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Alexandra Alvarez

Leadership Talk
Before I begin my talk, I would like everyone to please put their heads down and to
reflect on what I am about to say.
1. First, I would like you to think about three or four qualities that you
believe are crucial for a good leader to have.
2. Now, keeping your heads down, please raise your hand if you consider
yourself a leader. (Write the number down on your paper Alondra.)
3. Okay, you can lift your heads now, thank you.
When I say the word leader, what comes to mind? Perhaps, the president of the
United States, captain of the cheer team or song team, the president of ASB, or a
member of ASB. While all of these people are definitely leaders, some leaders go
unnoticed.
So, I would like to share this definition of a leader with you all today, and I ask that
you please write it down in your notebooks.
A leader is one who influences others by his or her actions and thoughts whether
they know it or not. I would like to emphasize the whether they know it or not,
so would all of you please underline that, because that is what is key and in my
opinion, the most important part.
Throughout my seventeen years of living, I have seen three types of leaders:
First, we have the Everyday leader. The everyday leader influences others in
their daily lives. Influence is the most common form of leadership, and I am
positive that more than once in our lives, others have influenced us, and we in
return have influenced them.
This includes the influence from our family members, our friends, and sometimeseven strangers. What all these people have in common, is that in one way or
another, they instill a sense of right from wrong into us by their actions.
I know that my friends have personally influenced me, and so have the people I
interact with everyday, because they inspire me to be a better person. I have also
influenced by every single one of you here today.
Next, we have the Community Leader. Whether we know it or not, our life revolves
around being part of communities. Everyone here is part of the Saint Joseph
community, and every person in this room, is part of our Kairos community. We
belong to many different communities and what makes a person special and a

community leader is when he/she loves the community so much, that they are
willing to dedicate themselves, their time, energy and effort into doing what is best
for the community. With that being said, I truly believe that we can all be
considered Kairos Leaders because we are all here today and participating in all
activities, including eating, and I know I am a very active participant in that.
Lastly, we have the Christian Leader. All Christians are called to be leaders, and
just by following Jesus Christ, we are made leaders through him. A real Christian
leader is natural, courageous, and truly dedicated to others.
I consider myself lucky to say that freshman year; I was able to meet someone who
later went on to become one of my best friends. I always saw her praying and
giving thanks for every good thing in her life. She is a prominent Christian leader in
my life. She constantly is an example of what it means to be a Christian leader
through not only her words but also her actions, and she influences me every day
to grow in my relationship with God.
Among the Christian leader, there are several types; we have the lovers, examples,
thinkers, realists, initiators, adaptors, and failures.
A Lover
The lovers in our lives, needless to say, just simply love. Whether you
express love towards yourself or towards others, it counts. I like to
think of my parents as lovers, because they sacrifice so much for my
sibling, and me, and they love me endlessly, and they also love God.
An Example
Being an example is like being the person who helps others see God
and see things that might not be so clear to them. It is leading y
example and through your actions. Theyre like the magical 3D glasses
that help you view that God is and always has been there with you.
A thinker
Thinkers know their information. They have the knowledge to back up
their beliefs and opinions, and much of this knowledge is found in the
Gospels. I like to view them as Google or the Internet. All the different
links in your Google search express a different view, but when you
choose one, the details are revealed and you get a clearer
understanding.
A realist
Realists are not fomies. They respect and accept other peoples
opinions and also try to remain loyal and true to themselves and God.
An initiator

I like to think of an initiator as the beginning of a chain reaction. They


are willing to take not only the first step, but also the risk that comes
with it. They are not afraid to fail and trust that God is by their side.
An adaptor
A diamond in the rough is what an adaptor is. They are not completely
formed by his/her environment and they realize that they can make a
difference. When we leave this retreat, we will all be adaptors, because
we will have the opportunity to live out what we have talked about
here.
A failure
Being a Christian leader is an ideal we set for ourselves, but none of us
will ever succeed all the timethe important thing is not to give up
the only real mistakes are the ones from which we learn nothing. What
we need to realize, is that we an never be perfect, We are human, and
our success or failures are not a reflection of who we are.
Now, despite all of this that I shared with you, I have to be completely honest with
you, as a younger girl, I never considered myself a leader. I was the person who
either tried to please everyone or who wanted nothing to do with people, there was
no in between. Looking back on my actions and attitudes, I realized that I had
spread myself too thin, and I could not handle the pressure.
It didnt take until about the year of 2014 to realize that I was not happy. I was
going through an identity loss, and I didnt realize that I had the capacity to be a
leader. I was struggling internally and I was achieving happiness by making others
happy. While this is a valid way to love, I did not love myself, and that made all the
difference.
It was junior year of high school, what some consider to be the hardest year, and
for me I believe it was. At the time, I was struggling with very serious family issues,
my parents were constantly fighting, both my aunt and mother had a brain tumor
and had to undergo brain surgery, my brother was in a car crash, I was struggling
with serious self-esteem issues, an uncle of mine passed away, I began to notice
that I was distancing myself from my best-friends, and I was taking on a heavy
load of extracurricular activities and schoolwork.
I was having nervous breakdowns left and right, I used to go into the bathroom
stalls during break and just cry, and because no one really knew what was going
on at the time, I was titled a drama queen and an attention seeker. While I
tried putting on a strong face at school, I never talked about it, and I let it control

me. I was putting others wants and needs before my own, and I got caught up in a
cycle of pretending.
After a lot of coping, I found that I ultimately should rule my own life and I should
be truly happy. I wanted to be able to say that I was in control of my life. This past
year, has been a roller coaster of events, and I fear what the future has to offer. I
dislike talking about the future and college because I dont know what I want to do,
but what I do know is that Ive changed for the better. I have begun to make
amends, and I am trying to repair the relationships that were broken throughout
this time. I do what makes me happy while still being considerate of others. I know
I am not perfect, and I know failure is just part of being a Christian leader. I was
soon able to realize that God was there for me at my worst, and he helped me
grow from these experiences, and my relationship with him has strengthened
because of it. I have a relationship with him that has helped me realize that my
happiness does not have to stem from others but from myself, because until I was
truly happy, I couldnt be a leader to others.
My hope is that all of you realize what makes you happy and that every single one
of you realizes your self-worth. At the beginning of my talk, only (number of
people) raised your hands because you consider yourself a leader, but I can speak
on behalf of everyone else in this room and say that right now, I am positive that
every single one of you lovely and beautiful ladies is a leader every day, in your
community, and as a Christian.

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