Oneof my favorite quotes is “teamwork makes the dream work.

” Teamwork can be a real challenge in the diverse environment I grew upin because it meant trying to get people from varying backgrounds toget along, understand each other, and work towards a common goal. My parents are from different cultures and I have attended aninternational school for 13 years.  I grew up in Houston, TXwhich is considered one of the most diverse cities in the country. I have found myself in many frustrating situations where the peopleinvolved could not agree on the value of the goal they are trying toachieve.  For example, as editor of my school yearbook, I needto recruit new members.  However, many students in my schoolcome from different countries where a school yearbook is not part oftheir culture.  Putting together a yearbook is a huge task thattakes almost an entire year to complete.  I need to work extrahard to recruit members, keep them motivated, and make sure they givetheir best efforts so we can have a yearbook we can all be proud of.

Onelesson I learned is the team can only be as good as its leader. I believe a leader is more than someone who gives orders to thosearound her.  To be a leader means to be inspirational, fair,trustworthy, and confident.  Inspiration means motivation. A leader must be able to bring out the best in others, helping themperform to the best of their abilities.  Fairness means beingable to listen to different opinions and being able to make theappropriate decision for the good of the group, instead of for oneperson.

  Trustworthiness means integrity.  A leader must beof good moral character so that others can depend on her to betruthful and follow through with her promises.  Lastly, aleader’s confidence is a manifestation of her competence.  Thismeans that she is able to make difficult decisions and lead the groupto meet their goals.Iplan to embody these leadership values as guiding principles in myeveryday life, not only when I am in a leadership position.  Ibelieve that being a leader is not just an official designation. The leadership values can be useful in helping me effectively discernand make decisions no matter the difficulty of the situation.

 Leadershipis planted within the individual and grows with the person.  Itembodies ideals for self-discovery that will expand to largergroups.  Embracing these ideals will make not only me a betterperson but also help to strengthen others.  The difference Ihope to make in the world is to inspire others to be better byknowing that I am fair and trustworthy in everything I do.  

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I'm Erica!

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