Now that the fall semester is in full swing, it’s a good time to evaluate how we’re doing and where we’re going. While everybody’s working hard and trying their best, it’s important to get involved and make your mark on those around you. Building your leadership skills are a great way to maintain and grow during college, bettering both your current educational and future professional career. 

Being a leader doesn’t always come naturally; it’s a skill that must be continually developed as life goes on. A few ways you can exercise leadership in college include asking questions in class, coordinating the (many) group projects you’re a part of, or even joining a club. Leadership is about taking initiative and serving those around you. There’s no right or wrong way to become a leader, but it will always require participation and dedication. 

In this semester’s GrandPR book club, we are reading Creative Confidence, a book that emphasizes maintaining a growth mindset, the importance of innovation, and making your mark on the world. A growth mindset refers to the ability to continue moving towards your goals while being creative in the execution of these goals. It is often easier to act as if you can’t do something than to admit you need help or to push yourself beyond your average scope of ability. Having a growth mindset allows you to learn more and be better in every situation life throws at you. By having a growth mindset, you are able to innovate beyond today’s norms, which will allow you to make your mark on the world through the things you create and the people you impact. All of these attributes apply to those of a leader and can point us in the right direction of building a creative, leader-oriented mindset.  

Being a leader is also about being people-focused. This means practicing empathy and allowing for experimentation on what works and doesn’t work for those around you. By being people-focused, you’re allowing yourself to be coachable and intuitive, enabling the construction of emotionally meaningful and functional ideas that will positively impact those around you. Leadership skills are people skills, which can only be improved through the trial and error that comes with talking to and working with those around you.

As this school year forges on, it’s important that we step up and make our mark on our peers and professors. Those around us can be used as connections or mentors in our current and future career endeavors. Leadership skills must be nourished and grown, whether that be through class participation or extracurricular clubs or events. We can all learn from those around us, the same way as others can learn from us.

About the Author:

Megan Morse is a senior at Grand Valley State University studying advertising and public relations. This is Megan’s first year participating in GVPRSSA, and she also serves as an account executive for Grand Valley’s integrated communications firm, GrandPR.