You have heard many things about desirable leadership qualifications. Let me add one more to them: a people‐oriented attitude. Put people first. You are living in an age of limitless competition. Your classmates are usually your competitors, not friends. You work hard to obtain better grades than others, so that you are going to be in a better position in the job market. That seems to be a short‐cut way to make you a 'leader' in the future. But leaders are not merely 'better' kinds. Surely leaders should be smart enough to create and implement effective systems. But that is not all. Leaders, I believe, are those who build up other people around them. Leaders are those who care for the people who are in want of something. Leaders are those who make other people and, thus, the whole community improve.
It is my great pleasure to have that kind of students in my classes. In group projects, there are some students who are eager to help other students and make the projects genuinely 'team' ones. I acknowledge them as 'leaders.' Wonderfully the leadership is contagious. Soon all the students come to learn how to help each other and complete a successful project. At the end of a semester they realize that they have reasons to be proud of themselves. The students also find that they now have life‐long friends. I see in them a bright future. And they make me happy as a teacher at Sookmyung.
Sookmyung celebrates the 2007 Leadership Week on the 26th and 27th of April. Waiting for us are such various programs as conferences, trips, lectures, and fun activities. It will be good for students, surviving burdenous mid‐term exams, to experience a wider world around them and get a fresh start toward the second half of the semester. Do not give up the privilege to taste what you can not usually get from regular classes. Participating in those special programs, however, do not forget that the willingness to reach out to the people is a starting step to become a leader.