Essay About Leadership

The first lesson I had ever learned was an essential one: don’t ever be too cocky. This lesson has impacted my life tremendously and showed me how I couldn’t always be on my high horse and that I must sometimes lose in order to grow and learn as a person.

A squad leader is someone who is ready to take charge, lead, and mold his/her section into the best marchers they could be. Ever since I was a freshman, who barely entered the Hanna Band, I had always wanted to be one. I had always believed I was a strong candidate for the position because many people expected me to get it. Ever since my first year I learned how to march, I would always receive compliments on my marching abilities, from other squad leaders, the drum majors, and even the band directors themselves. It was rare of me to slip up and be told how to correct something whether it be posture or feet technique. By the end of my first year in high school, my sense of hope was comparable to that of a burning inferno inside my petite, freshmen body.

Around the beginning of my sophomore year, my hope of becoming squad leader had grown even larger. This was also around the time when the band staff had received a new band director who would lead the high brass section, my section. I would try my absolute hardest to impress him either by helping/advising freshmen or keeping my legs as straight as possible every time he was around (even though my legs were screaming in an agonizing pain comparable to that of a cacophony of banshees wailing). He began to take notice of my efforts and started to compliment me more than usual. This of course skyrocketed my confidence. I had always felt confident that I would get the position, but I needed reassurance. I was always close to the head band director, Mr. Ewing, and wondered if I could have his opinion. Around this time was Pigskin, a UIL marching band competition, and I needed to buy tickets from him, so I thought I might as well ask him. As I entered his office my heart pounded like a timpani drum thudding louder and harder each step I took as I crept towards his desk. “Mr. Ewing, can I purchase some Pigskin tickets?” I asked. “Of course!” He replied. While he was looking for the tickets, I had began to have second thoughts on asking him if he believed I was truly ready to become my section's new leader. If he were to reply that I wasn’t capable of getting a hold of the position, my heart would shatter right then and there. My inferno of hope would be extinguished within seconds. “Here you go” Mr. Ewing said. “Thank you. I also have another question. I was just wondering if I can have your opinion if you believe I’m ready to become a squad leader next year?” I timidly replied. Remember my heart beating like a timpani? Well it was beating as a fast a runaway train thumping louder and louder on its own little tracks. “Jesus I am confident enough to say I truly believe you have what it takes to become the mellophone section’s new squad leader. Is there anything else I can help you with?” he said. “No, thank you so much” I replied with a toothy grin. I couldn’t believe the head band director himself said he was confident that I would lead my own section. So from there on out, I had believed I had struck gold and was 110% positive I would get the position.

Therefore, when squad leader forms were announced, I was vastly eager to apply. Being the self-assured teenage boy I am, I had started planning ahead asking previous squad leaders for advice because I had truly believed my spot was secured, but in reality it was me being arrogant and celebrating way too early. When people would ask me if I was anxious for the results, I would assure them I had nothing to worry about. After about two weeks of being a conceited fool, the day of results were released. I waltzed my way over to the band hall after school foolishly expecting my name to appear under “Mellophones”, but to my shock my name was nowhere to be found. My heart was beyond distraught as I made myself believe I was ready to take charge and lead my section. I ran to the nearest practice room and began tearing up. My best friend, Miranda, soon followed consulting me. “It must be a mistake, it has to be. There’s no way in hell you didn’t make it. You’re the best” she said while hugging me. For the following weeks I had lost interest in everything because becoming squad leader was the one thing I had my heart set on. It tore me a part inside because my dream, what was once seemed as reachable, was shattered into a million pieces. This lesson was essential because I had turned into a cocky, arrogant, conceited brat. The results gave me the slap of reality that I needed: I should never be cocky no matter how confident I may be.

That day changed my life forever because it showed me a lesson I desperately needed. I can’t always win and I must sometimes lose in order to learn from my mistakes. Although it may seem a little odd, I’m glad I was turned down for the position because if I were to get the spot, I wouldn’t have learned an essential lesson and continue living as an arrogant, cocky fool.