Military Lessons About Leadership by Vishwa Shah

Listening to Colonel Briere talk about leadership was quite inspirational. The most valuable idea I gained out of his interactive “speech” was that leadership requires followers– and being a good follower is a necessity in life. Everyone is a follower, since its nearly impossible to find someone who’s truly at the top of the chain in the civilized world. Colonel Briere also brought up the idea of leading with different styles: authoritative in the military, democratic in clubs at school, etc. Although I wasn’t aware, to some degree I was already switching between styles of leadership. I deal with my sisters differently than my peers, for example. Listening to Colonel Briere’s interesting words on leadership was a great experience.

Additionally, we discussed as a group the importance of thinking with a win-win mindset (Habit 4 in The 7 Habits For Highly Successful Teens, Sean Covey.) Although theoretically win-win is the best mindset, reflecting upon it now, I have found myself various times thinking in a win-lose frame of mind. After today’s discussion and reading the chapter of Habit 4, I will consciously be making the effort to not only think in my interest, but also others’. At the same time, remembering not to devote myself solely to the interests of others (and becoming a doormat, as Covey compared the lose-win mindset to), because I have found myself seeking approval from others as well. Learning about these principles propels a conscious effort inside me to improve myself. I am thankful to The Ryan Nece Foundation Student Service Program for providing me with this opportunity and spreading the power of giving while cultivating my leaderships skills.

– Vishwa Shah