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  • Writer's pictureBaker Institute Team

"A good leader was just a good person."

Zaef Sikder '21 | Lansdale, PA Major | Computer Science and Business

Minor | Entrepreneurship and Environment & Earth Science

On my way to San Francisco I was browsing through the self-help books section at Hudson. There was no shortage of books on leadership, arranged beautifully, each having their own unique take on the word. However, it was not until I was sitting in a room with Sandy Stelling that I truly understood the meaning of the word.

Being a strong, independent, leader in her industry for decades she had many insightful stories to share with us. But when she said that, "independence is about showing up for others", it struck a chord with me. Before I thought being independent meant being self sufficient, paving your own path, and being able to stand up on your own foot. Sandy Stelling went one step beyond this meaning because only after you have achieved all this for yourself can you show up for those who need you. The moment I realized that, it felt like I was being imbued with all the wisdom in the entire shelf that I was staring at in the Hudson store.

It was evident from every session of LehighSiliconValley that these individuals, who are now at the zenith of their industries, truly cared about how they impacted the lives of other people and always tried to inspire a positive change. They all shared their unique stories with us but what all these stories had in common was that, deep down, a good leader was just a good person. That is my biggest takeaway from the program and it is something that I will try to emulate in my own life.

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