Monday, January 24, 2011

Leadership Matters! by Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa

In our world today, many students are faced with barriers that clearly inhibit them from finishing school.  Barriers such as Socioeconomic Status, Education of Parents, and even Gender all work toward pushing our students out of school and into the world ill prepared to work and contribute successfully to our communities.  However, one cannot disregard the critical role that we all play as leaders in our communities.  
 Leadership does matter, and we need to make no mistake about that.  In order to make a true difference in the education of our youth (and the development of our community), we all need to refine our skills of self-awareness, foresight, and persuasion.  

Self-awareness – This refers to knowing our own emotions and the effect they have on us and others.  In addition, self-awareness describes being confident in our abilities while, at the same time, recognizing our limits.  Most importantly, as leaders in our homes, communities, and work, we cannot wait for dissent and conflict to come to us, we must actively go seek it out in order to create an environment where we can thrive. We must all offer personal invitations to others, requesting their opinions, ideas, and alternative viewpoints to solve the problems of educating our youth and developing our communities.  The mere existence of passive leadership constitutes a substantial barrier to candid dialogue and debate and will encourage our students to give up and leave school.
Foresight – Individuals do not usually conduct an extensive, detailed analysis of statistical information each and every time prior to making a decision.  Instead, we all rely on readily available information and past experiences to make decisions in a timely manner.   
This available information and experiences usually serve us well as we make decisions, however, in some cases, easily recalled information is not always relevant to the current situation and may cause us to make an error in prediction and judgment.  We must be conscious that we need a balance between gathering all pertinent information concerning a decision to be made and making the decision based on our intuition.  

Persuasion - How effective are you in influencing and persuading other people?  The best way to get control of educating our youth is by learning to be effective in influencing and persuading others.  Credibility is part of effective influencing and persuasion.  It is important to tell the truth, even if it hurts.  Honesty is a cornerstone of persuasion and is a necessary characteristic of an effective leader. 

Persuasion can be understood as a power of affecting a person, thing, or course of events, and is the power to produce a desired result.

Leadership does matter and we all have the ability to be great leaders!

Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a wife, mother, and educator living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the President of the Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC. and is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the author of Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader.   

For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at , visit, or follow Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC. on Facebook.

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