YLDP Student Article: ‘What Does Leadership Teach Me?’

YLDP students with Houston Food Bank CEO Brian Greene

By Riya Shenoy

Leadership is a multifaceted journey filled with valuable lessons learned from various sources. Throughout my time at YLDP, I’ve gained insights into leadership through the pages of the HBR book and engaging discussions with guest speakers. One crucial lesson I have grasped is the importance of proactivity, a point highlighted by Judge Sandill during one of our sessions. He stressed that leaders mustn’t passively wait for the opportunities but should actively create them, echoing the sentiments in Chapter 6 of the HBR book. Effective leadership demands taking risks and seizing the initiative, transcending mere titles to inspire collaboration and innovation.

Mr. Brian Greene, CEO of the Houston Food Bank, provided another perspective on leadership, emphasizing the significance of supporting existing initiatives. He underscored that leadership isn’t solely about launching new ventures but also about nurturing and endorsing established ones. This aligns with the ethos of fostering collaboration and setting examples, crucial for effective leadership as discussed in our reading and sessions.

Furthermore, the concept of responsibility emerged as a cornerstone of effective leadership.  Leaders must consider the broader impact of their actions and make decisions that uphold ethical standards, as highlighted in Chapter 9 of the HBR book. Leadership isn’t solely about  achieving results; it’s about achieving them in a manner that serves the greater good.

In essence, leadership isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept; rather, it’s a dynamic interplay of qualities and actions. It involved seizing opportunities, shouldering responsibility, and advocating for what is right. My journey at YLDP has taught me that true leadership transcends titles; it’s about inspiring others and fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation. By integrating the lessons from both the HBR book and guest speakers, I aspire to become a more effective and impactful leader, capable of inspiring positive change and making a meaningful difference in the world.