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How Leading Comes from Within

Landing the right internship can create a pathway to future career success and help you begin developing key skills hiring managers are looking for. As a leading resource for career development and personal growth, The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) takes its internship opportunities seriously.

Interns, or student presidents like Margaret Harter, are success-driven individuals looking to hone their skill set for the workplace and beyond. Through the NSLS Internship Program, students develop skills including communication, management, budgeting, event planning, and other attributes that set them apart from their peers. 

For Margaret, starting an NSLS chapter at her university also opened her eyes to the leader she didn't even know was within her.

"It made my interview skills amazing and helped me lead The University of Iowa chapter and bring awareness to leadership skills I had that I didn't even know about."

Anyone Can Become a Leader

There are plenty of misconceptions about what it means to be a leader. In a world that continues to value diversity of opinions, inclusion, and overall fairness, there is no longer a specific "look" for a leader. 

Leadership is also not necessarily the loudest or smartest person in the room. All you need to lead is intent—the intent on developing those skills, being true to who you really are, and using what you learn to help make an impact on others. 

Margaret learned this about herself and also understands how anybody, with the right intent, can achieve their goals. "Everyone has the ability to be a leader. Don't let others tell you that you aren't fit to lead." 

When we think about the skills that shape a modern leader, they're usually skills that can be developed. For Margaret, she attributes being personable, having drive, and positivity to her success.

These skills led her to create a great foundation for the Iowa NSLS chapter and a great established chapter for future members. "I worked with others to create a chapter of amazing leaders, advisors, and a driven executive board." 

Her emphasis on others is more than just selflessness. Her democratic leadership style gave a voice to her peers and created an environment for fast growth and immediate bonding. 

Margaret's Advice for Future Leaders

Positivity is something Margaret hits on more than once. Having a strong attitude is a pattern we see with great leaders as they learn to cope with struggles. These impactful leaders tend to see obstacles as opportunities instead of barriers. 

Keeping a positive mindset no matter what is something that goes hand in hand with being intentional. If you want to grow, improve, and succeed, it's a matter of intent and having the right attitude. 

Margaret looks up to Winston Churchill as a leader who exemplified that sentiment. "He drives me in that, even in times of hardship, you can always find a positive." 

And when the obstacles seem truly insurmountable? "If you believe in something, try everything you can until you achieve what you desire." Goal setting is important and when things don't work out, you can adjust and reconfigure your goals to keep moving forward. 

Ultimately, Margaret sees leadership as a two-way street, benefitting the people with you along the way. "[Leadership is] to make other people leaders along your own leadership journey." 

It's a lifelong journey that never truly ends. Today, Margaret is excited to take the skills she developed at the NSLS and her business degree to Texas, where she'll begin her next leadership journey in the workforce. 

Looking for that spark from within? Check out a recent Motivational Mondays episode featuring Paralympian wheelchair curler Steve Emt, who shared how he overcame incredible obstacles to achieve his goals and how you are the only one who can save yourself.