What Is a Prep Leader? ~ Mrs. KaufmanLeave your thoughts
By Sofia Dragna and Renee Ventresca
What is leadership to you? We at FLINT have spent a lot of time trying to find the most fitting definition for a such a complex word, and with the help of Mrs. Kaufman, an AP Biology teacher here at Prep, we were able to get a clearer idea of what a Prep leader really looks like. When asked what leadership means to her, Mrs. Kaufman defined a leader as someone who impacts others. Anyone can be a leader by influencing others behavior, leaving not only a positive impact but a thoughtful one. A leader who is thoughtful about what they are trying to change and willing to measure what impact they are making will always influence and hopefully inspire those around them. Mrs. Kaufman found that if you were to type “leader” into any internet search bar, the images that appear would typically be of one person, alone in front of a group. Leaders may sometimes be the trailblazers that move ahead of the pack, but leadership can also often be found within a team of people. In these groups, collaboration can encourage individual leaders to help each other to reach their goals. According to Mrs. Kaufman, a leader acts and speaks in the way that any person would because anyone can be a leader. The spectrum of different ways to be a leader is vast because “there are as many leadership styles as there are personalities”. This month for FLINT is the month of Team Building. During our interview, we asked Mrs. Kaufman her opinion on how team building strengthens a leader. She believes that understanding people is a very important part of being an effective leader because this way, if the team knows each other well, responding to different conflicts and situations will be a more cohesive process. To know not only your own strengths, but your teammates strengths as well is one attribute of a great leader. A key part of leadership and team building is to know “your why”, not how you are doing something, but why you are doing it. Using team building, a leader will unify the team on a shared mission, providing a mutual responsibility. Through our conversation with Mrs. Kaufman, we learned that leadership may be demonstrated in a variety of different ways, some more subtle than others, and that knowing and utilizing the strengths of each member in a team is an important part of leading, bringing us closer to understanding the definition of what it means to be a leader here at Prep.