Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

To lead, is to serve. For the most part of my life, I have had the privilege to occupy and experience leadership roles. And for me, leadership is not about rank. It is about character and how you influence decisions to have a positive impact. Every situation requires leadership, it only takes an initiative to realize it. I have gained useful leadership experiences working with industrial research teams, being on teams for class presentations, holding leading roles on student boards and being an elder child in my family. My most treasured leadership experience was leading a team of five to conduct the first Animal Biotechnology research at the Faculty of Agriculture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Being the first of its kind, this project presented several challenges but the achievements were rewarding. That research has been a land mark event at the Faculty of Agriculture. I am proud to have led the only team that finished their research project before the deadline and the only team to have presented our research findings to the Ghana Science Association. Any student board I have been a member of, I make sure I contribute to discussions. The ‘leadership package’ comes with being outspoken and a problem solver. I supervised the introduction of the paperless system when I chaired the electoral commission. As a member of the 2016/17 KNUST SRC Policy Research Team, I was influential in decision making. I am pleased to have contributed to the implementation of a bus policy that eased the transport challenges on campus. In my leadership experiences I have picked up the skill of being a good team player, a better listener, resilient and assertive. My communication skills improved as I was daily conversing and interacting with people. As a leader, to accept and work on constructive criticism is as important as any other thing. Experiencing setbacks as a leader gave me a different perspective of things. I now realize when things do not go your way, it is no reason to give up, you only must plan to do better in the next challenge. By listening to my peers and by learning from my mistakes I have overcome many obstacles. Each time I am part of a team, I encourage people to speak up by creating an atmosphere of shared problem solving. When I read about Martin Luther and the reformation, I know I must be ready to make sacrifices if I must lead. As a leader, Desmond Mpilo Tutu teaches me to be a moral example and a servant if I want to lead. The economic and social change supervised by Queen Victoria, gives me hope that I can impact the Ghanaian economy. The humanitarian achievement of Florence Nightingale inspires my dream of leaving a legacy for posterity. Each story of leadership I have read encourages me to develop myself to become a great leader.

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