Leadership Question

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by usna2019?, May 1, 2014.

  1. usna2019?

    usna2019? Member

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    I have recently been concerned with the leadership aspect of my application since I am not NHS, Eagle Scout, etc. I will however have 4 sports captains under my belt (2 varsity, 1 JV freshman year, and one of my 18u club team as a 17 year old) I also am involved with a freshman mentoring program that upper classmen take part in. My question is, should I be concerned with this leadership? I also work about 20 hours a week during the school year


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  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I doubt you need to go out of your way to improve in this area. Nevertheless, if an opportunity presents itself you should always take advantage of it. That's what leaders do, right?
     
  3. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    As a BGO when a candidate starts rattling off his/her leadership experiences the thing I ask is "What role did you play as team captain? What were your accomplishments, what differences did you make in the team?" It is important that candidates keep a summary of what they have accomplished and how. Also if they started some new program for the team they need to document that. The same is true for Eagle Scouts. The most impressive Eagle I have interviewed is the young man who pulled out an album containing drawings, reports on meetings he had re his project, and photos of the construction and finished project. It took a little extra effort, but it certainly was a plus to his interview. (Ten years later I still remember his briefing me from his album. He did get an appointment - but not to NAVY.)
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Agree 100% with '64.

    You don't have to have a "title" to be a leader. And, conversely, some with titles don't actually lead.

    Find a project or cause about which you are passionate and find ways to lead in that area. Here are a few examples:

    • If you love animals, run an adoption day or a free vaccination day
    • Go to a local senior citizens center or nursing home and come up with a way to honor mothers and fathers whose kids won't be visiting on Mothers'/Fathers' Day or to honor veterans for their service
    • Run a fundraiser for a club and earn more money than anyone has before
    • Set up (don't just participate in) a tutoring or mentoring program for underprivileged kids

    There is a host of things you can do -- all free of charge and all without having been elected to anything.

    I've had candidates reel off their "titles" and, when I say, "What do you do as captain of the XX team?" they look at me blankly and say, "Not much." That is NOT leadership.
     
  5. usna2019?

    usna2019? Member

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    Well in my situation, the captain is like a role model for the team who has earned their title through hard work, not just seniority. I have acted as both a coach and a mentor for other kids on the team when they have any questions. I do understand that there are cases where the captain is solely the person who does the coin toss, but not my case.


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  6. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I was merely giving an example from my basket of anecdoctes.

    I didn't mean to suggest that team captains aren't/can't be leaders. However, (as you have done above) candidates should be able to explain to the BGO or MOC committee how you use your position -- whether club president, class officer, team captain, etc. -- to lead. What specifically do you do in that position?

    Having the title does not equate to leadership. Taking actions as a leader is what makes one a leader.
     

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