Going in to LeaderShape, I felt pretty confident about my leadership abilities. I had held numerous leadership positions in high school, and had recently been elected Treasurer for the UC Democrats. However, in the six days spent at Higher Ground, I came to realize that one’s leadership ability is not a reflection of the amount or prestige of the titles one holds. Perhaps the single greatest lesson I learned at LeaderShape is that leadership does not have one single definition. Even a single person can demonstrate leadership in different ways, at different times, depending on the situation. Nevertheless, there are certain qualities that can elevate one’s leadership ability in any situation, many of which I was not aware of before attending LeaderShape. One such quality is emotional intelligence. This includes being conscious of your position, your privileges, your biases, and your emotions, for all of these things impact the decisions you make as a leader. Also, while it is important to possess traditional leadership qualities such as confidence, bravery, and decisiveness, one should also remember that in order to be respected, trusted, and cared for, one must also show compassion, sensitivity, and open-mindedness. One of the most valuable lessons I learned at LeaderShape 2017 was that it takes more strength to be vulnerable than it does to be tough. My artifact below is a sample of some of the inspiration I gained and a plan for how I want to implement what I learned into my own life.