“Being a leader, and how she inspired me to be one too.”

By: Natalie Burns

What truly makes an effective leader? Is it about power? Control? Or is it about creating a vision?

Catey Hill, a staff writer at the NY Daily News, said, “effective leadership is much more than simply giving assignments and direction. It requires vision, planning, and practice” (source).

It isn’t always easy to make friends in today’s society. As college students, we are busy with the pressures of everyday life. We may work and go to school full time. We may be mothers and fathers. We may be commuters, writers, and entrepreneurs. We are busy, and sometimes that makes it difficult to find long-lasting friendships.

In an article by Dr. Randy Kamen, a psychologist, educator, and author, she stated, “when life becomes challenging, women seek out friendships with other women as a means of regulating stress levels. A common female stress response is to ‘tend and befriend.’ That is, when women become stressed, their inclination is to nurture those around them and reach out to others” (source).

leah and natalie

Leah Rodriguez (left) and Natalie Burns (right).

When I first met Leah, I knew we would eventually be friends. She was personable, friendly, and always assertive in class (she also has really great hair). After we attended the summer Michigan PRSSA Leadership Summit together, we created a friendship and bond that allows us to continuously complement one another. Her positive and vibrant attitude gives me the ambition to want to excel in my own life. Our life is challenging enough, and we sought out a friendship together in order to have each other to lean on and take some of that pressure off.

A good leader is hard to find. A great friend is even harder. Someone that makes you want to be a better person, that challenges you to do great things, and a person that will go to any length to make sure you’re okay, is both a friend and leader that deserves recognition for their hard work, ambition, and reliability.

Not only has Leah been a loyal friend, but she has also allowed me to see the strengths and skills that I would like to see in a PR professional. She is assertive without being arrogant or condescending. She is able to delegate, while being kind and understanding. Leah also knows how to handle responsibility without getting stressed out with her personal life and hardships. These charismatic qualities spell out public relations, and they are key leadership skills that I believe are vital for the industry.

I am proud to have gained such an amazing friend. Although she has moved on to a new and exciting chapter in her life, her inspiration stays with me, and I know that her drive to keep me moving will stay with me.

Thank you Leah Rodriguez for being a part of this awesome journey called life!

Natalie Burns is a public relations major and marketing minor. Her writing, communication, and multitasking skills have allowed her to do especially well in her field. She has an outgoing, bubbly personality. Natalie is currently a public relations intern at SOS Community Services in downtown Ypsilanti. She is also Chief Financial Officer of PRSSA. Connect with her via Twitter @burns_natalie and Instagram @natattack03. Follow her blog at natalierb.wordpress.com.

 

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