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What is Leadership?

The popular notion of what a leader is usually takes the form of some executive of a corporation, a general in the military, or even the President of the United States of America. These ideas of leaders have everything to do with rank or seniority, with the leader always being on top of the organizational ladder and managing his subordinates. These leaders are generally portrayed as masculine and authoritative figures that are powerful, brilliant, and strong willed. They are the go-getters of society that dictate how the world works and are singlehandedly in control of their organization I, however, reject this idea of leadership wholeheartedly. What constitutes a leader in my opinion has less to do with rank than the relationship the leader has with his subordinates. A leader does not necessarily have to be a person of great stature or power within their organization, but could in fact be a relatively low-ranking member. Leadership has everything to do with how the leader acts around others and how they are able to influence their peers. A strong leader is able to not only manage people but also relate to them. They have the capacity to understand their troubles and their hardships and still inspire them to work hard. A leader always leads by example, and never asks his subordinates to do something he would not be willing to do himself. Overall, a good leader is

not someone that asserts himself or herself as being higher or better than others, but actively works with their subordinates to tackle tough problems and enact positive change within their organization.

What is Public Service?

Public service is quite a broad concept that has many different connotations to it. I take public service to be any act of supplying a service to a member or group within your community. This community can be seen as local, regional, national, or even international. These acts of service can be something as simple as escorting an elderly person across the street, volunteering at a local soup kitchen, or to be in the military or join the Peace Corps. Even Congressional members, surprising as it may be, are public servants and fulfill a pivotal public need. Public service can be volunteerism or a paid position, so long as they serve a public need and work for a positive societal change. Service is the foundation of society, and is essential to the proper functioning of our social and economic system, with nonprofits being a major factor of our economy and our American culture. I have always believed in the power of public service and the importance of giving back to ones community. I think it is tragic that so few people are public servants and have little to no desire to commit to community service projects or work in a public service role. American capitalism values profits over community service and unfortunately does not incentivize people to enter the field of public service.

What is Active Citizenship? To me, active citizenship is one of the highest goals an individual can achieve in society today. It, however, is not a goal that is achieved but one that is a process and is maintained. It is the process of leadership and public service aimed towards bettering oneself and your community. Beyond that, an active citizen must become informed and aware of the world around them and be involved in their community. Active citizens are ingrained in the democratic process and work towards promoting the values of our society. From voting for elections, volunteering or donating efforts to organizations, and working towards the common good of society active citizenship is, in my opinion, the highest form of citizenship that can be attained. I see the process of active citizenship as pivotal to the education of American college students today because volunteer, internship, and service learning opportunities give students the chance to experience the world outside of a book and a classroom. Not only does a student grow towards an appreciation for active citizenship but gains valuable and practical skills that make them more well-rounded and employable individuals upon graduation. Active citizens are what I believe to be the most involved and informed individuals within our country today, and is the highest status that a person can attain in our society. Being so, this is an extremely difficult status to be

and maintain and therefore there are few true active citizens and is a calling to be emulated and pursued.

Interview For my interview I spoke to Kelley McClean, the Government Relations Coordinator for the Jubilee Campaign USA where I am interning. I work directly under her and work with her on research projects, outreach, and publications for the organization. When I asked her about what she looks for in a leader she talked about how important it is for a leader to be proactive in dealing with their employees and willing to work with them instead of constantly and only delegating out work. She doesnt like bosses that are unwilling or unable to work with their employees to solve problems and only demand solutions and results without being largely involved in the process. Something was telling me she was referring to a human rights lawyer we work with because reflecting on it, this explains him quite well. When I asked her about her thoughts on public service, she said that she thinks of public service as the highest calling for a person to achieve. That was what motivated her to work in human rights when she had corporate and private sector offers. She said her faith keeps her focused in the tough work that she does every day in reporting global atrocities, but it is her calling to work in such a field and to do positive work for people worldwide. She has the utmost respect for public servants, especially servicemen and veterans, and volunteers much of her time to serving those who serve us.

Finally, when asked about active citizenship, she thinks that being an active citizen is vital for anyone wishing to be involved in their community and to working to fulfill the needs of others. She tries to be as active as possible, and sees it as being inherent to her calling within public service, and key to being successful within her job. She tries to be as aware of the world and of current events as possible so that she can contextualize the events she deals with day to day. She also tries to be active within different organizations so that she does not get hyper-focused in her life on just the issues that she works with. Kelley also views education as being pivotal to being an active citizen as receiving an education exposes people to a broad range of issues and ideas and diversifies their interests and enables them to pursue service in a way that they would not have been able to otherwise. My interview with Kelley was very positive and gave me a new perspective on what leadership, public service, and active citizenship can be. She is a great model of all three ideals and reflects the type of person I wish to become one day as a college administrator so that I can properly serve students to the best of my abilities and ensure that I am able to help these students become the future leaders of our country.