Student leaders come in all shapes and sizes. They choose to lead based on their skills and preferences. Whether in social groups, athletics, or within the classroom, student leaders demonstrate certain traits that benefit both themselves and those they are leading. Generally speaking, leaders are classified as role models within the student body. They are the students who challenge the status quo, who ask questions and demand answers. They inspire athletic teams and social organizations alike; they bring to light the issues that an organization or club faces and work toward a solution. The traits and skills that these leaders exhibit socially, athletically, and academically can be both inherit and learned. The leaders success is based on their ability to foster motivation and involvement in those around them. Student leadership in college is different from what it was in high school. In high school, the leaders were pre-determined by the successes a student had in elementary school. Leaders were formed by superficial qualities: how many cookies you had at lunch, or how you handled embarrassing situations. College presents a new environment for the student to thrive in. (Barber, 14) Students base their social activities on what interests them, and tend to group around people with similar interests. In the process of joining clubs, sororities, frats, and other student organizations, the typical college student begins to develop traits that evolve our personalities. (Komives, 10) The student becomes a more independent individual. College presents a blank page. Students are seen less for who they were, and more for who they will be.
The change in the social atmosphere at college means a student must look for opportunities to become a leader. In high school leadership positions were presented to the student on a silver platter, and the individual was able to pick and choose where they wanted to excel. (Barber, 14) In college, one’s involvement is based on their need to excel socially. One’s involvement in college life defines their personality, and opens their eyes to obtaining future leadership opportunities. (Komives, 27)
How does one develop traits of a successful leader? How does one change their personality, their ability to influence others, and add to their skills? What defines good and bad leadership?
Leadership, in co-curricular activities, has become increasingly difficult to come by. It is naïve to believe that one can obtain a position of leadership as soon as they join a club or organization. However, with time and dedication, as a student makes connections, has new experiences, and gains respect within the organization, they begin to move up the leadership chain. They must demonstrate, much like on an athletic team, leadership qualities that are enticing to the group as a whole in order to obtain a position of power. (Barber, 14) One must build an identity within a social club or organization in order to become known as a leader.
Social organizations look for certain traits in their leaders, like intelligence, sociability, honesty and self-confidence. By building and exploring these traits, a student raises his/her chances of becoming This takes them to show these traits to bring you into the chapter. However, where do these traits come from? They do not come out of thin air, so they come from a person’s characteristics a successful leader, both in college and beyond. (Barber,14)
Within different organizations, a student must demonstrate their abilities as a leader in different ways. For example, the President of a sorority must take charge of the house as a whole. They must recruit pledges and plan social events.
One must begin to ask where the traits expressed come from. Clearly, the traits shown by a leader don’t come out of thin air. A leader must work to develop the traits needed to be a successful leader. College provides the perfect...
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