Leadership skills are important for all students



    At a leadership seminar Thursday in the Varsity Theater, students were told to follow the commandments and they will naturally become leaders.

    Students were given advice on how to be better leaders by Susan Easton Black, associate dean of General Education and Honors. The lecture was sponsored by the Student Leadership Seminar.

    Black said if students keep the commandments, leadership responsibilities will present themselves, whether at work, church, on campus or in a family setting.

    “The important thing is that you step to the plate,” Black said.

    “Know you are a child of God,” she said. The more students understand about who they are, the more they will act like it, Black said.

    She said individuals should take advantage of opportunities that may arise. People will often be given leadership responsibilities when they are not expecting them, Black said.

    Black said there are several common traits among leaders.

    When put in leadership positions, individuals should expect to get inspiration about what actions to take, Black said. Leaders will see the big picture and catch the vision of the outcome of their work.

    Black said when leaders share their ideas, others will capture the same vision and help accomplish the vision.

    “If you are a leader, and you work hard, people will follow you,” Black said.

    “As they do, they will bring their unique time and talents. As a leader, you need to be able to encourage their uniqueness.”

    When individual talents are combined, work will become something glorious, Black said.

    She said it is important for leaders to express gratitude to everyone who helps them.

    “If you take out gratitude in leadership, you will not rise in leadership experiences,” Black said.

    Leaders should expect setbacks and hecklers, she said. “You’re going to find there are obstacles.” She said individuals should keep working through any difficulties.

    There are many opportunities for students to become leaders and get involved, said Cameron Taylor, executive director of the BYU Student Leadership Seminar.

    Taylor said students can look at different service opportunities on campus at the Campus Involvement Center located in the Wilkinson Center. Several binders are filled with different options to serve and lead, Taylor said.

    College councils are another way to be involved in leadership roles, said Roxane Olsen, president of the Student Alumni Association, the umbrella organization which unites the councils representing each of BYU’s 10 colleges.

    “Students can volunteer to help with specific events or clubs that are sponsored by their college councils,” Olsen said.

    Olsen said it is important for students to be aware of the leadership opportunities that are available around them.

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