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Cam, the leader. A scholarship essay on leadership characteristics.


JuanSebastianR 23 / 63 37  
May 23, 2016   #1
Hello team,

I hope this finds you well. I have begun to apply to several scholarships to aid my education. Please see my latest essay on leadership. I found this scholarship through my university's scholarships website. It is a draft. The limit: 1000 words. I am over 6 words, but that is of no issue. I would appreciate any feedback.

Describe the three characteristics of leadership you value most. Discuss why you believe that these traits are so important and how you feel that they are developed in an individual.

I met him while riding the train to New York City. He was sitting right in front of me, staring blindly to the Times paper that had crevices from being folded many times. Shy from forming conversation, I blindly asked, "What are you reading?" Our conversation took off. His name is Cam. He was born in California and was traveling to New York for work. He wore fine silk pants, nice shoes that shined like a bald man's polished head, and wore a tie as red as lipstick. I could tell he was a businessman. I found this fine young man to be approachable. His mannerism and smiles invited me to join and ask more questions, without being intimidated by his business look. It only took a few moments to realize that this man was the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, working to provide environmentally friendly housing for the poor around the country and the world. He had developed homes that were inexpensive and easy to build; he was on his way to present the new project to a team of investors. He shared his story of success with me, how he began to act as a leader in college, and he gave me of the secret formula for a leader: Someone who is creative, approachable, and a motivator.

"Why creative?" I asked. He mentioned that creativity is what fuels successful people. It is the seed and the gasoline that keeps a person inspired everyday to find new ways to succeed in life. Cam developed his creativity while finishing his career at a small College in California. He was in his final semester and did not know what to do about his life, having applied to colleges and accepted to many, but the burden of the costs began to worry him. He feared that he would not be able to go to school because of the high costs, making him doubt going to college. However, creativity helped him achieve success. He began writing a letter for a scholarship and quickly discovered that he was able to convey a story and grasp readers easily. He discovered his creative side, which he was not aware of. And so, he began writing daily, applying to as many scholarships as he could, and consequently, received aid to pay for all his college costs and tuition. His creativity helped him turn around the fear of going to college, into the access of free education, all because he used his mind and fingers to create art.

"Why approachable?" I asked. He commented that people in life are naturally afraid of each other and how the world today is filled with people who fear the boss. Cam's formula of being approachable: acting as the rest. Acting as if he was the man who worked in the mailroom, the man cleaning floors, or the man washing the windows. He believes that a true leader is the one who will get his hands dirty with any kind of job, and that makes him approachable. Instead of treating people as servants, he thanks them for their work. At 24, he captained 300-client event. He was in charge of leading the 20 staff, whose ages ranged from 23 to 55-years-old. "I was approachable to all of these people who I saw as friends and nothing else. And they resonated with me and believed in what I was doing. They were my friends." He ended.

"Tell me more about your secret formula," I said. "Well, Juan, the next and most important thing to this secret formula is: being a motivator." His explanation was that in any home, group, fortune 500, or small business, we need motivators. In order for a company to succeed, there needs to be someone who inspires and brings the best out of people. "A motivator is someone who can change a person's life," he said. Cam shared his story about German, an old-time friend he hired to work for his catering company. He wanted someone smart, fast, and reliable; he wanted a leader. German was smart, but he lacked the confidence, was shy, and did not speak much. Cam mentioned that in this type of situation, most employers get rid of their employees. Rather, Cam decided to train German on how to be a leader. He gave him a list of websites to read on leadership and told him of how he could succeed in any job by learning new skills. "Come out of your shell. Do not worry, I am here for you." Cam told German. And so, German began opening up to Cam and showed him that he was capable of more and proved him that those who wanted to be more confident could. Cam did not give up on German. Now, German is a successful young man. He is a leader, one that would have been turned away by someone who was not a motivator.

It takes many qualities to form a leader, qualities that are important to our world, because a leader can create ideas to make the world a better place. A leader wants change; he/she wants progress in life for the greater good, for the planet, for humanity. A leader can take us to Mars and beyond. A leader can simply give us what no one else can give, a friend. How do all of these qualities come about? These qualities are developed when a person realizes that life may not be perfect, and that there are changes to be made every day. An individual who sees life as progress and is not conformed, will want to attain the skills of a leader, because he would want to make a change in his small group of students, small community, home, household, state, country, planet, and universe. I am glad a met Cam, the creative, approachable, and motivator...C.A.M.

justivy03 - / 2,366 607  
May 23, 2016   #2
Hi Juan, first of all, your essay is very entertaining, it's like reading a short story with a very visible and predictive ending, of course, lessons learned are very evident too.

Now, as it is a scholarship essay and you have a word count, I say you stick to a lower count of words, however, make sure that all the ideas that you would like to send across is well elaborated in your essay. Base on experience, there are a number of applications being passed through the admission panel each day and what you don't want to miss is that few minutes of their time to read and analyze your worth for the scholarship.

As mentioned, as much as entertained as I am, I suggest that you eliminate unnecessary story telling technique in this scholarship essay and go direct to the point, tackle the three leadership characteristics that you value the most and cite an example for each of them, however, avoid the lengthy elaboration of events.
TJLuschen - / 241 203  
May 23, 2016   #3
Hmm, I started off liking your framing story, but I feel a bit betrayed at the end. Basically you were making up the whole first part of the story - there was no subway, no newspaper, no bright red tie, so your essay gives me an impression of dishonesty. Maybe that is not justified, but that is just the feeling I get. It seemed like your language in the opening paragraph was a little too flowery. Overall, I think your essay could be more concise - there seem to be a lot of unnecessary words. Also, I don't think your essay fully addresses the part of the prompt that asks "how are these traits are developed in a leader?" I get the impression that Cam was just sort of a born leader and used these traits he always had inside to become successful. Your story of German shows a little of how leadership might be developed, but you are not really focusing on German, you are using his story to show how motivation is important.

Here are some other suggestions:

staring blindly [at] the Times paper
Shy [of] forming conversation, I blindly asked,
Our conversation took off. His name [was] Cam.
His [manner] and smiles invited me

intimidated by his business[-like] look.
he gave me of the secret formula for a leader: Someone who is creative, approachable, and a motivator. {the way it is formatted, this sounds more like a description of a leader than a formula for being a leader}

"It is the seed and the gasoline {I don't really like this mixed-metaphor} that keeps a person inspired everyday{two words here - "everyday" is an adjective} to find new ways to succeed in life.

Cam developed his creativity while finishing his career [education] at a small [college] in California.

did not know what to do [with] his life,
convey a story and grasp [the attention of his] readers easily. He discovered his creative side, which he [had not been] aware of.

Cam's formula of being approachable: acting as the rest.{I think "like" is better than "as" here, but it still seems too vague - the rest of what? Maybe "acting like an ordinary employee"}

... worked in the mailroom, the man cleaning [the] floors, or the man washing the windows.

He was in charge of leading the [staff of 20],
"I was approachable to all of these people [whom] I saw as friends and nothing else.

"Tell me more about your secret formula," I said. "Well, Juan, the next and most important thing to this secret formula is: being a motivator." {these are two sentences where you could be more concise} His explanation was that in any home, group, [Fortune] 500 [company], or small business,

A leader can simply give us what no one else can give, a friend. {I don't understand this part - why can only leaders give us friends? Can't you be a friend without being a leader?}

that he was capable of more and proved [to] him that those who wanted to be more confident could.
I am glad [I]met Cam, the creative, approachable, and motivator...C.A.M.


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