When given the opportunity to discuss an effective leader and role model, Maya Angelou almost immediately came to mind. Angelou has proven to be a leader through her tenacity, personal values, wisdom, humanitarian spirit, and extensive body of work. Maya Angelou’s life illustrates how numerous setbacks and obstacles did not prevent her from pursuing her passions and becoming an effective leader and role model. What defines an effective leader? An effective leader must be a person of honorable character, which develops over time. A person with strong character shows drive, determination, self-discipline, willpower, and nerve. To be an effective leader, followers must have trust and belief in their leader’s particular vision. One of the ways to build trust is to display a good sense of character composed of beliefs, values, skills, and individual accountability. Individual accountability is the first requirement for success in being a leader. Accountable people recognize that outside factors will affect their situation, but they also understand the choices they make about those outside factors are what ultimately shape their outcome. When they encounter setbacks, accountable people don’t point the blame. They analyze the situation, determine what they can do to recover from it, and then they do it. We all possess individual personal strengths. Many times, we may feel that certain personal characteristics are flaws. However, those “flaws” are really only flaws in certain environments. On the flip side of those flaws, we often find our greatest strengths. Maya Angelou displays how one turns a flaw into strength, and she gives a prime example of how one grows into leadership. Maya Angelou had an extremely rough childhood, yet did not use that as an excuse to give up on her dreams and aspirations. She went on to become a poet, author, professor, historian, producer and civil rights leader, just to...
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Haynes, K. A. (1993). Maya Angelou: Prime-time poet. Ebony, 48(6), 68-72. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Waldron, C. (2011). Maya Angelou 's MESSAGE TO WOMEN: 'Develop Your Courage '. Jet, 119(11), 16. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
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