WARREN SCHOOLS Valley speakers teach students to be leaders
Student participants represented school groups.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Just because someone is in a leadership position doesn't mean they're a leader, the director of global production at Delphi Packard Electric Systems told Warren G. Harding High School students.
"Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in leadership positions who aren't leaders," Marybeth Cunningham told the 23 students participating Tuesday in Leadership Day.
Speakers represented city government, the board of education, business and the military.
The students in grades nine through 12 represent members of the school's clubs and organizations.
A minimum of a 3.0 grade-point average was required to participate in the program presented by the city, municipal court and city schools.
A global market and the change from an industrial to an information era makes the role of leadership particularly vital. Cunningham listed charisma, communication, integrity, vision, knowledge, creativity, humor and passion as the qualities of leadership.
"Integrity is of on the most important qualities of a good leader," she said, adding that that encompasses exhibiting ethical conduct and making fair and impartial decisions.
Lt. Col. Anna M. Schulte, 910th maintenance group commander of the 910th Airlift Wing at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, told the students that good leaders take challenges, take care of their people, and never forget the people they leave behind.
"Leaders need to have a vision, not only for you but for your people," Schulte said.
That vision also must be communicated effectively, she added.
She also urged the students to find mentors and to know their strengths and weaknesses.
"Don't ever let a poor boss be your excuse for being a bad leader," Schulte said.
It's important to remember people you meet along your career or personal path in case you need to call on their knowledge or expertise later on, she said.
She quoted her father, a retired military man, on the importance of a leader taking care of the people who work under him or her: "If you give people a pillow to lay on and food in their stomach, they're yours -- they're there for you."
When people under your command do well, it makes you look good, too, Schulte said.
"A leader is nothing without their people," she said.