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"No matter how hard life is, just think positive and you will succeed!" -Aliakamal-

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Leadership among students

"Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent." (Burns, 1978). Every group, organization, and country has a leader which proves how important the leader’s role is. Clearly, no one could deny the role of being a leader at least once in a lifetime. As students, with tonnes of assignments and projects to be done, having a dependable leader is a must. Students are the future leaders of Malaysia; so, each of them must own good leadership qualities. Leadership in students may be defined clearly through the leadership style, criteria of a good leader, and also the role of leadership among students.

Firstly, there are three styles of leadership that can be applied by students' leader. The first technique is authoritarian leadership which uses autocratic system. This type of leadership produces less creative result as the leader makes the decision alone with little or no ideas from the others. The most effective leadership technique is participative leadership which utilizes democratic concept. The results from this style of leadership are more significant as the decision is made through collaboration between all members,(www.eskimo.com, April 2000). Researchers found that the third style, the delegative leadership was the least dynamic among all. The leader almost does not give any guidance towards the group members and hands the power of making decision to the members. However, this method can be really effective if the group members are knowledgeable than the leader. Students can choose which leadership style to usedepending on the group conditions and capabilities.

Secondly, there are several criteria that a student should possess to be a good leader. A high-quality leader must always be enthusiastic and passionate while doing the job. These positive attitudes will eventually motivate the other members to gain enthusiasm as well. Abraham Maslow felt that human needs were arranged in hierarchical order, (Goble, 2004). As a leader, one must understand those needs such as encouragement and human basic needs, as they are powerful motivators. The second criteria is the leader must be able to set a good example to his followers. For instance, if the group leader is lazy, the other members will tend to be lazy as well. Anexcellent leader works hard or harder than everyone else and thinks creatively different from the others. "Good leaders are made, not born," (Bennis, 1989). An outstanding leader usually has the desire to keep on learning in order to improve the leadership skills. Example of a good leader which gives significant impacts towards the world isProphet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.). On the other hand, the strong leadership and spirit of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj had brought Malaya towards independence. Therefore, to be a reliable leader, students ought to acquire some leadership skills.

Lastly, leadership plays an important role in students' life. Students need a fine leader as guidance to teach them on how to make the most effective decision and be confident in their own self (Bacal, 2007). Every teacher is actually a leader for students and eventually a good teacher will be able to mould and develop leadership qualities in each of the students as well. In addition, leadership also plays an important role in the process of making proper organization and work delegation especially in group project. An efficient group leader will make sure the tasks are divided equally among all members thus making work progress smoothly producing premium results. To boot, having a considerate leader which practices good leadership skills will ensure that there will be no argument or emotional conflicts between the members. Hence, students' hectic life and study burden can be lessened by having a good leader as their work conductor.

"Leadership is not a science, you can never be sure whether you will reach your goal," (Orans, 1997). The democratic leadership style is the most effective style that can be applied by student leaders. Leadership means colossal responsibilities and only people who own the credibility and never quit learning could be a good leader. Lastly, leadership plays an important role in students' life as it helps to make the students life more organized and less complicated. Without proper guidance, students will feel lost. Leadership might seem like a simple word, but it sure carries an intricate meaning. Students certainly have to pull out a lot of efforts and dig out some courage in order to be a successful leader.

Bacal, R. (2007, December 23). Leadership Development Resource Center. Retrieved
February 26, 2008, from
Bennis, W. (1989). On Becoming a Leader. New York:Addison Wesley.
Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership, New York, NY: Harper Torchbooks.
Goble, F. (2004). The Third Force: The Psychology of Abraham Maslow. Chapel
Hill:Maurice Bassett Publishing.
Leadership styles. (2000, April 23). Retrieved February 26, 2008, from
Orans, L. P. (1997, April 19). Learning about leadership. Retrieved February 26, 2008,
from http://www.pinetreeweb.com/whatis.htm.

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