To make our society a better place for children, I believe having a good leader to show them how to be the best they can be. A good leader’s characteristics include accountability for their attitude, effort and behavior.
I don’t think a good leader is born a good leader; it is definitely a learned behavior. The best leaders become great by the experiences both good and bad that they live through. There are consequences to any choice we make, whether good or bad, and a good leader should pause when making a decision to consider those. Always being the one to know all the answers, the first to speak up and the one in the spotlight is not always a leader that is needed.
I feel that a leader is best if s/he leads by example, one that is able to listen, really listen more than feel like they need talk to hear their own voice. For instance, I myself am more of an introvert. I am the point guard of my varsity basketball team and when I am in that role, I am able to be an extrovert. Certain situations call for certain behaviors. But I am not one to yell or dictate. I lead by example, by showing up early to practice, being prepared, respecting my coach, school, teachers, teammates, officials and the other team we are competing against. I think a great team leader shows s/he can be a great teammate, doing their part for the team.
Making sacrifices is also something a leader should be able to do for their team, school, or community. Being a good leader doesn’t always get you recognized. To me, I believe that being an effective team is one that is not measured by the leader (or captain) but the accomplishments of the whole team. When an outsider looks at a successful team and can’t pick out who the captain is then that is a great leader; putting their team’s success over their own recognition.
Frequently, in own society, it is the charismatic popular person that is seen as a leader. I think a smooth talker can manipulate people into thinking s/he is a good leader without really possessing any other leadership skills. Sometimes it is the quiet person in the corner who can sit back and listen and think outside the box. A good leader can take everyone’s opinions into account and really consider other ways to do things.
There is never one right way to do something. The world is not black and white but grey. A good leader is one that values everyone on the team and should be approachable by all; being respected but not feared. S/he should value every member as an indispensable and that they bring a different may to view a problem leading to better solutions. A good leader is one that should never take or want to credit for a teammates idea but help to advance that teammate to bigger and better things. Although I haven’t been exposed to too many people who fit this description, I have had many who come really close. I hope to incorporate values into my everyday life and experiences in college and beyond.
By Gabriel Oscar Saiz, scholarship award winner
UCA’s most recent Scholarship Essay Contest for High School Juniors and Seniors officially ended on November 30, 2020. While the theme has always been to explore ways to make a more caring world, our most recent Essay Contest specifically asked how they would make a more caring world in one of four categories – Children – Animals – Reforestation – Elderly. The winning essays have been posted and awards distributed.
Because there were so many impressive essays submitted from across the U.S., we decided to share many of these students’ inspiring caring actions with you in this publication. Through their essays, the students provide a refreshing insight into their minds and hearts, offering an in depth view of our world that we often overlook. They take us on a journey rich in knowledge, personal experience and creative solutions. It is our hope you will feel as informed and inspired as we do. We are proud to present to you the writings, thoughts and dreams for a more caring future through these articles.