Thoughts on leadership
Published: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 13:04
With only weeks left at IUP for me, I thought I’d provide some thoughts on leading as a student. This has been a banner year for student leadership, and looking at who is rising next year, I have every expectation that they will be able to build on those successes. That being said, I have some leadership lessons that I didn’t learn until it was too late.
Foremost, don’t discount school. I made this mistake in a major way this semester, and it damages your ability to do anything beyond your immediate responsibilities in the long run.
Further, no matter what you do outside the classroom, your education is the reason you are here, and if you do not take care of that, you’ve failed. School may seem boring, or distracting, but it’s also (hopefully) what will serve you best in the long run.
Second, don’t expect fun. Leadership, especially good leadership, is extraordinarily hard. That’s not to say you won’t (or shouldn’t) have fun, but don’t expect it. This way you get two things, one is satisfaction when it comes, because you will know that you’ve earned your reward.
The second is that you will be a fundamentally better leader, because this will put your focus on what you must do rather than what you want. In short, sacrifice is an essential part of leadership, without it you will never succeed, so be prepared to make those sacrifices.
I don’t mean to provide exhaustive advice, but rather words of wisdom to prevent you from making the most common and damaging mistakes. Whatever you do, remember that the role the student body plays at IUP is up to you, and in college you are the master of your own destiny.