Leaders Welcome: Leadership qualities not easily attained

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We students must become greater leaders at Dixie State University.

You may ask why and how, so let me elaborate.

Leadership isn’t a title you can buy; it’s not something you can be appointed to. Leadership is developed over time; it’s an essential trait for a free society to succeed, and yet, we understand so little about it.

Lately I have been reading and listening to a lot about leadership, and I feel like it’s worth sharing. I’ll try and cover as much as I can in three or four articles to show how we students can become leaders.

As students in school, what importance does leadership really play in our lives? Few of us own companies, have managerial jobs or other positions of influence. Some of us have children, but many of us don’t.

Leadership, however, is a principle to be lived at any age and circumstance. It really doesn’t entail any authority, but it does receive respect and following.

We students have a great opportunity to develop leadership qualities.

Best-selling author Oliver DeMille has expressed a lot about leadership, and one of his main points about leadership is in order for freedom to thrive in a society, there must be strong leadership. His book “Freedom Matters” explains that not just authority figures, but leaders with certain qualities can only ensure the safety of freedom. Some of these qualities include diligence, character and humility. Let me elaborate a little.

My brother once said diligence is working when you’re weak on what you started when you were strong. So, a leader works on what should be done, even when feeling weak and lazy. Leaders set the pace of a productive life for others to follow. It’s important to realize that everyone is given the same 24 hours in a day.

Leaders utilize that time to be productive, whereas any average person will waste time on meaningless activities, wishing for better results. If students were to exhibit that kind of diligence at school, imagine the level of education that would occur here at DSU. The resulting career opportunities would be enormous. And can you imagine the reputation DSU would have?

Along with diligence, leadership requires character. Character is an attribute that is so rare to find. Character is standing up and defending what you believe in. Character is moving forward in what is right even when everyone else gives in. Character is not standing for wrong just because it seems too hard or too painful to fight. Can you imagine if students exhibited that kind of character among their peers and professors? What would this campus be like? How would education change?

There are many attributes of leadership, but the last of the three I want to focus on is humility. It may be hard to think of someone that people follow as being humble, but surely those who exhibit true leadership are humble. Leaders don’t demand respect; they earn it. They don’t ask people to follow them; people follow them because they show traits that others want to have. Humility will urge a person to serve before seeking services.

Leadership sets the pace for others to follow. I fully believe that if DSU is to stand out from all other universities, we students will have to take on more of the responsibility of being leaders. It is not an easy road, but the best roads to travel are seldom, if ever, easy.

So, fellow students, be leaders.