The Science of Leadership


Alexandra Girono

Junior class president, Salma Abuhamda, shares what she learned about leadership during the powderpuff game. via Alexandra Giorno

Leadership can help forward one’s desired goals, can make one stand out from others, and can even equate to a successful life. However, in order to be a successful leader there are many other qualities one must possess. Many celebrated leaders begin as average individuals who are subsequently brave enough to push their ideas into action. They persevere even when fear and self-doubt attempt to suppress their ideas. Transforming a plan, idea, or thought into reality, in spite of uncertainty, is what separates leaders from dreamers. Another important leadership quality is knowing how to collaborate well with others. Leaders recognize when to talk and when to listen. With collaboration and strong support from peers, pursuing goals is made easier and all the more rewarding.

Pine Crest offers students remarkable opportunities to develop as leaders. Leadership positions range from running for the student body to starting a new club. These opportunities help students to both acquire and practice essential leadership skills with the support of the Pine Crest community.

President and founder of Pine Crest’s Club Couture, Valentina Pope, believes that “the qualities of a good leader are determination, hard work, and definitely not being afraid to stand up for your beliefs, because in order be successful it is really important to stand apart from the crowd.” Pope went on to explain the importance of these skills in her life.

“There wasn’t a fashion club at Pine Crest originally and these skills helped me create Club Couture. I wasn’t afraid to express my ideas to the board and go for my idea of having the first fashion club at Pine Crest. I had to be fearless.” she said.

Junior class President, Salma Abuhamda thinks that a good leader “listens to suggestions but also knows when to take charge.” She learned the importance of this skill during homecoming week. One example of this was on the powderpuff team where “there were a lot of girls saying different ideas and at one point [Salma] had to just take charge and say ‘this is how we’re doing things.’”

Bianca Simons, President of Muslim solidarity club and Vice President of BSA, learned to uphold leadership in club positions from her mother. “Growing up, my mom has always been an example of a strong leader. She was never afraid to take charge and always voiced her opinions. Her strength impacted me. I now think a great leader is someone who is confident in their decisions and opinions while also working cooperatively with others,” Bianca said.

Within the Pine Crest community, I have come to find that successful leaders both share a certain set of essential qualities while also employing strategies individual to their leadership style. Leadership generally takes drive to stand out, take charge, and invoke change. Additionally, most successful leaders share a willingness to listen and take the opinions of other into consideration during their decision making process. Aside from these universal qualities, personal experience can play a role in the development of a successful leader. Strong role models, family circumstances, and personal investment in the cause at hand are qualities unique to an individual. Leadership is a skill that creates opportunities and leads to the best discoveries. Learning what works and does not work, from the leaders in one’s community, can be the first step to a successful life of leadership.