What Makes a Leader?

January 17, 2020
Lara Kwiatkowski

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Class of 2021

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All of the teenagers in BBYO have- no matter where we live- something in common: we are leaders. Although some of us have more or less assumed this role, we are all leaders.

Leaders have the ability to bring people who have little to nothing in common together. But how do we do it? We all possess three types of skills: technical ability, cognitive ability, and emotional ability. However, our emotional ability is what is crucial to reaching our full potential.

Emotional intelligence, comprised of five main skills, is essential to being a successful leader.


Being aware of ourselves will help us understand each other better. What are my strengths? What do I need to improve on? Self-critical people have the ability to be honest, which allows them to accept and give constructive criticism. Knowing who we are will help us accept ourselves and those around us.


We all have feelings, but we cannot let our feelings affect our performance. Therefore, we must manage our emotions so we can create an atmosphere of trust and progress with those around us. Many times, the most temperamental leaders are the ones who have the most failures. Self-regulation allows us to construct an action plan, which can pave the way to success.


We all have something that motivates us, whether it is getting into a great college or pursuing our wildest dreams. Leaders are motivated by the simple fact of achieving greatness. Passion, persistence and a drive to learn new things are all factors that keep people motivated with a positive mindset.


Always take the opinions of others into consideration in order to work together as a team. Being conscientious of other people’s opinions ensures progress, both as a group and personally. Many times, the lack of empathy a person has is what causes others to distance themselves.

Social Skills

Social skills are ultimately a person’s ability to relate to other people. It is the ability to unite a group and achieve common goals. It is knowing how to react to the needs of others and establish connections with those around us. Knowing how to deal with other people is critical in achieving success as a leader.

Emotional intelligence is absolutely necessary to be a good leader for several reasons. Being a successful leader is more than just simply achieving things.

Lara is a BBG from BBYO Argentina.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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