From the time that we are young and helpless to the time when we think we have it all figured out, most people want to be a leader of some fashion or know someone who is a great leader. The dream to have power and significance is transposed into the minds of people as society grows to affect us more and more. To most adult people, being a leader means becoming a CEO of a large company with a six digit pay. However, being a leader means so much more than a large sum of money at the end of the year.
When we were in kindergarten, our teachers took advantage of a simple schematic to transport us from one area to another without fear of losing a student. This line game was called “follow the leader” and every little kid dreamed of being able to the be the leader of the line. (Fun Games Kids Play)Having the responsibility of being in front of the line created the illusion of being in control of all the other students, whether or not the power was legitimate.
In elementary school, our leadership skills are put to the test when a teacher asks someone to pass out papers. (Pro Teacher) All of a sudden, that student is in control of all the papers and seems to be the teacher’s favorite of that specific class. Also, during lunch time, there are, oftentimes, lunch leaders. A lunch leader is in charge of making sure all the other students stay in line and get their food.
Then you have the wonderful years of intermediate school. This time period is often hectic and problematic for various reasons. For one, you are not a teenager or adult but you do not want to be treated like a kid anymore. Then there is a power struggle between the parents and said child on who is in charge and who gets to limit and regulate what happens. This is also the time frame when teachers leave substitutes teachers with a list of what to do with the various classes and what students to ask questions to, if nay arise. The student presented with this task is held as a leader, while others complain to themselves and others about why they were not chosen for this task.
Then the hormonal and pimple filled years of junior high approach and numerous students try to stand out from the crowd while others just try to fit in. In middle school, when needed, teachers leave the classroom to take restroom breaks or other needed time to themselves, and leave a student in charge and responsible for the rest of the class. Usually, the student chosen is an overachiever or well perceived in the academic realms. Several students volunteer to have this leadership role, but the majority of the time, the teacher already has a student in mind before they feel it necessary to leave.
The years of high school, the best years of your life, are presented with many extracurricular activities and sports that a student has the chance to partake in. Each club and activity has several leadership positions held within the club and some clubs are based on the upcoming responsibility of becoming a positive leader. In sports, there is a captain or captains, which take charge of the team and lead them to many championships and help the coach out when needed. (Cohen) The captain is the head of the team of encouragement and has the burden of helping others reach their full potential while trying to maintain their own achievements. Other leadership roles inside of extracurricular activities involve officer positions such as parliamentarian, historian, secretary, treasure, vice president, president, and many others. The positions are given to students who have, in most cases, been elected by their peers based on their leadership abilities and ability to take charge of others in a powerful and positive way. While almost every club has officer positions, some clubs are based on leadership roles inside the school and outside amongst the community. Student Council prepares students to lead an effective life in leadership wherever they may go.
In college, there are thousands of students roaming about in dire need of a leader to give them guidance and direction. Most times, professors meet these propositions and the need is filled. However, some students take hold of the reigns and guide their fellow peers to a well formed ideology of how things work. (Gilbert) The Deans of many departments are the leaders for that specific section of the school and are very rigid with the rules.
Yet, when we get to experience the world outside of school and away from the jail cells we call classrooms, a new role of leadership awaits. The business world has a calling for many and those called are sent to different fields to see what it has to offer. Some graduates end up working at McDonald’s flipping burgers, trying to climb the never ending corporate ladder, while some graduates get an excellent job offer to become a part of something bigger than themselves and to lead others in an ever growing world.
No matter where life leads, people will be called and destined to lead others in a way many can’t and to show others the compassion needed to get a cooperative group behind them. A leader is someone responds to the calling to inspire, motivate, and coordinate others in an effective way.
Cohen, Hsin-Yi. “A Sports Team Captain.” (2012): n. page. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.
Gilbert, Lauren. “College Leaders Program.” Sorensen Institute for Political Research. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct 2013.
“Fun Games Kids Play.” Follow the Leader. N.p., n. d. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.
“Pro Teacher.” Ideas for collecting and passing out papers . N.p., 07 01 2010. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.