The power of leadership

Leadership is like singing — some can be born with the natural ability, but most need to work on it in order to become great. When I think of a great leader, I think of one that stands out from the crowd and makes decisions for the better of everyone else instead of just themselves.

While only being here for a year and a half at W. P. Carey, I can say that I have already learned a lot of what it takes to truly be a leader. W. P. Carey provides many opportunities for leadership roles, and the school definitely emphasizes how important it is to become a leader in order to be successful in business.

One personal experience where I learned leadership from W. P. Carey was facilitating Camp Carey. I was so excited to turn in my resume and apply for one of the facilitator positions. Even going to Camp Carey my first year, I always could see myself becoming a facilitator because I love helping others — and it’s a pretty fun camp!

When I actually became a facilitator, I knew that I would have to lead my group and help get them excited and prepared for their first year at W. P. Carey. But when I went to camp, I learned that being a great leader also takes the open-mindedness to not only focus on your group, but everyone else around. I felt like not only my group saw me as a leader, but the all the other students did too, because I was always trying to get to know new people and create an overall positive environment.

Another lesson about leadership that I have learned from W. P. Carey is the importance of being yourself and not necessarily following the crowd. I think leadership takes maturity and understanding that the people who actually make a difference, are the ones that are different.

For example, I am currently on the executive board for the American Marketing Association and the Business Communication Student Association at W. P. Carey. Both have taught me multiple things about leadership but I think the most crucial thing I have learned is that what you say does not define you as a leader, but your actions.

I have noticed that many students at this school strive to become a leader, but some lack this crucial idea about it. Sometimes it is easy to think that just being on an executive board makes you a leader, but it does not. Many feel the need to only express their opinions to try to make a change, but actions are what actually make the change.

I try to put this into my mind every time I see a conflict in one of my student clubs and I start to think “Well, that’s not what falls under my position, so I shouldn’t do anything” because I now understand that as long as you can make a change, you should make it. That is because overall, what is going to make your experience great at W. P. Carey, is yourself.

Maddie Hayes