What is Leadership?

The standard definition of leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. What isn’t described in this definition is the many forms leadership can take and how it can show differently in each individual. To me, leadership is shown through putting your teammates before yourself and putting your team’s goals before your personal ambitions. A selfless leader, filled with optimism and positivity, will only help uplift the team and push his or her teammates towards success.

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When most people picture the typical “leader” of a team, many imagine the single, superstar athlete, calling the shots, leading the team to a championship victory. What many people don’t picture is that same exact team filled entirely with leaders all working together in pursuit of their common goal, a championship victory. Many overlook this idea because it’s not the societal image of a leader, but every individual has the capacity to lead and does so in very different ways. Throughout my life, I’ve seen and worked with a variety of leaders, but the most interesting part was experiencing all the different leadership techniques they employed. Some leaders are vocal 100% of the time motivating others to do the same, some leaders lead through their playing ability which is typically considered leading by example, and some ultimately strive to combine these two aspects of vocal leadership and leadership by example. In my eyes, the people who can combine these two forms of leadership are ultimately those who lead teams to success.

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In my opinion, some of the most important leaders of the team go completely unnoticed by outsiders, even sometimes unnoticed by their own team, unless they start diminishing their role. It’s not always those that lead the stretches or scream the cheers, but more importantly those who get to practice first and leave last, those who are approachable, those who radiate positivity, and those you work so hard even if they know that there are others more talented. They are inspirational, humble, diligent, and strong. They do not need the everyday praise from other teammates and coaches but solely rely on intrinsic motivations to push them forward. I aspire to be a leader of this capacity one day, and I believe others should as well.

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