John Jensen’s View of Leadership

Posted on February 27th, 2012 in Perspectives on Leadership,Uncategorized by Jan Bilgen

This week we asked John Jensen for his view of leadership.  John is a sophomore majoring in Political Science with minor in History. He is currently the Vice-President of Whitewater Student Government and currently seeking the Presidency of Whitewater Student Government.

John said…

My theory on leadership derives from the following quote by President Harry S. Truman, “To be able to lead others, a man must be willing to go forward alone.”  The reason why I believe that this quote is so important to the concept of leadership is because I also believe that every leader must be a follower.  However, not every follower is a leader.  The leader is the person who was following at some point in time, but then decided that a new direction was necessary and began going towards a different goal.  That individual became a leader when other followers realized that they wanted to go in this new direction as well.  The position of being a leader does not require that you have any “followers”, what it does require, however, is a healthy relationship with anyone who does follow.  A leader must always be able to justify why they are leading themselves and perhaps others towards a new direction.  As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”  The key characteristics of a leader are; Courage, Confidence, and Communication.  Courage, in my opinion, is not defined as having no fear, but rather how well you can stare your fear in the face and overcome it.  Confidence in yourself is completely necessary for anyone else to have confidence in you and your ideas.  And effective communication with your followers, yourself, and other leaders will help any leader further their goals and become a better leader.  


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