What does it mean to be a leader?
I have always found it hard to come up with a precise definition of a leader/leadership. Instead, I offer five characteristics of a good leader:
- Flexibility- one of the most valuable lessons I learned as an LC is that I need to roll with the punches more often. It takes a strong leader to trust the process.
- Communication- being an LC this year was made easier by my teammates always willing to share new ideas and make sure that everyone was on the same page.
- Passion- it would have been very difficult to survive this year in the LEAD office if I did not love what I did. Lucky for me, I am obsessed with our programs, and my team, and the thought of bringing our work to Mason students all year.
- Ethics- this one is a shout out to all the lessons Dr. Nick Lennon has given me the last few years. This characteristic is not on everyone’s radar when talking about leadership, and I hope that is being changed. Great leaders take ethics into account and lead with a sense of their personal values.
- Integrity- this year I have tried very hard to do what I say I will do as an LC. Each program was carefully prepared, and my aim was to provide the students, faculty, and/or staff with the best version of myself. If a leader is not true to their word, then what are they?
What does it mean to leave a legacy?
Over the last nine months, I have met a lot of people at Mason who I never would have without my position as an LC. I am not the type of person who needs to be remembered for every little thing. I would, however, love if I could be a positive memory for those I had a chance to share time and space with. My time as an LC has definitely provided me with some happy memories, and I can only hope that I have been able to touch one person’s outlook on life.
Most rewarding thing about LEAD…
This is an easy one. The most rewarding thing about being an LC and working in the LEAD office is my LEAD family. I have gone through so much this year, and feel confident that if I did not have my LEAD family behind me I would have given up a while ago.