Emerge Leadership Philosophies | Spring 2024

March 25, 2024

At the culmination of each semester’s Emerge Leadership Circle, students share their personal leadership philosophies. These philosophies are the culmination of a semester’s learning and reflection, and each is as unique as the participants themselves.

Michael Eagan
Class of 2024

What is my leadership philosophy?

I have not been in many situations where I have had to take the reigns and direct the actions of others as well as delegating tasks. However, when I have been called upon to lead I generally tried to find someone more qualified because I try to avoid responsibility. It is much easier to follow and obey then it is to lead, be an example to others, solving problems both my own and those of others.

This is not to say that when I know or believe I am the most qualified person I will lead without trying to get out of it. There have been crises in various parts of my family life, and in other parts of my personal life where I had to take charge. Taking charge requires a certain degree of bravery especially, if someone else’s well-being or the consequences of the wrong action will cause significant issues for yourself and the people you lead.

Andrew Emmons
Class of 2025

My leadership philosophy is quite utilitarian. I want to take care of the responsibilities I take on as leader. Balancing my mission, with the wellbeing of everybody with me. 

By my nature  I am very goal oriented, and seek the most efficient route to make my dreams a reality. This serves me well when working under pressure, but moving forward I seek to practice more humanistic behaviors. 

I aim to show grace and empathy, as they are the core of my goals. I want to be a therapist someday, helping others as I have been helped, myself. I always strive to be a kinder person.I believe that when we grow complacent with kindness, that’s when apathy sets in, leading to cruelty.

I hope that as I continue my education and my career, I will be given more and more experiences and opportunities to continue to build the skills of empathy, kindness, and drive that have gotten me this far.

Mashal Khan
Class of 2027

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”-JohnMaxwell

Everyone sees the leader as the commander, the one who leads the group to come out on top whether it be a group project, competition or just an activity. They want what’s best for their followers and would do anything for them, make all members feel included and help those who struggle. As a leader they also hold authority over members, directing them through troubling tasks, but also are open to listening to their peers’ suggestions.

If you really think about it there’s a lot of things that involve/need a leader because without one everything will fall into chaos. CEOs, managers, military commanders, heads of households etc; all these are the ones who are responsible and who take care of their followers.

Everyone has their own preferences of a leader but for me I believe a leader is someone who holds authority, calm and collected, strong, reliable, inclusive, honest, kind, loyal, caring, responsible—and the list goes on. They look out for their followers and take care of them even when they aren’t taking care of themselves, like a friend would.

  • Leaders know when to back down
  • They also know when something is too risky to take a chance
  • They are the ones who take the fall for their followers despite them not being at fault
  • When it comes to different situations they always assess the situation before  directing their followers on how to solve it.
  • A leader doesn’t always need to be the one to give the answer, sometimes their goal is to help others figure out the answers themselves rather than having them rely on them too much.
  • Leaders may hold high authority but that doesn’t mean you guys can’t be friends.
  • Leaders are responsible for followers’ mistakes and mischief acts.
  • Leaders also never leave another member feeling left out or excluded nor left behind.
  • Leaders also make it their mission to show members what it means to look after one another and how forming strong bonds makes a better team.

Safa Khan
Class of 2027

“My values shape me into who I am; they keep me steadfast on a path to success. My religion encompasses morality and development, amongst many other traits that I incorporate into my leadership style. For these reasons, I have clear boundaries. I am not one to bend or twist them, no matter the circumstance. This could be viewed as stubborn or inflexible, but I believe being rooted in your values and having unwavering faith is commendable, respectable, and most of all, inspiring. It shows strength of character and a commitment to what you believe in. Your values serve as a compass, guiding your actions and decisions even in challenging situations. By staying true to your principles, you demonstrate integrity and authenticity, qualities that are essential for effective leadership. Your unwavering dedication to your beliefs not only shapes your own path to success but also inspires those around you to strive for excellence and uphold their own values. Outside of my values, my leadership style consists of working with others, and situational leadership. I love meeting new people; I inherently enjoy socializing, and therefore it comes naturally to work as a team and build relationships during. For this reason, I do not usually take on the role of the authoritarian leader if the situation doesn’t call for it. However, if the method of working alongside my peers as equals is not efficiently accomplishing our goals, I have the ability to switch to an authoritative leader as the situation demands. Such characteristics and values make up my leadership side as a person; my other side is how I follow others. I understand that to be a good leader, you must be a good follower. I can take the backseat, listen and learn from others, and eventually apply my findings to how I lead as well. To me, being an effective follower holds equal importance to being a leader.

William McKenney
Class of 2027

As a leader, I feel that my job is to facilitate productivity and learning for those around me. It is my job to make sure that everyone around me is in the best environment to do what they do best. I like to think of my leadership as in a workplace, but leadership could be anywhere. I believe that productivity and motivation go hand in hand, and as a leader, I can do many things to increase motivation. Firstly, I can make a serious, yet sometimes fun, environment. There will always be times to have fun in an environment where I am a leader, but there has to be time for business as well. It is my job as a leader to identify the strengths of my followers or coworkers. I will help them find their passion to help motivate them, which will increase productivity and learning. A major value in my life is learning from everything, it used to be learning from mistakes, but every event has its takeaways. Learning is about taking risks, which is why I also want to encourage ‘educated’ risks as a leader. I believe in the saying ‘no risk, no reward,’ and I believe that this is true. To take risks means to be out of your comfort zone, which is something I want to encourage my coworkers to try. Lastly, I want any environment I will be in to be safe. What I mean by ‘safe’ is a place where people can let their personalities thrive so that they can be happy where they are. All of these core values will make up my leadership philosophy.

Sarah Moniz
Class of 2027

Leadership can manifest itself in many different ways. When discussing what a leader should look like, people will state a variety of answers. A leader should be confident in themselves, confident in their team, and reliable to those who count on them. Above all, I believe a leader should be kind, and lead others the way they want to be led. Although it sounds like a cliche, kindness and compassion should always be the main priority for a leader. These qualities make others want to work with them, and will encourage group participation. If a team environment is not positive and functions in a toxic manner, the members will not want to participate. In some scenarios, they may not have a choice. A boss or coach may not be kind and caring, but you still need to show up to work or play for the team. This being said, a group member would be more productive and overall happier if their supervisor showed them kindness. You would want to go to work or practice everyday, instead of dreading it the night before. Morale would be higher, and the environment would be more productive. To conclude, leaders should rule justly and with compassion. By creating a positive environment, the group will be more productive and overall happier.

Hiba Nazzal
Class of 2027

To bloom is one thing, to bloom while encouraging others to bloom is another thing. Cross-pollination is when the pollen of one flower is transferred to the pollen of another flower, causing it to bloom as well. While there is beauty in one flower, it holds no weight on the beauty of a whole field.

As a leader my service is towards those who need a little more encouragement to become their own leaders. Inspiring relationships of trust, friendship, and mentorship. The best way to ensure members not only deliver on their performance, but also learn is to allow room for them to grow on their own, before stepping in when necessary.

The quality of a relationship between myself and team members could be gauged by how much each member has bloomed, but also their ability to start cross-pollinating themselves.

Leadership doesn’t have to shine to be strong, as does a flower not need to stand out to be beautiful.

Maxwell Passarelli
Class of 2027

“I have a busy life. I balance four shifts each week at my part-time job, being a full-time student, personal projects, social life, and more. It is not just me, this is the reality for most college students. Why can’t I just cut out one of these items to give myself more time? The answer, I do want to. All of these things I spend my time on because they are important to me and important to reaching my goals. I am a very goal-oriented person, which is reflected in my leadership style. I also value people when in a leadership position I would put people first. Organization can be easily forgotten when discussing leadership, but it shouldn’t. From someone who has been in a poorly organized professional environment, morale is low and no one wants to be there. I found time in my busy schedule to participate in the Emerge Leadership Program for multiple reasons. The most important to me is the skills gained through the program.

Perhaps, my leadership philosophy is based heavily on my experiences and upbringing. As a young child, I struggled with my disabilities. When I was first diagnosed I was not predicted to graduate high school. As you can imagine, The fact that I am a college student is surprising to say the least. This is why my goals and being successful are so important to me. I would encourage you to be ambitious with your goals, but most importantly never give up on them.

Sarahie Pierre
Class of 2025

What is it to be a leader? This question, I’ve been asking myself since the beginning of this workshop. One of our first exercises was writing words and characteristics that we associate with being a leader. Over the semester, we dove into different aspects of what it takes to be successful in a leadership role. I came to the realization that the most important aspect of leadership to me is serving others. With that in mind, my mission in leadership roles is to uplift and mentor those that I am leading so that they can be the best version of themselves and accomplish their goals. I value honesty, kindness, creativity, and organization, and I strive to show that with every decision that I make. A leader, to me, is also someone who is willing to learn and take what steps they can to make improvements to themselves and their team on a daily basis. As a leader, I step with confidence and humility and to connect with and learn from others with every opportunity that comes my way.”

Riley Shutt
Class of 2027

My mission as a leader is to make everyone working with me comfortable enough to open up and share their ideas. I’ve found that being welcoming and warm to new people, offering a few laughs and sprinkling in a few jokes helps to make the environment less uncomfortable for everyone involved. When the environment and the people are more comfortable an actual dialogue takes place, and ideas are shared that would otherwise not be. 

It may seem like faulty leadership for my friends and I to always shoot friendly fire at each other, but I think it’s really versatility. My close friends and I give each other a hard time, but within comfort level and never below the belt. Situational awareness like this is a huge part of my leadership philosophy, second only to knowing yourself. Yes, as humans we are ever growing and ever changing, but the best leaders walk into a situation knowing what skills they have to offer, what tendencies they have, what their weaknesses are and what privileges they have that affect their opinion.

I believe that you cannot lead others unless you lead yourself. You cannot know others unless you know yourself- actually know yourself, don’t pretend to know yourself then you’re a phony and you are a horrible leader. . I know my faults. I know my tendencies and I know my privileges. I know my weaknesses and my strengths and my personal values. I know that I love to laugh. Thanks to Linzy’s personality exercise, I know I’m a “bold personality”. I bring both of these into scenarios where I am in a position of leadership. And while some people might find my laughing and my jokes obnoxious, an opinion which is entirely fair, I know that is who I am, and I know from experiences inside and outside of this workshop that making people comfortable with you is how I will always approach being a leader. 

AJ Soto
Class of 20275

I am a man of few words they say, and I would like to tell you why. My reasons for embracing leadership lie in the transformative potential it holds. I see leadership as a profound opportunity to make a positive impact, to inspire change, and to nurture growth. But above all, my leadership is grounded in the power of listening. In a world often filled with noise and chaos, the ability to truly listen—to understand, empathize, and connect with others—is a rare and invaluable skill. As a leader, my life is rooted in the belief that the mouth isn’t the only thing that has power, but so do the ears. The willingness to listen can lead to the empowerment of other values, such as discipline, hard work, and a balance between them all.

The ability to listen can serve as the compass guiding one’s actions and decisions. It is through listening that we forge genuine relationships, cultivate trust, and uncover the diverse perspectives of our peers that become necessary to make our own decisions. I believe these are not just abstract ideals but pillars upon which effective leadership is built. These values are not just words to recite but principles to live by. I am driven by the value that leadership is not a title or position but a commitment to serve others; it is a pledge to use the power of listening. I am guided by the truth that the greatest leaders are those who listen with intention, speak with purpose, and act with integrity. Simply put, leaders are those who use their two ears before they use their one mouth. Thank you.


Spring 2024 Emerge class