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Lead Where You’re At 

by Emma McDonald

Have you ever listened to a leader you admire and thought, Wow. This person is pretty amazing. I can’t wait to be in his/her position one day so I can influence a room full of people, too? Have you ever been so impressed by a superior’s wisdom that you scribble down one of their quotes just so you can inspire the team of employees you’ll lead one day? I know I have.

So far in college, I’ve been able to spot the true leaders. You know, the adults who inspire us young folk to dream big and make goals and take action, the bosses who actually believe in our potential. I could name countless examples of some in our local community. I can also spot what the world would call “potential leaders” or “soon-to-be leaders.” Those are generally the twenty-somethings who are the first to raise their hand in class or seem to remember everyone’s name or always say, “Yeah, I can help you!” But here’s the thing. Those twenty-somethings aren’t “potential leaders.” They are leaders.

The truth of the matter is that leadership isn’t conditional to your job title. You don’t have to have the word “manager” on your nametag to distinguish yourself among your peers and coworkers. What you do have to have is initiative. Notice in the examples above, the twenty-something leaders are the ones who do things first and with service. But also note that they’re generally students or in entry-level positions. True leaders don’t have to be at the top of the totem pole to influence others. They do it right where they’re at. Let’s walk through this a little deeper.

 

Have you heard that quote, “Bloom where you’re planted,”? It’s a good one, and it has a point. Why keep yearning and reaching for the tippy top position at a corporation so we can lead others when we can literally do that very thing as a student or entry-level worker? But how? How can we influence others when we don’t technically have the “authority” to do so? I’m glad you asked. Leadership always comes through actions. Maybe it’s time that you actually respond to your professor when the room is full of crickets. Maybe it’s time for you to ask if there is any extra work you can do at your company. Maybe it’s time to find a mentor. Maybe it’s time to start reading the Journal every morning. Maybe it’s time to do a lot of the things that you’ve been putting off because you think you’re not old enough, wise enough, or experienced enough. Those excuses are exactly that — excuses.

So I leave you with a challenge. It’s only February of this brand new decade. What better time to start taking some initiative than right now? I challenge you to pick one area where you can start leading. Pick one healthy habit from above or one of your own, and start doing it. There are no more excuses available because they’re all invalid. You can lead, and you will lead if you just decide to start. I’m excited to see how you’ll lead right where you’re at. 

 

Lead Where You’re At 

by Emma McDonald

Have you ever listened to a leader you admire and thought, Wow. This person is pretty amazing. I can’t wait to be in his/her position one day so I can influence a room full of people, too? Have you ever been so impressed by a superior’s wisdom that you scribble down one of their quotes just so you can inspire the team of employees you’ll lead one day? I know I have.

So far in college, I’ve been able to spot the true leaders. You know, the adults who inspire us young folk to dream big and make goals and take action, the bosses who actually believe in our potential. I could name countless examples of some in our local community. I can also spot what the world would call “potential leaders” or “soon-to-be leaders.” Those are generally the twenty-somethings who are the first to raise their hand in class or seem to remember everyone’s name or always say, “Yeah, I can help you!” But here’s the thing. Those twenty-somethings aren’t “potential leaders.” They are leaders.

The truth of the matter is that leadership isn’t conditional to your job title. You don’t have to have the word “manager” on your nametag to distinguish yourself among your peers and coworkers. What you do have to have is initiative. Notice in the examples above, the twenty-something leaders are the ones who do things first and with service. But also note that they’re generally students or in entry-level positions. True leaders don’t have to be at the top of the totem pole to influence others. They do it right where they’re at. Let’s walk through this a little deeper.

 

Have you heard that quote, “Bloom where you’re planted,”? It’s a good one, and it has a point. Why keep yearning and reaching for the tippy top position at a corporation so we can lead others when we can literally do that very thing as a student or entry-level worker? But how? How can we influence others when we don’t technically have the “authority” to do so? I’m glad you asked. Leadership always comes through actions. Maybe it’s time that you actually respond to your professor when the room is full of crickets. Maybe it’s time for you to ask if there is any extra work you can do at your company. Maybe it’s time to find a mentor. Maybe it’s time to start reading the Journal every morning. Maybe it’s time to do a lot of the things that you’ve been putting off because you think you’re not old enough, wise enough, or experienced enough. Those excuses are exactly that — excuses.

So I leave you with a challenge. It’s only February of this brand new decade. What better time to start taking some initiative than right now? I challenge you to pick one area where you can start leading. Pick one healthy habit from above or one of your own, and start doing it. There are no more excuses available because they’re all invalid. You can lead, and you will lead if you just decide to start. I’m excited to see how you’ll lead right where you’re at.