Being a Leader Through Action

Anthony Gibbons of the Student Life Marketing Team (SLMT) writes this blog post about what he thinks of leadership.

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others” – Jack Welch

In retrospect, when I first joined the Student Life Marketing Team (SLMT) about two years ago, I knew little to nothing about graphic design.  Initially, I did not consider all the experience I would gain as a result of working in this office.  Similar to the mindset of most college students, I just saw it as another job opportunity.  However, as the months passed and I acquired more knowledge and experience, I could see how my skills were developing.  As time progressed, my confidence and creativity increased and I was able to establish a level credibility in the office.  As new students entered the office, I was sought out for my opinions regarding what others were producing.  This is when I realized that I was in a leadership position.

What does leadership mean to me?

Lead by example.

I made sure that I followed proper office protocol.  I made a point to keep my work station clean and that I clocked in and out at the appropriate times.  I made sure that everything which was expected for that day was completed because I could not expect something from someone I wouldn’t do myself.

Serve others and get your hands dirty.

In addition to the daily project load, occasionally, we were required to handle minor office maintenance.  I would always volunteer to help out the office wherever needed. Position does not define a leader but their passion.  I realize that restocking printers and throwing out the trash does not make me less of a leader.

Willingness to learn.

As my skills developed in the office, my confidence also increased.  However, I can assure you that it never transformed into cockiness or arrogance.  When it came time for peer feedback, I looked forward to the constructive criticism and frequently asked what I needed to do to improve my work.   I know now that no matter how many degrees or job titles I obtain, I will always strive to stay a student; someone who is always finding opportunities to learn.

Overall, I believe that everyone has the potential to become a leader.  All it requires is hard work, focus and diligence.  Being an effective leader does not necessarily mean that you produce the best work but that you work to inspire others.


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