The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TR officials discuss leadership traits

By Colt Langley/reporter

Having a vision, says vice president for student development services Robert Muñoz, is convincing oneself where one wants to go.

Vision, being the first step in becoming a leader, was one of several topics covered at the Leadership Experience Summit Nov. 20 on Trinity River Campus.

The summit’s first speaker, Muñoz spoke on the five competencies he believes leaders need. First is to have a vision, and second would be to have passion. Muñoz says passion is when people know why they are doing what they are doing.

“For passion, integrity is key,” he said.

Candor is the third competency. He believes candor allows leaders to stick with the task at hand.

The last two competencies are trust and wanton curiosity. Muñoz said trust is important and the most difficult of the five because it is earned. When Muñoz spoke of daring curiosity, he explained knowing one’s self is how leaders become the most effective.

Muñoz said one trait of a leader would be looking ahead.

“I get ahead of myself sometimes, thinking about where we are going to be six months from now, or even a year,” he said.

Another important trait of a leader is identifying one’s own weakness.

“On the spiritual side, forgiveness is one of those things I have to work on,” he said.

TR communication and fine art department chair Irene Thrower echoed much of what Muñoz said about leadership but also expanded on a few points.

Honesty, ethics and compassion are just a few traits of a leader, she said.

Thrower said she was surprised when asked to speak at the summit because she does not believe she exudes all of these traits.

“I do believe there are natural born leaders, but I also believe leadership can be taught,” she said.

Thrower said she has been around leaders who affected her negatively and made her feel that she might be missing something.

“Any leader can be taken down by anyone. Everyone around has the ability to shape us,” Thrower said. “We are products of who people tell us we are.”

Student development coordinator Victoria Burson began her segment with a dance to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

Burson called upon four men and four women to come to the front and describe one thing that made them a leader.

Once everyone in the group had given themselves a title, Burson pointed out that each had something different to offer as a leader.

“Not one leader up here has the same title, but all of them do share other leadership characteristics,” she said.

Burson has characteristics she looks for in leaders.

“As I get older, I tend to hang around the leaders in the back,” she said.

“Being witness to leaders at the feet, you get to climb up and see everything all the way up.”

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