close, but no one has an accurate definition.
“Leadership is making sure everyone’s alright,” said Freshman Anthony Spires.
There is no set definition, no rules or guidelines, no class than can teach it and no scientific approach to figuring it out.
“Being a leader is about inspiring people and changing the environments of those who you are leading for the better.” Said Sophomore class president Stephen Wise.
Leadership just is and those who lead do so only as they can.
Both Jordan and Lindsay expressed that leading is not about the individual, but the collective interest of the group.
“I spoke to my fellow classmates about my goals for the upcoming year,” Lindsay said, “I raised awareness as to what I could do to make the junior class better.”
Both included the hard work and challenges that come with being a leader, but also the rewards that are included in the title.
“The toughest part about being a leader would be the thought of failing as a leader. I just hate the thought of possibly letting the people who count on me down. Just believing in yourself can make leading so much easier,” said Lindsay. said Lindsay
Leadership is born, not bred. You cannot manufacture it or destroy it: once you are, you always will be a leader.
“Not everyone is capable of being a leader because not everyone is willing to step up and understand the talents and temperaments of their team or individuals around them,” said Jordan. “I think I was chosen for my leadership position because I’ve always been inclined to lead. I’ve always been a natural leader.”