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LEAD Team and the Meaning of Leadership

Leadership. What is it? There are so many different ways to define leadership, but here’s what I’ve got for you today: Leadership is a purposeful and collaborative process of creating change. That’s how we define it on the LEAD Team, which stands for Leadership Education and Development and is one of the student organizations within UNLV’s Service Learning and Leadership office. Regardless of previous experience, leadership is something that everyone can cultivate in their own lives, and here at UNLV, we all have the opportunity to become leaders in both our personal and professional lives.

When I first came to UNLV, I didn’t really think of myself as a leader, or at least not a very powerful one. I knew how to work with others, and high school gave me a fair idea of what a good leader might look like, but I never held any executive positions in any of the clubs I was a part of, and to say I was a leader felt like a daunting label. With that being said, however, I decided to take a chance on myself and applied to LEAD Team, anxiously awaiting to hear if I had gotten the position as a LEAD Team Coordinator. Fortunately, I did, and since then, I have had an amazing experience getting to know everyone on my team and putting together programs that help us empower other UNLV students in their own leadership development.

Being a leader is pretty simple, but to be a good leader, there are certain qualities that you need to be able to develop and demonstrate as you work to understand, help, and inspire others. Being on LEAD Team has taught me that we are all capable of being a leader, in some aspect or another, and it’s a constant journey of growing yourself. Are you willing to be open and push yourself to challenge old and new ideas? Are you ready to communicate with others and show that you have what it takes to reach out? Are you considerate towards yourself and others, determined to achieve your goals, or passionate about your beliefs? These are the kinds of things that will help you in your journey to becoming a better leader, and by being here at UNLV, you’ve already got a head start.

If you want to get involved and work on your leadership skills, there are plenty of different opportunities available to you! Becoming a part of the LEAD Team was one of the best decisions I made as an incoming freshman, and I hope this inspires the rest of you to take a leap of faith and pursue your passions because you never know where that may lead you. I can guarantee you that LEAD Team and UNLV as a whole will offer you the best experiences if you just put yourself out there and are open to learning new things and meeting new people!

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