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A High Schooler's views on Leadership
*My leadership class was told to write on the key ingredients of leadership and these were my responses
Courage: My courage is something that has never really been tested in my life. Sure, there have been small instances of my acts of “courage”, but nothing that would put me into the hero category. The only instances of courage I think I exhibit is that I never give up. There isn't a day that goes by where I don’t want to quit Academic Decathlon, but I keep dragging on day after day of two hours worth of studying of the Great Depression. My courage is that no matter how bad things get I never give up and quit.
Good Judgment: Good judgment is one trait I hope will never leave me. While some high school students go out to parties and drinking, I work and study at home for a hopefully successful future. My parents have raised me well to think before I act.
Integrity: A simple showing of my integrity is that I do not cheat. In my classes I hear and see it all. Many students find a variety of ways to cheat, whether it may be the popular texting a friend for answers, looking at a hidden answer sheet, or even writing the answers on their arms. In this world there will always be cheaters and I proud to say I got where I am through hard work.
Kindness: Kindness is something I have, but is very hard to keep at times. I try to treat everyone as my equals, although I’ll admit it sometimes can be hard. I try to a nice person to everyone I meet. A good example is I give help to any students, mostly freshman, who need advice or help in one of their classes. Kindness though is something hard to give examples of because the only ones who know if you are kind or not are your peers.
Perseverance: My perseverance is very similar to my courage. It is simply trudging along even though the times may get tough. An F cannot stand in your way and be a roadblock; you need to keep on moving if success is your goal. Those who stop will suffer for it.
Respect: Respect is something necessary if you want followers. Some may even say it is better to be respected than liked. The respect I give is to my fellow teammates in the various activities I am in. If you give the underclassmen respect, in turn they will respect you and eventually see you as a leader.
Self-Discipline: Self-discipline is something I have, but it feels like it's holding on a string at times. There have always been people we have wanted to yell some pretty unkind words at or even punch at sometimes, but it is our self-discipline that restrains us from doing that. Without self-discipline we’d probably all be in prison.
Perseverance is the most important trait to have: General George S Patton once put it, “I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” I believe in this value of perseverance the most and feel it is the most important value to have. The idea that we keep trudging on, no matter how bad the times may get. A value that was forged in the fires of the Revolution. Perseverance is the idea of America itself. Without this trait our country along, with all of us, would not be in existence.
“You learn far more from negative leadership than from positive leadership. Because you learn how not to do it. And, therefore, you learn how to do it.”- General Norman Schwarzkopf
General Ambrose Burnside: This politician general, with no military experience, made one military blunder after another during the American Civil War. He was given command of a Union army simply because he was a vital political ally for President Lincoln. The first example of his military blunder was at the battle of Antietam. During the battle he forced wave after wave of soldiers across a bridge protected by massive amounts of Confederate soldiers. Wave after wave he sent his soldiers down this small stone bridge and every time they got mowed down, never being able to take the bridge. Then later, in the war in 1864 at the battle of Petersburg he made his second major blunder. Before the commencement of the battle, a mine had been stuffed with gunpowder and exploded, intending to destroy confederate lines. It had destroyed much of their lines, but when his soldiers ran to attack them all got stuck in the 30 foot crater left behind after the explosion. It is then where the surviving Confederates surrounded the crater and killed hundreds in this “turkey shoot”.
Hannibal: Although he was able to lead thousands of soldiers across the Alps he forgot one fatal flaw. While pillaging the Roman Empire his own empire of Carthage was at a weakness. A Roman general, Scipio Africanus, went to the heart of Carthage itself, pillaging every city in Carthage at he went. Eventually, this forced Hannibal to retreat back to Carthage to protect his homeland. Hannibal, being forced to retreat hastily retreat, met to battle Scipio at the battle of Zama. It is there where Hannibal and all his army were defeated, and the rest of his empire soon after. Hannibal with his tragic flaw of overconfidence believed that his nation of Carthage did not need a fast army for national defense, unfortunately he was fatally mistaken.
Saddam: Saddam was a man of pure evil intentions. Many of this modern time tend to forget his actions in the Gulf War and how they exhibited signs of bad leadership. Most clearly though was the way he designed his armies' leadership. Saddam, a man with no military background, was the commander of all of the forces of his armies. Because of this, he designed a simplistic military strategy of his armies just being based around his newly conquered country of Kuwait. In a matter of 3 days after the US defeated Iraq in the Gulf War, Saddam's army had been wiped off the face of the Earth, simply because America's leadership was balanced while Iraq's leadership was entirely based on one man.
"As far as Saddam Hussein being a great military strategist, he is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational art, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier. Other than that he's a great military man-I want you to know that."
-General H. Norman Schwarzkopf 1991
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