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The Truth About Leadership Revealed

B. Westwood LDR 2010

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Hello BuzzFeed Community! My name is Brett Westwood, and I am currently a student at the University of South Florida as a finance major. However, this semester I got the opportunity to explore a class known as Leadership Fundamentals. When first hearing this course title you are probably thinking easy class, why would anybody take it? Well, I thought the same thing prior to taking this class, but now after taking this class my perspective on the world and how leadership is done has changed for the better. My philosophy on leadership at first was, leaders are born and not made, but also leaders must prove it through actions and not words. Now, since the class is over; my philosophy of leadership has made variations and changes to my original philosophy. Please read on and follow me in my journey of a semester in this unique course offered at USF.


The 4 core values that I was given based on my personality were:

1. Integrity: This basically means to be honest to everybody no matter the situation at hand. When times are tough, this is when your true character will reveal itself. Hard times just expose people, not create them. I always try to show integrity to everyone for a few reasons. Being completely transparent and honest with people will allow you to gain their respect and trust. Without that, then nobody will want to even associate themselves with you.

2. Courage: Showing this character trait/value will make people feel like they can follow in your footsteps because you have a F*ck it attitude! A lot of people look up to the crazy person in the room because that crazy person is the one actually getting stuff done. Having courage to start that business you always wanted is the hardest step in actually starting that business. Lots of people will regret not having courage later on in life when they are 90 years old laying on their deathbed.

3. Persistence: This is a value that almost all successful people have and must have. Chances of people doing something right the first time is very rare. However, if you can show persistence and keep pushing forward even if failing multiple times. Failure is just a learning curve. People with persistence that became successful are people like Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, George Lucas, and many more.

4. Empowerment: Being able to empower yourself and others is crucial to being a great leader and successful in whatever field you are in. Being able to create optimism and a positive environment is a must. If you think negatively or with a can't attitude, then most likely you will fail. The power in belief is such a strong value which is underestimated.

1st Key Takeaway: Interesting!

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Going into this Leadership Fundamentals course I was coming into it with a closed mind that this class is worthless. However, after a few weeks of hearing Professor Cord teach us about all the different values and real life examples of leadership. I knew there was way more to leadership than what meets the eye. This kept me interested into learning more about a topic that I thought only had a simple one line definition and nothing more.

2nd Key Takeaway: Expecting Something Totally Different

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I am exactly like this girl here in the purple. I think I came into this leadership class for an easy A, but in the end I actually discovered I came to actually better myself as a person. There is a few classes in college that actually will better you as an overall human being. Leadership Fundamentals is one of these classes and everybody who is in college should definitely experience classes that better yourself mentally and spiritually. At the end of the day its all about how you take life and react to adversity.

3rd Key Takeaway: Charismatic People are gifted in their own way

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During this semester we learned that being a charismatic leader is one of the most influential ways to become an effective leader. Donald Trump literally won a nation over by just being charismatic and actually connecting with people who didn't feel they had a voice. Being charismatic is not the only character trait a leader must have to become an effective leader, but it is by far one of the most important ones. Leaders must have good intentions, knowledge in their field of expertise, respect, and integrity. However, some people in history have proved that all they needed was to be charismatic to actually be leaders, but being a good leader is a whole other dimension.

4th Key Takeaway: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

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Being a leader is the one who is the role model, in charge, boss, CEO and many other titles associated with this topic. However, teamwork among every single person involved is required to actually launch a meaningful, effective message to others and the world. One person with good leadership qualities is nothing without his/hers team/following.

5th Key Takeaway: Learning About Myself

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I was that close-minded prick prior to this class who thought any class that didn't interest me was going to be a waste and not worthy of my attention. Learning about leadership allowed myself to have a paradigm shift in my philosophy of leadership in a general sense. Learning about the relational leadership model which is the basis of how leadership is done, learning about the different kinds of leaders: charismatic, great man, behavioral, influence leaders and trait leaders; also, learning about leadership qualities through interactive group work has really changed my way of thinking.

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