Ways you can lead every day
Posted on April 8, 2014 by Dr. April Vari, vice president for student affairs.
The other day as I was walking across the DelVal campus, I did something -- or more accurately didn't do something -- that I later regretted. I walked by an empty beer can on the ground and I didn't pick it up to throw it into the nearest recycling bin. I was in a hurry, and to be honest I didn't know where that can had come from and just wasn't keen on the idea of picking it up.
I don't give myself high marks for leadership in that moment because there was something that needed to be done and I didn't rise to the occasion. I've made a promise to myself to change that the next time I see trash marring our lovely campus. Maybe someone else will see me picking up that empty bottle or can and be motivated to follow my example.
There are many ways to define leadership. For me, it's pretty simple. It's seeing a need and mobilizing yourself and/or others to do something positive about it. Leadership comes in moments large and small and each one of us, every day, can find some positive change to create for the members of our community.
Maybe it's a gesture of kindness to a classmate who seems to be struggling with something -- that may just be the spark he or she needs to move forward and contribute to the quality of our community. Perhaps your moment of leadership could be to bring forward student concerns to a group like SGB, or to a staff member, so that the issue can be discussed and resolved, rather than left unaddressed. Sometimes leadership requires conversation that's neither easy nor comfortable. In Samuel Hall, good conversation is occurring among the residents who are pledging to look out for their building in the wake of some recent offensive graffiti discovered there. This is leadership.
What will your leadership moment look like? The possibilities are endless and the rewards will be great.