Below is an inverview with MBA student, Lucas Salazar, for his Leadership and Management class at Lawrence Technological University.
LS: How would you define effective leadership?
TK: Effective leadership is the ability to create a clear vision, explain it to others, and build a team to make the vision happen.
LS: Do you think leadership develops with experience? Explain.
TK: Yes, leadership does develop with experience. It’s through experiences that we get better. The first time I rode a bike I was pretty bad. The second time I was a little better, but the third time I was pretty darn good. Same is true for most leadership skills.
LS: Are there one or two experiences you look back on as having been especially valuable in helping develop your own leadership? Please briefly describe them.
TK: I can’t pinpoint one specific experience that helped develop my leadership abilities, but I know that anytime I push myself into a situation where I’m stretching either mentally or phsycially, I grow as a leader.
LS: Have your own views of leadership changed over time? Explain how.
TK: Yes, I do believe my leadership views have changed over time. I used to think you either have it or you don’t. Now, having been put into many situations where I failed my first time but was great my second time, I believe it can be learned.
LS: Do you think leadership in your arena (e.g., sports, business) is much different from, or involves different pressures, than leadership in other arenas? Explain.
TK: Actually no I don’t think so. The more diversity of experiences I have in life, the more I see some of the same core ideas of leadership transcend across seemingly unrelated areas.
LS: Do you ever reflect, after the fact, about how effective your behavior was in a particular situation? Is this ever a source of new or different insights? Please share your insights.
TK: I’m a constant reflector. All of my writing both online and offline is one big reflection of my experiences. Reflection is a critical piece to my learning, growing, and retention of knowledge. I wasn’t always so reflective on my experiences though. I used to just do and forget. Now I do, process, remember, and get better.
LS: What do you feel is the single most important attribute for a leader to possess?
TK: At first I was going to say charisma, but I think more important than charisma is the ability to communicate your vision to others in a way that turns into action.
LS: Is there any advice you would give people early in their careers about leadership?
TK: If someone in school came to me and said I want to be you, I’d say…
1) LOVE to learn.
2) Experience A LOT of things to build your skill base.
3) Meet A LOT of people to build your network.
LS: What did you envision yourself doing for a career, or what did you want to do for a career while growing up?
TK: I always knew I wanted to do something entrepreneurial, but it wasn’t until the later part of my college life that I started taking action on it. I did know early on that I wanted to do something where my hour in wasn’t equal to the same output every time. I also knew I wanted to do something that would leave the world a better place than where I found it (Boy Scout Camp Ground Code).
LS: What was your major when you first started college? Did you switch majors? If so why?
TK: I stayed pretty consistant with my major of Business Management all throughout college. But let me be clear, I don’t use 99.9% of what I learned in my class textbooks for my work now. Almost all of my learning and growth in college happened outside the classroom.
LS: Is soccer your favorite sport? Why?
TK: Yes! I love that soccer is..
- Team focused
- Internationally played
- Simple to play, hard to master
- Thinking sport
- Limited rules
- Competitive and physical