The Importance of Leadership Skills Prior To College by Danel Powell

We at Vision Street Research see all of our interns has future leaders. We like to give our interns a platform to share their perspectives on life and things we teach them during the course of the summer. This is yet another component of our Workforce Development piece of our business and our contribution to the black and brown youth workforce pipeline. The Importance of of Leadership Skills In College is an opportunity for rising sophomore Danel Powell to do just that.

Being independent is one of the most important lessons we learn in college. As a result, it makes us stronger, teaches us to fight our own battles, and also makes us more serious about our careers. During this time, you must learn to become a leader, for you make the decisions that will affect your future all by yourself. An eminent leader once said, “Leadership isn’t always given. It is clarified in times of difficulty.” Today even in school, trials and tribulations seem all too common, making it even more important to develop skills that can help you overcome them. In addition to improving communication and collaboration skills, leadership development prior to college helps students like me become more resilient, adaptable, and ready for a world that values innovation and agility.

When I entered my freshman year of college, I realized I was really on my own. The warnings had been given to me for some time, but I didn’t quite believe them until I got to school. However, for me, this wasn’t entirely a bad thing. As far as I can recall, I have always enjoyed being by myself, and in my opinion, and I am sure in the minds of many other students coming out of high school, some of that independence is really what we are looking for. As long as I wanted to, I had the freedom to get up whenever I wanted to, do whatever I wanted, and go wherever wanted. Then the boredom sets in and you start to realize that nothing beats going out with your friends to have an incredible night, then coming home at early hours in the morning. There’s just one minor issue, you’re always so exhausted in the mornings, which gradually causes you to lose your focus on things that mattered to you. Unfortunately, the fact was that this independence I had craved so much started to spread like a wildfire. After all, as I mentioned, there is no one telling you what you can and cannot do, no one telling you to go to class, or no one reminding you to complete your assignments. You are an adult now and as soon as you get to college you are treated that way and expected to behave that way. This is why it is so important to develop those strong leadership skills as soon as possible. 

In college one skill you must have is management. Whether you are managing your time, your workload, or your friends. You need to know how to recognize your problems and find solutions before they get out of hand. Focusing on leadership skills also helps you develop a sense of responsibility. This could help you when it comes to completing a class assignment or deciding whether to go out knowing you have a big
test the next day. Developing responsibility along with some confidence will always help you make the right decision when other factors present themselves in the situation. Another leadership skill you need to learn is networking. Some believe that college is all
about networking, and in a sense they are correct. Networking is about establishing, building, and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the people you meet. By excelling at this skill, you may land that dream job you desire, or meet new
people that can provide endless opportunities in whatever you may want to do. The relationships you form through networking are a two-way street. There are times when you will be the one in need of help, and others when you’ll be a lifesaver to someone else in need. Networking helps you build those bonds, share resources, exchange experiences, and help one another.

Over the course of your life, you’ve been constantly learning and improving a range of leadership skills both personally and professionally. However, these skills do not stop there. It is never truly possible to fully possess a leadership skill in its entirety,
there will always be room for growth and improvement in each skill that you learn. My life will be filled with opportunities to improve and hone my leadership skills, and those skills will become an integral part of everything I do in the future.


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