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Leadership Growth in CTE

Jeremiah Edwards
Emily Brown

By: Emily Brown
Instructional Designer

What is leadership? For me, as an MNTC graduate, leadership is defined by communicating clearly and effectively, leading by example, and looking for opportunities to grow. Developing these skills begins the moment you step into the career and technical education (CTE) classroom and continues evolving long after you graduate. The moment you step on campus, you become a leader, whether you believe you are a leader or not. Leadership is not defined by role; leadership is defined by action. Career and technical education provided me with leadership skills development.

  • Clear Communication

Being able to clearly communicate both verbally and in writing is so important, but active listening is by far the most important part of communication. This is frequently overlooked and is something I must remind myself to do daily. It has been said, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Being an effective communicator is how you build relationships with others, which is vital for any leader.                                      

  • Lead by Example                                                                                        

Leading by example is such a vital trait. Don’t ask others to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. If you expect someone to do it, you must be willing to step up and fill that gap. If you see trash on the floor, pick it up. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. If you see someone is lost, you stop and ask them if they need help, then show them the way. It’s being situationally aware of others around you, as well as your settings. Sometimes paying attention to the little things pays off in big ways, and employers pay attention to employees who take those extra steps.  

  • Personal and Professional Development

Looking for ways to improve and develop is necessary for personal and professional growth. As a CTE student, you must learn specific skills to be successful on the job. Following your interest and passion comes during career and college exploration. CTE helps you develop your skillset, then sets you free to find a career you are passionate about. Want to be an underwater welder? Let’s research that and see what certifications and experience you need to make it happen. Work-based and project-based learning allows students to explore various paths they want to pursue upon graduation. Continue to learn and never stop. 

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