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Reflection on Being a Leader

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Personal Development
Wordcount: 1730 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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My Brand as a Leader


As a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, I face many important life choices. At this moment, I have figured out what I what to do for the rest of my life in the field that I love which is a leader of special events in higher education. It is now time for me to take the essential steps to turn my goals into reality. Like any good story, my journey has included both accomplishments and failures. Together, the ups and the downs, have contributed to my future career path. My senior year of my undergrad experience has opened my eyes even more, but not necessarily the senior internship, it was both the experience and the learning that came along with it. I have met so many people through my networking of events in a higher education environment. I worked daily with higher administration, donors, alumni, and students to name a few. I was given the responsibility to take on an event and be the leader or in other words a project manager. The Office of Institutional Advancement at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown has truly help me finally find my passion. I had nothing but support from the office throughout the semester. I now know what I am good at and what I want to do in the future. My passion is being a leader and doing so in special events at a higher education institution. This has allowed for me to become a driven person more than ever and helped me understand what it means to be a leader in higher education. With my brand in place, it is important to explore these areas in my life and highlight how they have encouraged me to wanting to be the best leader there can be during my future work experience.

Emotional Intelligence

According to the mindtool.com, the Content Team states, “Emotional Intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they`re feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people.” Emotional Intelligence lets us connect with others, recognize ourselves better, and live a content life. Furthermore, ihhp.com states, “Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) is a term created by two researchers, Peter Salavoy and John Mayer, and popularized by Dan Goleman in his 1996 book of the same name. We define EI as the ability to: recognize, understand and manage our own emotions, and recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others.” Additionally, positivepsychologyprogram.com states, “Emotional intelligence is more related to the present, in that it is used to identify and manage emotions in the moment.” Also, this is a nonverbal method that both informs your thinking and influences how well you connect with others. The Authors at helpguide.org remark,

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“Emotional intelligence is commonly defined by four attributes: Self-management, you`re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances; Self-awareness, you recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior. You know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence; Social-awareness, you have empathy. You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization; Relationship management, you know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.”

As discussed in class, we also mentioned the same four components of Emotional Intelligence. Professor Jim Earle provided an example in class for these four components. He states, “me vs. you.” When stating the phrase, me, it`s to ensure that I am aware of my feelings and my reactions to my feelings. When referring to the phrase, you, it`s my reactions to your feelings. According to psychcentral.com, Michael Akers and Grover Porter state, “For most people, emotional intelligence (EQ) is more important than one’s intelligence (IQ) in attaining success in their lives and careers. As individuals our success and the success of the profession today depend on our ability to read other people’s signals and react appropriately to them.” As a leader, having EQ will take you further than IQ.

High EQ Can Help a Leader in Higher Education Management

The basic foundation of leadership is “knowing thyself.” In the world today, we want to know ourselves. The medium.com states, “There is no penalty in doing what you have no experience in. But to give meaning in the effort of doing so is to know thyself well enough to see an advantage in gaining the experience.” As a leader, being approachable is important because people will come to you. By “knowing thyself,” people will approach you for that reason. At the mindtools.com, the Content Team states, “When you think of a “perfect leader,” what comes to mind?” I personally look at a perfect leader as someone who shows genuineness, demonstrates empathy and understanding, praises others, provides helpful feedback, forgives and forgets, keeps their commitments and obligations, and helps others. These are a few qualities I think of as a “perfect leader.” As a leader, ask should often ask yourself two items: “What have I done today to make my employees happy?” and “What am I doing to create happy employees?” EQ can take you further than IQ can. As a leader, having EQ is developing relationships, value those relationships, compliment workers, say often “thank you for doing that,” and have empathy. Additionally, as a leader, trying using the “Management by Walking Around (MBWA) technique. This technique is completed by simply “getting out” in your workplace; walk around and see the work being done. According to sunysail.org, Scott Vinciguerra states,

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“Leaders across organizational types are coming to understand that working in an emotion-filled context requires a special set of skills and have recognized the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI) for leading people. And, since colleges and universities are primarily people focused organizations, academic leaders can benefit from having an understanding of their own EI and how to use it within their leadership roles.”

As a leader in higher education management, when we are not in our offices, we are on stage as leaders. Also, when out on that stage or in the office, we as leaders must watch our behaviors. Furthermore, as a leader you must understand that everyone is unique. At mindtools.com, Daniel Goleman states the five key elements to emotional intelligence. Goleman states, “self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. The more that you, as a leader, manage each of these areas, the higher your emotional intelligence.” Lastly, it`s very important for somebody who wants to excel as a leader that they look at developing and keeping these skills high.


 In conclusion, I think to myself, what strengths and skills do I have for this type of job and to become a leader. Do I “know thyself?” I would best describe myself as having skills in communication, teamwork, problem solving, planning and organizing skills. I am a very driven individual. I know I have done a good job when I have achieved the anticipated end results and outcomes. This is what my primary motivation is as an employer, leader, and as a young individual. I want to show my skills in taking charge of an event and making it a successful one.

 In the competitive job market, many places you apply to look for a reason to not hire you. As a full-time employer, I want the interviewer to know how passionate and excited I am about the job that is placed right in front of me. I want to market myself as seeing the job as a great career and will work diligently to do a phenomenal job.  I do know for sure that I “know thyself.” I get up in the morning and look forward to going to work and class because it is getting me my master’s degree for the rest of my life and in the field that I am passionate about. Seeing my friends, professors and supervisors make it all happen. I love this university and that is why I want to continue my career here. However, I feel that I am ready for the next step to be a leader. To be a leader, it is important to keep your EQ high and to maintain the key components of emotional intelligence.


  • Akers, M., & Porter, G. (2018, October 08). What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)? Retrieved January 30, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-emotional-intelligence-eq/
  • Emotional Intelligence in LeadershipLearning How to Be More Aware. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2019, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_45.htm
  • Greavu, E., & Greavu, E. (2018, April 25). What Does It Mean To Know Thyself? – The Startup – Medium. Retrieved January 30, 2019, from https://medium.com/swlh/what-does-it-mean-to-know-thyself-9d843526fe22
  • Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ). (2018, December 28). Retrieved January 30, 2019, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/emotional-intelligence-eq.htm
  • Using Emotional Intelligence to Lead in Higher Education. (2017, October 25). Retrieved January 30, 2019, from https://sunysail.org/2017/10/20/using-emotional-intelligence-to-lead-in-higher-education/
  • What is Emotional Intelligence and How to Improve it? (Definition EQ Test). (2019, January 08). Retrieved January 30, 2019, from https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/emotional-intelligence-eq/
  • What Is Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2019, from https://www.ihhp.com/meaning-of-emotional-intelligence


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