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Background to Leadership
My father, a thirty year, Marine Corps Sergeant Major and veteran of many combat exploits loves to tell people that I was a born leader. He believes that because I was always able to enlist the help of the neighborhood kids in my many entrepreneurial experiences that was the basis for a guarantee for me being a successful leader. He had no idea that maybe I might have learned some of my so-called natural talent from his interaction with people.
There are so many leadership definitions and theories from experts from all walks of industry. When analyzing the core components of theories that I have studied, I conclude that leadership is the art of influence and the proper application of that influence to encourage compliance. There are some experts like those that Thomas Carlyle talked about, great leaders being born, not made. I believe that while there are some leaders that have natural abilities, there are more leaders that have honed their skills through practice and experience, but in the end they all lead people to some extent. Effective leadership is more than handing out assignments and giving direction. It involves articulating your vision, collaboration with your team, trust, and practice. This path to leadership takes hard work and time to reach a level of leadership that brings out the best in others.
I have had years of experience from watching my father lead his troops and community projects, managing a retail clothing store in my early twenties, a twenty year military career in the Air force to my current career as an sports entrepreneur and working in public education as well serving on my city's Board of Education. Although my experience cup is almost full, the formal education part of my leadership journey was empty. I began my formal educational goal by applying for Southwestern college’s Masters of Science in leadership program. There I intended to and have bolstered the missing component of my leadership self.