Developing a New Perspective on Leadership

By Farrah Bradley | February 4, 2016
By Stephanie Roscher ’16

One of life’s greatest challenges is finding and maintaining a balance between work and play. From a college student’s perspective, this challenge evolves into finding a balance between studying and relaxing. A lack of balance can result in the student’s downfall. Fortunately, I’m a very self-aware person and over the years I have mastered a personal balance that works wonders for me, especially in finals week. Whenever finals week rolls around, I ensure that there is some activity that I enjoy which serves as a reward for studying. In previous years, I have set aside a specific movie or television show. However, this year I altered the usual plan to include something more academic yet enjoyable at the same time (which also allowed me to fulfill my final Honors Program requirement). In between studying for finals, I tested and debugged my C++ Number Guessing program. I saved my favorite aspect of coding, testing and debugging as my reward, and therefore motivation, for studying. The debugging process was a nice recoup from course work as it allowed me to fix errors in a program I had invested a lot of time into whilst giving my mind a study break and providing me with a sense of accomplishment; a win-win situation!

My finals week planning is an example of leadership because leadership can be about discovering yourself and creating your own leadership style. Self-awareness is one of my skills and enabled me to create a study-relax plan which benefitted me immensely. I’ve learnt that by understanding your own strengths, you can unlock and amplify many important leadership characteristics, such as planning, confidence and determination. Also, by learning how to identify your own strengths, you can extend this leadership skill to identifying the strengths and weaknesses of those around you, allowing you, as a leader, to help others grow as individuals. People are very unique. Whilst coding is enjoyable for me, my idea of fun is very different from someone else’s; my roommates consider writing as a form of relaxation, whereas I find it merely frustrating. Since people are so different from one another in so many aspects; it’s important to identify, understand and accept the diversity around you. One of the qualities of a good leader is the ability to alter the message you are spreading in a way that will connect with and influence people that have different experiences and different qualities than you do yourself. This can be challenging but is a worthy leadership goal.

Leadership is an important skill for anyone to have. It not only gives you confidence in yourself, but in exploring leadership, you are able to explore more about who you really are and where your strengths lie. The Honors Program has been challenging yet very rewarding as it has allowed me to gain new perspectives on leadership that are helping now and will help me in the future. This program has helped me to grow so much as a person and as a leader, and for that, I am truly grateful.

Stephanie Roscher ’16 is a Mathematics & Computer Science major from Royersford, PA.