To be a leader, one must connect with other leaders and hear their story. President Ross of Central Michigan University came into my Introduction to Leadership class one day to discuss the journey he took to get to his position and take questions from all of the students. He also told us that leadership is the ability to take responsibility for when you have messed up and fix it. He also explained how communication is the toughest part of his job now. To deal with conflict, one must approach it head on. With honest face-to-face, most problems can be solved. Simple gestures travel long distances, and openly talking to another person about an issue builds respect. He stressed the importance of school and studying. He was very comfortable and engaged with us which made it easy to connect with him. Who else can say they had the opportunity to talk to the President of their University? That is pretty cool! From his visit to our class, it was clear he truly cares about his students and is passionate about his job.
From the President’s background, I have learned you can come from having very little and still achieve greatness. Anything is possible when you apply yourself. In college I am not only expanding my knowledge, but also extending a hand by volunteering and engaging in registered student organizations such as Program Board.
Some valuable advice I took away from listening to President Ross was, sometimes people are going to say things that are not true, but I still have to be myself and know where I stand. Also, I am going to take responsibility for my mistakes and own them. This is when a person grows and learns the most. CMU graduates leaders, and that is more than just a title. It is being able to work in teams, think, communicate, and be confident.