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Leadership Experience

Roger Vassell LDR 2010

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My name is Roger Vassell and I am an engineering student and the University of South Florida. My philosophy of leadership at the start of the semester was that a leader was at the very top of everybody and had the ultimate power and knowledge about whatever or whoever they were leading. That was a narrow minded philosophy. My philosophy on leadership now has broadened from taking this class. I’ve come to realize that the leadership position isn’t as simple and grand, but a position that is complex and often hard to execute successfully without the help of their followers. My philosophy of leadership now is that a leader is someone who is active in trying to be a catalyst for change and that’s it.


My core values are commitment, understanding, and determination.

i.I chose commitment as a value because to be a good leader one has to be completely committed to whatever cause they want to serve.

ii.I chose understanding because a leader deals with different people of different cultures and backgrounds. In order to be a successful leader and in act positive change, one must be understanding of their followers’ differences and figure out a way to bring them together.

iii.I chose determination because when in acting change it is very common to encounter a road block or an obstacle. A good leader needs to be determined in order to work through the obstacles and keep pushing for that positive change.

Leadership Paradigm shift

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Before starting this class, I believed that being a leader is a role that is chosen at birth and often unattainable. This view has steered me away from trying to become an active leader. Now, my view on leadership is that everyone is a leader and leadership is a skill not an inherited trait.

Recognizing that I am a shy type of person

During the semester, I recognized that I am a very shy person around a group of new people. I used this opportunity to practice coming out of my shell and becoming more confident in myself to speak out and outwardly be passionate about a topic or subject.

The idea that leadership is process oriented

The idea that leadership is process oriented was introduced to me this semester. Becoming a leader and in acting change isn’t going to come over night it’s going to take time and patience. I apply the idea of a process to everything in my life now and I feel more organized and have a higher chance of success.

Understanding organizations

Understanding the differences between an organization, team and group will become helpful when I start the workforce. I am studying to be an engineer and engineers work a lot in teams to complete projects. The book discusses different dynamics of teams and groups. Knowing these differences and dynamics can give me an advantage in the work place and will allow me to move better when in groups and teams.


My experience in Leadership Fundamentals was insightful. I learned a lot about myself and about the world around me. Leadership isn’t a grand role taken on by one chosen person, but everyone can become a leader and in act positive change. This paradigm shift was the biggest one for me. The idea that the leadership role isn’t this blown up unattainable role broke down walls for me. It has allowed me to become more confident while working in a group setting and in everyday life. Others should expect a more proactive and confident leader who is understanding and determined. I expect to become my own version of a leader and impact the lives of people in a positive way.

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