Outgoing nature imperative to student leaders

United Way of Miami-Dade young leader Jordan Fickess, right, reads the book “Bunny Cakes” to students Christian and Thiago during the Read for the Record event at the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. (Allison Diaz/Miami Herald/MCT)

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In order to be a student leader, or a leader in general, you have to be outgoing or extroverted.

   When looking at past national leaders, voters tend to elect charismatic, well-versed individuals, and the same can be said for students leaders at Dixie State University.

   To earn the title of Student Body President and other similar titles, students must meet a list of criteria including running an election campaign. Those who wish to participate often have their faces plastered around campus every 5-or-so feet and answer a plethora of platform questions along the way. Speaking to a plethora of different kinds of people is an unstated requirement of the position.

    The SBP acts as the face of the student body, and therefore must be able to communicate effectively with others inside and outside of the university. A SBP cannot wait for people to reach out to him or her, but instead must make the first move.

   When looking for a leader, people look for those with perceived confidence and influence,

both of which require the individual being outgoing and persuasive. This is not to say that introverts have low levels of confidence, but introverted individuals are perceived to have lower confidence.

Extroverts are also perceived to be more likely to win, even if the competition is based solely on luck. 

   In a study conducted in 2002, it was found that extraversion was positively correlated with stress,

extraversion was positively correlated with stress, but extroverts’ social supports are able to mediate the correlation. This lends itself to the idea that extroverts are perceived to be better under stress. This is because extroverts are “stimulus hungry” and are exposed to more stress over time than introverts, according to Psychology Today.

   When typing in “famous extroverts” into Google, a limitless list appears featuring the names of Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher and Steve Jobs, who lead the way in technology. There is the same list for famous introverts but it isn’t quite as extensive, and it’s pretty safe to say they were more omniverts, or those with both introverted and extroverted traits.

   For students who wish to evoke change through leadership, step outside of your comfort zone. It is important to note, however, that this advice does not end with aspiring leaders, but extends to each individual. 

   Neale Donald Walsch said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” and that is a statement I can firmly attest to. Live a new experience, make a new friend and develop a passion for anything and everything