Part 156- What is a leader?

What type of leader would I be? It’s a complicated question. A leader has many crucial qualities, and simply saying you have them isn’t what makes you one. Although we try to be leaders every once in a while, are we really? Is it called being a leader when you just step in and do something because no one else did? Or because you wanted to get an assignment done by the end of the day but no one chose to speak so you did instead? Are these examples proof of you leading and inspiring others, or simply acting for your own benefits? Before I go further, let’s rewind a few days to the origin of this question.


In my ELA class, we’ve started reading a class novel- really a novella- called Anthem. As it’s a Dystopian, we’ve started exploring the Dystopia-Utopia worlds and the elements from them that can be seen within our book, and others of the same category. One way to do so was a simple game we played on Tuesday. Upon entering the class, my teacher handed out two paper clips to each student randomly, regardless of size or color, and we had to keep them with us. We also had to give ourselves new names using a word from a given sheet and numbers after it. The rules of the game were simple. The pronoun “I” could not be used at all. If someone did, then the person who catches it first gets to take away one of their paper clips. In the end, one kid had more than 10 points, and the reward for the winner was that they could make three laws for our class. What laws do you expect 8th graders to make for a class? Well…some very interesting ones.

First rule: Two students, in particular, could not talk. ( Just for fun- no grudges against them.) Second rule: Anyone who had 4 numbers in their name could not sit and had to stand on their desks. Lucky me. I had 4 numbers in mine and got to have an excellent view of the classroom while standing on my chair. We never got to get to the final rule as the class was over, but these two were enough to ignite more chaos. At the end, we all calmed down and discussed how all the power going to only one person could be a bad thing. In this scenario, with the power to make three laws for the entire class to follow, that kid started thinking for himself. His first thought was to do something fun with it rather than something that might help the class. Of course, it was a fun activity, it was okay to goof around a bit. But what if it was a permanent thing. Would I really want to stand on my chair for a whole 45 minutes each day? Most likely not. These laws would only become irritating and would end up being a waste of something quite beneficial.

When I got home and explained what happened to my dad, he asked what I would have done. I openly panicked and couldn’t come up with three rules on the spot.

  • Anyone could choose their seats
  • Read the whole time
  • Have the annoying kids not talk

The same thing happened to me as well. In this situation, I started thinking about what benefits me. I wanted to sit with my friend, so I said that anyone could choose their seats. Although this is beneficial for everyone, my intention was not initially meant for everyone else. Reading is similar. Although it can be put into a situation that can benefit everyone, I only put that in because I would have wanted to read. If I was thinking about my peers, I could have given the reason to read so everyone can catch up on their books so they can be caught up in a reading, or in case they want to finish some extra work really quickly. The last one was just a random thought that came to my mind. In fact, I actually don’t want this rule to happen. As cheesy as it may sound, the chaotic/silly kids in my class are what make it fun and exciting to come to every day. So, if they were to be refrained from speaking, I doubt I would enjoy ELA as much. It might be more productive, but not as entertaining.

Then what should I have said? I could have said that we get 10 minutes at the start of class each day to focus on any assignments from another class or to catch up on reading for ELA. Being able to sit with our friends instead of having an arranged seating chart by the teacher. I could have also said that membrane shouldn’t be required for that week as many students forget to do it, including me, or don’t like it.

What is a leader? Or more specifically, who is a leader? A leader is someone who can see how things can be improved and brings people together to get to that vision. They can work towards making this vision become reality while putting people first. However, just motivating people isn’t enough. Leaders need to be able to be empathetic and connect with people to make it work. They bring people together towards the same goal. They are people driven by motivation and make a positive impact on the people around them. However, that’s not the only qualities a leader has.

  • Confidence
  • Humility
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Courage
  • Accountability 
  • Selflessness
These, and so many more, are what make up a good leader. However, I feel that leaders need to prove their  ‘worth’ before actually being called a leader. Sure, anyone can go around saying they put people first or they have honesty, but does that mean they are a leader? A leader doesn’t always need to speak to be recognized. It can easily be recognized in their actions, and the impact it makes on others. 

So, what type of leader do I want to be? I want to be a leader who can be trusted to help someone achieve their dreams or vision. I would say that would be my vision if I were to be a leader. I want to be accountable and be deeply trusted to help them reach that point. I hope to be someone with a strong goal, and a passion or determination to reach it by leading others in that direction. I want to be known for using that passion to achieve mine, and also those who I can help, their goal as well. That’s the type I want to be.