When it comes to essay writing, almost everyone knows the procedure: research, basic structure writing, editing. But what about leadership essay? What should you include? How to start? Do you need an outline? Is it a different kind of paper? The biggest obstacles that students face up during leadership essay writing are the lack of achievements, unclear structure of the paper, and the blurry description of the skills they have. In this article, Coolessay team will deal with it.
What Is Leadership Essay?
Leadership is a notion which includes psychological peculiarities, specific behavior, and charisma. It is still an arguable topic, whether it is an inborn quality, or it can be acquired by constant work on personality. However, there is one thing we know for sure, leadership essay, as well as leadership itself, requires efforts, time, and patience.
Leadership essay is a common assignment that is given at school, college, and university. Moreover, it is often the most challenging topic for MBA applicants to handle. Invariably, huge business schools ask applicants about their leadership qualities at some point, in their essay or in the interview. So, whether you want it or not, you have to know the basic structure and all the details of such a paper.
All the schools you are applying to are interested in your potential for leadership, not just your past history of leadership. Even if you have not yet held a formal leadership position, you undoubtedly have some ideas about what makes a good leader. And that is what you should include in your essay. The leadership paper is an opportunity to discuss the qualities that you believe a leader needs, focusing on the ones you already have, and recognizing the ones you hope to cultivate.
Whether it is a leadership essay for MBA application or just a college assignment, do not be afraid of telling about your personal experience. You are free to use appropriate examples from your life to reinforce your claims or statements.
Leadership Essay: 4 Simple Steps to a Killer Paper
One of the first things to consider is whether your leadership essay is a part of the entire package of documents or a separate piece of writing. If it is an additional thing, you have to remember that there are also exam scores, diploma, GPA, and application which this leadership essay is attached to. So, the most personalized things about you as an individual is going to be in that document. Many students make a mistake when they are preparing the leadership essay and use the application as the basis for the letter. Usually, the majority of them end up repeating half of what is already written.
What you need to do is to look at the whole document and imagine that the person in the admission committee is looking at you and only knows you from these pieces of papers. So, answer the question “What is there about you that is not in this package?” Your voice is missing. Leadership essay is something that supplements the application, does not repeat it, and has new information. And there are four simple steps to writing a killer paper.
Your leadership essay should have a simple but visible structure as any essay does – a bright introduction which smoothly leads to an intense main part, and then a strong conclusion which should once more indicate to your personal achievements. Usually, the structure defines the flow of your leadership essay, so make sure to spend some time on these essential elements in order to write the paper.
Step 1. Self-reflection
It is similar to mind-mapping or research process. What you need to do first is to take a blank sheet of paper, remember and write down all of the situations when you were a key player in the “team”. We want you to think about when have you led? Not necessarily by the selection, but when you have stepped up and led something? When have you created something? When have you initiated, persuaded, fixed, solved something? We are talking about personal, academic, and community service life.
Mind map it, look at every aspect of your life and then find the best examples. Then, consider your personal brand. What kind of a leader are you – maverick leader, charismatic, quiet, thoughtful, collaborative one? Knowing what your brand is and as part of that, your leadership style will help you hone in on the best examples which will reflect that.
We know, you are so tempted to get started right away and miss that step. But the chances are you will latch on to only one story or example. Days later, you start realizing you are not making progress and hitting a dead end.
Step 2. Outline Your Leadership Essay
Take the time to invest in creating an outline. Divide your essay into a few parts (topics) and fill in the gaps. For example, it can be:
- sports leadership on a team;
- academic leadership;
- community service leadership;
- helping individuals (work, personal life) succeed and thrive;
- Communication / persuasion
You do not have to write you were a captain of the tennis club. You can write about your role in helping your team to overcome losing. How did you get involved? What idea did you come up with? Maybe you have convinced a group of people to go in a particular direction that was different from their original goals.
Make sure you are focusing not only on the achievement that you have had; the admission people can see your resume and accomplishments. You have got to step back and say ‘Okay, I have done this, so what?’ How did it impact your life? Go beyond the obvious. Drill down and delineate how you went about doing what you did? What were the obstacles that you experienced? What were the challenges? What ultimate results did you achieve?
You can’t write a successful leadership essay without revealing how you have led and why (the values that anchor and motivate you). Force yourself to bullet out these points.
Step 3. Essay Writing
Once you have got all these elements ironed out, the essay writing process becomes much easier, fluid, and stress-free. Now, you are ready to write.
It is not as if you have unlimited space to talk about everything. So, tell a story that is directly connected to the skills and achievements you have mentioned in your draft. The first thing is not to use under any circumstance a lot of clichés and not to write about being enthusiastic, self-motivated, team player, hard-working, punctual. It may be a characteristic of a leader, but it is empty words. So, it is just blank. Nobody wants to know that. But they do want to know your strengths in action.
Leadership is an integral part of your life experience. Describe a recent time you have taken the position of a leader. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? When it comes to achievement, ask yourself a question “Does it really matter?” “What skills do you rely on?” A medal you have got on a scientific contest at the middle school is not as important as your personal growth or different life issues which shaped your true personality.
Step 4. Revision
Less is always more. So, when you are revising your leadership essay, the most important thing is to find ways to pare things down. Of course, do not forget to check your grammar and spelling. But the vital thing is that you need to sharpen an essay through the revision process. It is cutting out the fat and keeping the best of the meat.