The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Leaders Wanted

Graduation calls for reflection on many things: experiences, friendships, lessons learned, personal growth, future goals etc. And in so doing I have found myself looking at the talented individuals with whom I’ve shared the last two years of my college education and I can’t help but wonder about our potential. I have had the pleasure of knowing many amazing writers whose workshopped twinklings of inspiration I would love to see come to fruition as glossy covered masterpieces standing tall in a bookstore window as I turn to a friend or loved one (or perhaps mutter to myself), “I know that author!”

I have also known students, much younger than myself even, with incredible drive and devotion to serving the greater good, who have taken on more than a full course load to lead in multiple organizations and who have become inspirations to those around them. In every person I have met at LMU I see enormous potential, and even a bit in myself as well. But how many of us will become leaders once we have left the campus behind, when we are once again small fish in a big pond? After all, leadership is an acquired skill, not an inherent one.

Warren Bennis, in his book, On Becoming A Leader, lists the following as basic ingredients of a leader: guiding vision, passion, integrity (involving self-knowledge, candor and maturity), trust, curiosity and daring. He places great emphasis on leaders knowing themselves fully and being able to determine that which we are and want to be from what the world thinks we are and who we ought to be. Certainly for most people it will take longer than four years to have a solid notion of who they are and who they will choose to become, and as is the way with personal growth these things may change over time. It is important that we take the time to reflect on our experiences, feel them wholeheartedly, learn from them and grow to become better people because of them. We must not be afraid to make mistakes but instead find the strength to admit them, to own our humanity and employ humility if we are to be the example for generations to come. The world is in need of new and more grounded leadership, whether it be in small businesses, corporations, government or any number of positions that life might find us in, parenthood included, and it will be left to us to begin making the changes we wish to see in our lives and in our culture.

We must all be leaders of our own lives, must learn to know ourselves fully and must go forth into the world, whatever our age or station, with an active passion for what we do and who we are.

--Heather Maupin


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