Guest Blog by Brianna Buch, Class of 2015
It is logical that we associate the ability to lead with a title or position. It is easy to understand what is meant when someone is the President of an organization, or on the Leadership Board – they are in charge. However it is hard to quantify what leadership looks like outside a position. Who gets the credit? How do you explain who you are?
To further the difficulty, leadership positions are what get us jobs, and into grad school and further in the next phase of life. We are, in some ways, bound by them.
Lately, however, I’ve been challenging the concept of leadership in my own life. I held a position in Student Government last year as the President of the Class of 2015. The title alone afforded opportunities I wouldn’t dream of having otherwise. But, when it came time for elections in the spring, I chose not to run for office the following year. This was not because I didn’t feel equipped, but rather a combination of timing and circumstance.
As I continue pushing to affect change on this campus, I pause and reflect deeply about what it means to lead.
- Are you still a leader if you hold no formal position?
- Do you still have as the ability to influence the world around you?
I think so. I found a quote during my Sophomore year, which continues to resonate with me today. “Power, I would learn, is nothing but responsibility.” Positions carry with them the weight of responsibility, but I argue that being present in a community is reason enough to feel responsible, to become active and engaged in the world around you. Leadership to me is tapping into passion, taking on responsibility and pushing for something you believe in. With that as the standard, anyone – and everyone – has the capacity to be a leader.
I think our campus would be much stronger if we were all leaders by spirit regardless of title. And that means taking responsibility for the things we don’t agree with, or aren’t satisfied with, and giving it a shot at changing those things.