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Fundamentals Of Leadership

L. Garza-LDR 2010

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My name is Luis Garza and I am a student athlete at the University of South Florida. This past spring semester I took a leadership class. In the past I have been a leader through sports, this class has shown me how to develop leadership skills and characteristics. I have learned how to work in a group and show leadership skills by creating a part to make a larger whole for the group project. When starting this class I was not sure what to expect, however, this class has greatly helped my confidence in leadership.


This class really outlined key values of leadership. Both as a student and an athlete I have to attend to different forms of leadership. On and off the field I have to rely on teamwork. Teamwork shows up in many ways in the classroom. When you are working on a group project, for example you have to be able to work with the other people in your group, when getting peer reviews or peer reviewing papers you have to be able to help your classmates in a productive manner, and even in cases when you are working with your professor you must recognize that the professor is “on your team” and willing to help. A second value for me is respect. I come from an upbringing where it is understood to gain respect is to give respect. This shows up in my leadership as I give the respect I would expect from others to them. Honesty is my third value, as it implies loyalty. Being honest is not always easy, but as a leader it is needed. Without honesty, there would be no reason to trust anyone, honesty brings the base of integrity and people have to have faith in you to follow your actions as a leader. Fairness is important to me as a leader because it shows that you treat all people with respect and deal with everyone in a fair manner no matter what the situation. A leader who plays favorites is one who shows a bias. By dealing with people in a fair manner there is a level playing field in which everyone can succeed. As a value trust is underlying in almost everything you see. As I stated before, honesty builds on trust. Yet, I see trust in all aspects. As a soccer player, the most nail biting moment can be lining up for a penalty kick. Whether you are on the sideline or the player making the kick you have to be trusting. Trust in your team, trust in your ability, trust in your skill. Lastly, serving is an important value as it is important to recognize the community around you. By giving back you are showing a leadership quality where you eliminate a self-centered aspect. This semester I was given a great opportunity to help feed the homeless. On multiple occasions, I found that giving back to the people that needed it most, gave back to myself. I walked away with a grateful feeling and urge to do more for society.


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In the beginning of this class, I was hesitant to speak in class or even to people in class. This class has taught me that in order to be a leader you have to speak up about your beliefs and views.


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One thing I really enjoyed in this class was the debates. I found it interesting to listen to my fellow classmates opinions. I also learned through this that in order to be a leader, you have to listen intently to others.

Being A Leader

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As I stated above, a good leader listens to people and helps lead them in the right direction. As we also learned, leadership comes in many different forms. To be a leader, you do not have to be the head person in charge, you just have to be listening and helping others where you can.


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This class also taught me to give presentations better. This was the first time I have presented in English. Although I looked at the presentation the majority of the time, I now know what presenting in English is like and will improve next time.

Class Discussions

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This class also taught me how to respond and reflect on class discussions. I enjoyed reflecting on what my peers had to offer during class discussions. Like I previously stated, the class debates were good way to learn from.


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Coming from another country I found it hard to communicate sometimes. There are times where translations are not so clean cut and I did not want to say the wrong thing or express myself in the incorrect manner. This course made me more confident in my speaking ability as I worked in groups and saw others working in the class. This class has also helped me and I am confident I will be a better leader because of it.

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