(This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post on "Leadership in Admissions." You can find a list of additional related posts at the end of yesterday’s post.)
A brief look at US leaders who have graced or cursed the world stage will quickly reveal that leadership is varied and multi-faceted. Below is a list of leadership qualities and leaders who are generally thought to have evinced these qualities. (Please supply your own examples, if you don’t like mine)
Dynamism — Theodore Roosevelt or John Kennedy.
Communications –Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Regan, John Kennedy.
Charisma — Bill Clinton, John Kennedy, Theodore & Franklin Roosevelt.
Vision — Theodore & Franklin Roosevelt.
Logistical and organizational ability: Eisenhower
I could go on but I think this list shows that leaders excel in different areas. Think of leaders you know or admire. What makes them successful? Probably different qualities.
For some it will be a steady reliability and responsibility that inspires trust and confidence. For others it will be a compelling vision and the ability to powerfully communicate it. For others it’s the skill of listening, connecting, or perhaps making others feel important.
Now what makes you a successful leader? When have you demonstrated those skills and enabled others to achieve, and if applying to Tuck, achieve "great things." Finally what has been the outcome of your efforts. Has your organization grown? Raised more money? Increased sales? Achieved in some other way?
Don’t think of leadership in narrow, conventional terms. It is varied and you can manifest it in diverse ways. And when you portray it, paint it not in broad, bland brush used by everyone: leadership. Convey the different aspects of leadership at which you excel — your style of leadership. If you do so, you will succeed in communicating both your leadership and your uniqueness.