Friday, October 14, 2011


CTI Leadership Team
Leadership is the ability to influence and guide others.  Leaders share common traits; characteristics of their personality and behavior that separates them from most people.  One significant trait of a leader is the ability to take a stand for what they believe, especially when their belief opposes popular opinion or the opinion of another leader.

It is important for a leader to have courage in their convictions and beliefs, as often they will be challenged by opponents who will be equally committed to an opposing view or conviction.  For this reason, leaders must influence and guide others with the confidence that comes from a strong foundation built on knowledge, experience and wisdom.  Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks are examples of leaders in history, who had the courage to stand for their beliefs and convictions in the face of great opposition.

Leaders must often be creative, “out-of-box” thinkers, for the challenges that come their way will usually require thinking differently about a challenge.  A recent example of a leader who thought differently about generally accepted ideas governing the way we use information, music and media, was Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple Computer.  By thinking different, Steve Jobs revolutionized entire industries, and taught generations of young leaders that thinking different can make all the difference in the world.  Patch Adams, founder of the Gesundheit Institute, is another example of how thinking differently can bring a new light to an established way of thinking.  Sometimes, all that is needed to solve a problem, is to look beyond the problem and then we can see all of the possibilities.

Another character trait of a leader is their commitment to constant learning.  American General George S. Patton was known to be a student of history.  General Patton cultivated an interest in learning by reading about how great wars and battles were won and lost.  By reading books written by great military leaders, Patton gained leadership knowledge that was just a relevant in his time as it was in the past.  His leadership character trait of needing to learn from the experience of other leaders enabled him win key battles during World War II.  Today, the example set by General George S. Patton inspires military officers at West Point to study past history and apply that knowledge to win wars and battles that are yet to be fought.

Great leaders are willing to share their knowledge and experience with others who are journeying along the same path to lead and influence others.  Professor Randy Pausch is honored by peers as being instrumental in teaching women computer science, when the field was largely dominated by men.  Professor Pausch was also an out-of-box thinker, founding The Alice Project, an effective strategy to teach teens and young adults the art and science of computer programming.  Diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2007, Randy Pausch demonstrated many significant traits shared by great leaders with his Last Lecture. By sharing his knowledge and experience, Randy Pausch sowed the seeds for generations of new leaders, thus multiplying his efforts, even in his death.

Great leaders are humble; they are not arrogant but modest when talking about their significant accomplishments.  It could be said of Mother Teresa that she was a leader of leaders.  “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”  Humbleness in a leader enables them to stay focused on the goal or objective that they are to accomplish, rather than setting their focus on themselves.

Leaders are found at home, in the workplace, at school, at places of worship, in sports, and in community organizations.  At home, I can be a leader by taking responsibility and being accountable in areas that are important to my family.  At work, I can assume a leadership position by managing a project and accepting accountability for the results.  When I participate in a sport, I can help those new to the sport learn what is needed in order for them to be a successful part of the team.  When I volunteer with a community organization, I can commit to completing a project or developing a program that will benefit the community.

CTI students are poised to be great leaders in their community.  We invest countless hours in learning, developing and mastering many important aspects that form the foundation of leadership.  When we train, we learn that building a good foundation based on knowledge, skill and technique is important to our future success. Our CTI training focuses on developing our  mind, body and spirit in the ways that make for capable leaders, in addition to effective team players.

Our CTI training develops and reinforces positive leadership character traits, such as our sense of fair-play and sportsmanship, when competing as part of a team or one-on-one with other leaders.  This aspect of leadership is important when competing in sports, in the workplace or when competing with other leaders as part of a community service organization.

CTI students learn to be responsible leaders who are accountable for their actions. When we fail, for whatever reason, we learn from our experience and recommit to a better outcome in the future.  We do not make excuses for our lack of performance; we are taught to do our very best and resolve to meet whatever goal or challenge is set before us to achieve.

In the communities where CTI students live, work and play, there are many community organizations that could benefit greatly from the leadership skills and characteristics that CTI students have to offer.  As leaders in our community, we are expected to step up to the task and assume a leadership position when an opportunity to lead presents itself.

When we assume a leadership position in our community, we provide young people with an opportunity to observe good leadership in practice.  The CTI, AMASEA and MSK, provide the means where students can learn to be great leaders, to the benefit of family, friends and people in the community in which they live and serve.

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