Tell us about the most significant challenge you've faced or something that didn't go according to plan.
How did you manage the situation?*
I am worried that I did not explain the management of the situation enough any feedback would be appreciated (250words).
While applying for college, West Point caught my attention because of my aspirations for leadership. West Point begins every semester with a grueling kit glove inspection of a cadet's uniform. The night before inspection is a Red Bull fueled fever dream of chaos as freshman furiously iron every piece of clothing and meticulously clean and polish every button, shoe buckle, and thread of their uniform. I vowed to myself that under my leadership my freshman would triumph through this grueling test of detail. I spent hours combing over his uniform, making sure every detail was checked off and that his shoes were so clean that I could see my reflection. But I felt the sting of defeat as my freshman withdrew the wrong sheet during the inspection, an automatic fail. Failure was bearable; however, his disappointment not in me but himself, was a white-knuckled fist in my stomach. Failure meant counseling, negative observation reports, and a make-up. But I knew no amount of counseling would extinguish his disappointment. Actualized leadership is more than surface-level rank, the mark of a true leader is their ability to resonate with a subordinate's humanity, and this experience was my initial baptism into becoming a bona fide leader. My leadership skills were tested as I broke the barrier between leader and subordinate and motivated him to succeed not because West Point required it but because that's what he wanted. Because to me, being a human leader matters.
Holt Educational Consultant - / 10,906 3559
You were able to successfully explain the scenario that led to the failure in leadership on your part. However, the management of the situation is, as you suspected, unclear. You only explained how you would need to manage the situation. You did not spell out how you actually dealt with the results of the failure. So that means, you only presented half of the requirements. The part that relates to telling the reviewer about the significant challenge you faced or something that did not go according to plan. You should not focus so much on the backstory. You refer too much to the prep work, but not the aftermath. It is the aftermath and how you dealt with it that is important to this statement.
This feels close to a question you'd get in a job interview. Advice I've always received was to answer these types of behavioral questions with the STAR method.
They want to know what happened, what you learned from it, and how your resiliency allows you to overcome something similar in the future. To echo Holt, how did you deal with the failure?