The Principles of Leadership

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By Viswajith Kumar

HOUSTON: Leadership is a quality that is an essential part of our society. From all corners of the globe, leadership is the main driver behind the next innovative ideas and solutions to today’s problems. While leadership is important, in order to cultivate better leaders for the coming generations, we must ask ourselves: what determines good leadership? What does one need in order to be a successful and proficient leader rather than just a mediocre one? These questions were some of the many brought up during the thought-provoking discussion the students of YLDP had with Dr. Latha Ramchand, Dean and Professor of Finance at the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston.

On December 12, the students of YLDP were honored to have Dr. Ramchand speak to us about her views on leadership and the qualities that shape individuals into robust leaders for the future. Dr. Ramchand elucidated the students with fascinating stories and examples of unique forms of leadership. She recounted the experiences of her grandmother’s hardships growing up in India surrounded by abject poverty and the qualities her grandmother possessed to lead her family out of poverty into a life of successes. Furthermore, Dr. Ramchand discussed her own struggles as a leader in America and the adversity she had to overcome to obtain the success she has achieved.

From the many inspiring accounts of leadership Dr. Ramchand shared with us, one message was clear: people are not born as leaders rather they are made into leaders. Leadership is not an inherent trait that humans possess. The experiences of individuals and adversity they overcome are a few of the many things that mold people into strong leaders. Good leadership is a quality that everyone can inhibit but only through hard work, determination, and perseverance can we achieve this trait. Moreover, it is one’s job as a leader to extend a sense of empathy to others no matter what attitude others extend back. Attributes like this are what distinguish individuals like Dr. Ramchand and her grandmother as outstanding leaders and role models for the future generations of leaders.