Why Leadership?

Why Leadership indeed! This may be a question you have asked yourself plenty of times. We all have heard that employers today are looking for future employees with leadership potential - it is not enough to simply be skilled in your work. Consider what some of the most successful leaders have to say.

"The truth is that no factor makes a company admirable. But if you were forced to pick the one that makes the most difference, you'd pick leadership." - Warren Bennis

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more & become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams

"Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm." - Publilius Syrus

"Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems." - Brian Tracy

"If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities." - Maya Angelou

"Whatever you are, be a good one." - Abraham Lincoln

Each of these quotes hopefully inspire you to something greater. As Abraham Lincoln says, "be a good one," means to be so good that others will follow your lead. Develop your own leadership capacity so that you may "transform a million realities."

Benefits of Leadership

Instead of asking "Why Leadership," we at the Wilks Leadership Institute challenge you to answer "Why Not Leadership?"

In a 2004 study, two researchers (Conger & Ready) found that nearly 75 percent of businesses and many professional organizations focus on competencies when recruiting new professionals and evaluating current employees. These competencies are defined as the knowledge, values, abilities and behaviors that help an individual contribute to or successfully engage in a role or task.

In a comprehensive study of academic programs and student leadership development programs, Dr. Corey Seemiller found that "focusing on competency development in college allows students to become familiar with the process and language of competencies prior to entering their career fields." She identified eight categories of competencies:

  • Learning and Reasoning
  • Self-Awareness and Development
  • Interpersonal Interaction
  • Group Dynamics
  • Civic Responsibility
  • Communication
  • Strategic Planning
  • Personal Behavior

Grouped within these categories are 60 competency areas, each including four competencies that reflect the dimensions of knowledge, value, ability (motivation or skill) and behavior. Student Leadership programs are increasingly focused on these leadership competencies and thereby playing a critical role in preparing graduates for the expectations of the professional world outside our campus.

Miami University believes firmly in the benefits of student leadership development and has committed significant resources to it. Campus organizations like the Wilks Leadership Institute, the Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute, and the Buck Rodgers Business Leadership Program are firmly and clearly focused on your leadership development. But leadership development surrounds you in most of what you engage in at Miami University. It can be realized in service projects, greek activities, student organizations, intercollegiate, club and recreational sports, study abroad programs, internships, and, of course, academic coursework. There are a myriad of offices and programs not listed here that will help to develop these all-important competencies.

The benefits of leadership here at Miami are in the development and practice of the competencies that will enable you to be immediately successful upon graduation, no matter the profession or personal choices you make.